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Post Reply "I’m tired of suppressing myself to get along with white people"
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Posted 4/26/16

Kira0309 wrote:

good lord people have issues. we are all human. If this guy is saying he has to suppress himself for a certain race then that is straight up racism.


He's a she from what I gathered.

it's posted on salon. I didn't think that site allowed junk, but I guess when you pay only $100 for a long article that's the type of writers you get.

It had the exact opposite effect on me and made me want to be racist.

the biiattcjh is assuming the dudes didn't know about Ferguson because they were white!?!?!? So if her roommates were black and didn't know,they wwouldn't be racist then!?

And how freaking self-centered can you be? Like we're supposed to all know the newest and greatest racially pertinent news. I bet if the Chinese guy mentioned some news story about Asians being discriminated about and she didn't know, it would be fine since he's exotic /foreign.

and I have no idea why everyone cares about the Brown thing. I've been telling people since it happened that it's not as bad as the treyvon Martin, case. Brown was shot after robbing a store. Martin was shot because he fought back against a dude who was chasing him just because he was black. ...
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Posted 4/26/16

D4nc3Style wrote:


I met my new roommates on Craigslist. Two white, one Chinese. Together we represented Portland, Florida, China and (with me) D.C., and as we moved into our apartment in Bed-Stuy last fall, I was excited for the potential of cross-cultural exchange.

We had a get-to-know you powwow on the rooftop. We talked about ourselves, what brought us to New York. It was a warm evening in September, a couple of weeks after Michael Brown was shot, and somewhere in the mix I brought up Ferguson, hoping to spark a “conscious conversation.” Then it happened. The nightmarish response.

“What’s happening in Ferguson?” one of my white roommates asked. “I heard some kid got shot or something like that.”

The words clamored in my ears. How could he not know? Weren’t his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds flooded with opinions and hashtags? I’m sure he meant nothing by his statement. We’re all ill-informed from time to time. But as I stood there, awkwardly not saying a word — while hundreds of words ran through my head — it was a reminder of how much I would have to suppress in order to get along with my white male roommates in our tiny four-bedroom apartment. This place I would call my home for a year.

It hasn’t always been like this for me. I’m a girl with a fro, raised in the place once known as “Chocolate City.” I grew up part of a black nuclear family, was home-schooled, then became part of of the mini-Historic Black College Experience at Temple University. After arriving in New York, I became an intern at Essence, a magazine so safe I likened my boss to an aunt. Those settings were as comfortable as my grandma’s cooking on any given Sunday.

I longed to crawl back to my tiny black universe. A place where I could create a sense of peace, identity and acceptance, a place where I could sit there, trying to untangle my fro and make sense of what it means to be an African-American woman in this country, rehashing our history while facing present pain. But life happens, and most of us can’t stay in our own utopias forever.

Now I faced a new reality. The brief conversation on the roof that hot September night lasted much longer in my head. I sent myself into a 200-year-old tizzy, reckoning with outdated ideas on race, tampering with prejudice and stereotypes. I became enslaved by my emotions.

I started to worry about all the other things I might have to explain: My hair, the food I eat, why I like Miles Davis, Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye. Maybe I should have considered it a teaching opportunity. But I wasn’t feeling generous. I was all twisted up inside, ablaze over racial dynamics and anxious what other minefields my roommate might stumble upon. I hoped he wouldn’t say something really ignorant, causing me to just snap and go off on an angry rant. Then I’d have to make my living situation salvageable by pocketing my black rage, putting on my best smile and telling him, it’s all love.

I wanted my home to be a refuge, a place where I could be wretched when I wanted, walk around in my bonnet, fry chicken and sing real loud to Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Suppressing my blackness every day is exhausting. Back at Essence, we used “sister girl language,” but since then, I’d faced tougher environments. I briefly worked at a (now-defunct) women’s fashion website, where I was one of the only black people. I would pitch ideas that mattered to me, like how to do natural hair, only to see them ignored, shuffled to the side or diluted like apple juice in order to be made palatable to mainstream “whiteness.”

I was tired of catering to everyone else’s comforts. How much of my day-to-day experiences as a black woman do I have to filter? I replace “hey girl” with boring hellos. I eat my leftover fried chicken outside the office. In order to have some common point of identifiable communication, I pretend to care about Taylor Swift, or white movie stars on their I’ve-lost-count remarriages and those other white pop stars I could not care less about. “Oh yeah, she’s cute,” I tell them. “Yeah, that’s cool.”

