Sidenote: sorry for not posting until now thanks for your patience
Race is a subject I like to usually avoid, it’s never been a topic I’ve been anxious to write about on this blog, but now it seems as a good time to explore my view on race as a black woman. I was reading this post and I was quite astonished because I haven’t and will never watch Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs so I didn’t know anything about the topic that was discussed in the post. After I finished reading I went to my favourite part the comments, I really like reading comments because you get to see the many different views people have on the post there was one comment
I’m one of those people who missed the messages in the background completely. In fact, I didn’t even notice the other dancers on the stage (except the teddy bears…shudder). A debate started on facebook that pointed it out to me and has spurred some interesting discussion, including the posting of this article. I consider myself blind to race, because frankly it doesn’t offend or interest me in any way. I enjoy reading about and visiting other cultures, but what color someone’s skin is leaves little bearing in my mind. Same goes with gender, body size, sexuality, eye color, hair style, dress style, etc. I prefer to remember their personalities. I know I’m not the norm- nor am I perfect, obviously- but it still shocks me when people point out race or any other feature as the most important aspect of a person. It’s only one aspect. We’re all multifaceted, and we deserved to be seen as more than two-dimensional. In many ways I suppose it IS important, but as a white person I’ll never be able to relate to the women you describe in your article. It does help to have it described, though, so I can be more understanding when I see that frustrated look on some of my friends faces when something happens that goes over my head (like that performance) but re-opens an old wound for them. I hope some good comes out of this in that more people’s eyes are opened as mine have been.
Now on the surface this comment was really lovely open minded and just plain good but then came a response came that basically said if your blind to race then you’re just blind. Wow when I was this I was like oh yeah I didn’t think of it that way and its true sometimes we want to be so liberal and treat everyone with equality that we skim over important parts that make us different. Race is something most people don’t like to discuss because they don’t want to be racist but we need to understand that constantly leaving race out of the equation breeds ignorance which breeds racism. If you don’t talk about race you won’t know the experiences and struggles that other races go. Sometimes someone of a certain race may go through a negative experience and may deduce that this happened because of their race and you may say don’t you think you’re exaggerating a bit? Or you may try to justify why it happened.
Now sometimes it is an exaggeration when loud mouth rude girls say oh people don’t like me because I’m [black/ white/ Asian/ tall/ short] when really it’s because they are obnoxious and inconsiderate, but other times it’s not an exaggeration. I haven’t had many if any cases directly with racism but all I have to do is read an article about immigration and I can see clearly how some people feel about me. This breeds a certain level of awareness in me that there are people in my country and the world who hate me who probably would kill me if they could, who judge me before I even open my mouth because I am a black woman. So because of this awareness I have if an Muslim woman says to me people judge me because I wear a burka and treat me badly I won’t say she’s being paranoid I will understand because I too go through it whether directly or indirectly. If you’ve never been through racism or never experienced it or if you choose to be blind to the obvious racism around you, you will never understand you will never empathise with those who cry racism in their lives. You will brush it off as a coincidence and invalidate the victim whilst empowering the attacker. We need to stop living in a fantasy world that racism is over and everyone is equal to everyone. It should be this way racism should be well over and everyone should be treated as equal but its not and most people today still find themselves being discriminated against because of their race so next time instead of rolling your eyes and thinking oh their playing the race card put yourself in their shoes imagine yourself as a person of their colour and see how you would feel.