As a black woman, what I’ve seen from friends who are white is that feeling that their whiteness excludes them from black anger.
When I was about 20 my best friend who is Pakistani and I were with friends making dumb jokes (calling each other camel jockeys and debating over whose country has more camels) and this immature race based joking was a part of our friendship then, but this white boy in our group looked ut as, agog, and I dont remember his exact words but he was shocked to see a black girl and a brown girl make racist jokes and that he thought racism is white -> poc and not poc -> poc. This dumb take is definitely scraping at the bottom of the barrel of racial ignorance but there are many misunderstandings. One or two? officers who stood by George Floyd’s murder and did nothing are Asian. Racism isn’t a white on black problem, it is far more complex than that, it is between black people and asians, asians and other asians, white people and middle eastern people and black people etc. Race wars everywhere. White racism is spoken about the most because it goes hand in hand with the hateful ideology of white supremacy. This is probably why a lot of white people centre themselves in the concept of racism like that boy did, and why white fragility is a thing. “I’m not racist” “I dont care what colour you are” “I’ve got x colour friends/family” isn’t good enough, simply not being racist isnt the same as being anti racist. I gave the example the other day that I found Apu funny (indian simpsons character whose heavy accent is voiced by a white guy). I thought as I didnt hate indians and wasnt racist, it was ok to laugh at apu. I thought as a few guys voice a load of characters, it was ok for a white guy to voice apu. I thought yes, it’s a caricature but there’s grounds keeper willie, the Japanese guys, the Italian American guys - stereotypes is just a thing they do in good fun. That was me being not racist, but it is still very problematic. An anti racist stance on this comes with the acknowledgement that Asian Americans are not well represented in western media, and Asian americans deserve representation, and that a Scottish stereotype in america is not the same as an indian stereotype in america , as Scottish people have not faced the discrimination there that indian people have. An anti racist stance is acknowledging that microagressions hurt people and chip away at them, and a dumb joke about Apu or kids doing his voice will hurt people and mock their loved ones who have indian accents, like parents or grandparents. And then actually doing something about it, big or small, calling people out on their behaviour, speaking about it, involving themselves in petitions to show their support and solidarity. Only then can someone consider themselves anti racist, and being anti racist is the only way to fight racism, or any other kind of prejudice, and being “not racist” “not homophobic” etc isnt enough.
Regarding blm and what is happening now, solidarity and involvement of a white person in black anger is a good thing, as is the involvement of other black people and other poc. Not a fan or the term poc but not sure how else to sum it up. Idk who said it but they said white poeple can turn red, blue, green, grey etc depending on mood and black people stay the same so whose the person of colour here, and I agree. It sounds too “other”. But anyway, black anger and black pain needs the support of others, and its 100% good to get stuck in and involved and educated and angry and hurt and active and loud. What isn’t okay is “all lives matter” or “I’m alright, I’m not racist,” and being content with that, making other things the issue like “I hate how people try to make me feel bad for not protesting/talking more about this” etc. If you feel you aren’t doing enough, then do something. It can be reading a book to learn more, signing a petition, bringing the subject up with racist family members and talking to them about it, confronting your own prejudice and privilege and trying to make it something good. We all have racist family members, I don’t believe a single person in the world with family doesn’t. Just don’t be quiet. You don’t have to have black power tshirts on in a protest with your entire Instagram feed dedicated to #blm and resources, you don’t have to feel helpless, that there is too much awfulness going on in the world, what can I do about it? Small things. Upset about the Uyghur muslims? Find resources online for petitions or something to sign. Find out where you can donate. Find figures of authority to write too, like the chinese embassy. Consult the charities and ask them what you can do, they will tell you. There is no need for helplessness, a single person wields power, and a group of single people and their affirmative actions do even more. Complacency is no longer an option