As summer turned to fall and then winter, I continued to be dumbfounded at the way, for some white people, the killing of Michael Brown just didn’t resonate. They didn’t feel the need to pay attention. I guess some white people do act “real vanilla” and only understand the realities of their own universe. Like running around drunk in Santa costumes in the name of SantaCon while “The Millions March NYC” launches in response to the non-indictment verdicts. That’s real.

In December, when the Eric Garner verdict came out, I became loaded down with more emotional baggage than I could conceal. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t care if I wasn’t mixing with others. I found my little black planet at work. I went over to my black boss and talked real low and real brief about how disturbing this all was. I grabbed one of my home girls I work with. We took to the streets to protest right outside my job. I hoped no one would see me and think something misguided.

Walking home that night, I unleashed all my tears. I wanted to reach out and hug a black man. Before I arrived at my apartment, I dried off my face as though nothing happened. My white male roommate asked me about the protest; I gave him a non-detailed response. I said something like, “I’m really upset, but it was a good way for me to get those feelings out.” I couldn’t handle revealing too much; I wanted to avoid a loaded conversation. I took a deep breath and exhaled, closed my bedroom door, picked up the phone, and spoke in whispers about how racist these non-indictments were to my parents, and to my socially conscious white and black friends.

These non-indictments reiterated what I’m up against every single day: the unintentional ignorance of white people. But I was also aware of my willingness to put away my justified “black rage” in order to ensure that my interactions with white people remain comfortable. And the more I hid it, the more crazed I became. By the time my birthday rolled around, in December, I was cooped up in my bed, without an appetite, my fro needing a good deep conditioner. I was making myself sick.

I know this needs to change. I understand that for my own growth, and in order to forge honest relationships with white people I meet — whether it’s my roommates, or my co-workers, or anyone else — I need to reveal myself more. I need to start sharing about my history and my culture and how it plays out in my everyday life as an African American woman. I don’t want this rage to fester into bitterness, or infect the very close white friendships I already have. I don’t want to ignore my rage, but I don’t want to be controlled by it either. Concealing my emotions has made me feel like a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

Things are calm right now at the apartment. I don’t bring up these sorts of conversations. I don’t talk about what happens every 28 hours — a black person is killed. My white male roommate and I, we just don’t go there. It makes things easier. Instead, our conversations shuffle between our day-to-day experiences at work, dating and the nuances of the city. I keep those “forbidden” conversations behind closed doors, and even when I’m alone I speak in code. I don’t say “white.” I use “they” instead.

But I want to stop tiptoeing around race. My blackness is not a secret I have to keep. I want to be able to publicly express my honest admiration for being black, outside of my little black planet. I don’t want to feel marginalized, like I can’t speak hard truths about myself. Having honest and challenging conversations with people of another race will hopefully disrupt other people’s ignorance. But it will also help me. I need to stop with my mental temper tantrums. I want to get free.
http://www.salon.com/2015/01/20/im_tired_of_suppressing_myself_to_get_along_with_white_people/




Then it happened. The nightmarish response.

“What’s happening in Ferguson?” one of my white roommates asked. “I heard some kid got shot or something like that.”

The words clamored in my ears. How could he not know? Weren’t his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds flooded with opinions and hashtags?


Because people should always get their information from twitter, instagram, facebook and hastags... Her whole reasoning behind all this is completely insane.


I get where she's coming from. I only read the first 3-4 paragraphs. That ebing said I want to give Mr. WhiteGuyMcFly the benefit of the doubt. He prolly wanted an opinion as to what went down. I know when there's a big even on my facebook, I ignore the shit. Come back later.
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Posted 4/26/16 , edited 4/26/16

lorrelation wrote:


D4nc3Style wrote:


Then it happened. The nightmarish response.

“What’s happening in Ferguson?” one of my white roommates asked. “I heard some kid got shot or something like that.”

The words clamored in my ears. How could he not know? Weren’t his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds flooded with opinions and hashtags?


Because people should always get their information from twitter, instagram, facebook and hastags... Her whole reasoning behind all this is completely insane.


You read a thoughtful personal essay that reveals some of the complexities of race relations, and that's what you take away from it?

As is too often the case I feel I don't have the time to try to explain something that so many users here seem to have no interest in even trying to understand. And I feel a bit guilty about that. So for now I'm just going to say that I don't understand why when it comes to issues of race and other social justice issues there seems to be so much shallow reading, and so little willingness to listen to and try to understand points of view and experiences that are different from one's own.


