As a person of color, it’s not okay for a white person to tell me what is or is not racist. They are never going to be on the receiving end of racism and they will never understand fully what it’s like. This doesn’t mean that they can’t have an opinion, weigh in and ask questions, but it does mean that as an ally their first concern should be listening and learning.
It’s been about a year since I chose to cut off someone that I once considered a friend. This person reblogged something that I found offensive on a blog that we shared. The intention wasn’t to be offensive, but this is a case of intent vs impact – Just because you mean well doesn’t mean you aren’t causing harm. At first, I wasn’t going to say anything (because I knew that they meant well) but then another friend mentioned it first, so I chimed in.
This “friend” didn’t get mad at the person who actually brought it up but somehow was mad at me. While I explained what was offensive about the reblog and even put it in terms of their own struggles, they refused to admit they were wrong. Eventually they apologized but it wasn’t a real apology. It was one of those “I’m saying sorry because I know…
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