No she literally got pissed off that they didn't know the Michael brown case was a racial controversy! And then she assumed they didn't care because they were white!

It's not a race relations thing. She was trying to make it racist
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Posted 4/26/16

PrinceJudar wrote:

I don't get the issue with this one in particular. She recognizes it's a problem on her end for throwing 'mental temper tantrums'. She's forging dishonest relationships with white people because of it. She's becoming self aware she had been acting differently around others because of their race--that's a good thing. She won't recognize whether those fears are misplaced until she puts them aside. She only knows what she's been told. She was wrong before to do it, but she's realizing it.

I know a lot of people that have irrational fears that make them not want to potentially discomfort others in conversation. You could pretty much ask anyone that's experienced social anxiety.

I'm already ready for people to jump on the bandwagon on this one though.



I got the same thing from reading it. I don't view her statements or response as racism. Just a growing girl trying to find herself. She realizes that part of the problem is her and yet at the same time wants to be able to express herself fully. Whether you like them or not these issues are very important to her and she feels like she should be able to speak what's on her mind without having to tiptoe around anyone. Don't we all want that? Ever had a roommate or a friend or just anyone that you couldn't quite be yourself around. Some people just can't take criticism, others you can't tell anything. It's beyond annoying.

Most importantly she realizes that she can't let herself boil over to where her emotions turn into something much darker....such as hatred or even racism. Honestly I think her self reflection is a good thing and she'll only grow stronger for it. It's hard to relate to different cultures sometimes and while she wants others to be able to relate to hers she herself seems to have a problem relating to theirs. It's apparent she's not happy discussing white actors, white entertainment, etc but maybe it's the same for her white roommates? I think the best place to start would be to find some common ground and then go from there. Find something that they can all talk about that's important to both of them. Become better friends then you shouldn't have any problems showing them who you really are. If they don't like it then they weren't that good of friends to begin with.

Unfortunately racism is alive and well. Could you imagine being a black person online and visiting forums. The sheer amount of anger, hatred, ignorance and racism is beyond disturbing. I don't even think that half of these people I read comments from everyday (not here mind you but on other sites) are really even racists.....just really crappy trolls who hide behind their shield of anonymity. These forums are tame and like grade school in comparison. Reading all that every day is bound to make one a little bit jaded.....and then you throw in whatever racism you might encounter in real life on top of that and anger is bound to happen. Anger itself can turn into self-justified racism and the cycle perpetuates itself.....never ending. Unfortunately I don't have the answers to this problem but I imagine part of the solution starts person to person and just being kind to others would go a long way...especially online.

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Posted 4/26/16
It's Salon... They've got to be the paramount of the Regressive left.


So basically, this girl was brought up in a strictly black environment (Hey, education aside who says public school is worthless? At least there's social interaction with like minded peers.) transfers to another (majority?) black environment and feels comfort. Then leaves her "safe space" and is hit with culture shock because she refuses to be herself in the name of???? That's where I lost it, totally went off the rails.

Basically, "I can't be myself because I'm not surrounded by black people!"

It's clear this person is racist and doesn't even realize it.

Just wanted to add an aside to my comment on the Salon piece...

Racism dies the second everyone stops caring. When words like, "Nigger, Chink, Beaner, Cracker, etc..." stop having the desired effect, people will stop using them, or will start using them jokingly...

Why can't you be racist to white people? Because they could give a fuck what you call them... But drop the N-bomb in a group and everyone is break-necking to see who said it.

Just like you can't offend me by calling me a, "beaner, wetback, etc..." More often than not, even if it's out of genuine hate, you laugh it off with the offender and prove your worth outside of the bubble of race or you move the F on. Simply because we are all individuals.


Oh and... Trigger warning.

#Trump2016
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Posted 4/26/16 , edited 4/26/16
She sounds like an idiot to me. Priorities misplaced, misguided views, identity issues (or at the very least some insecurities there), etc. She's got it all.

I won't even get started on the racist bit.
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Posted 4/26/16
That poor woman is being oppressed; she is unable to adhere to her stereotype.
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Posted 4/26/16 , edited 4/26/16
Well part of college/uni is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting new people. It's also not unusual to act differently with different people since the dynamic will vary according to person and environment. For example, I'm not going to talk to my mother the same way I speak to my sister. This girl is realising that she has some growing up issues to deal with.
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Posted 6/2/16
Face the reality and be strong and the most important is be honest to yourself, be proud of who you are because each one of us has something experience that can't accept so early but they moving forward.
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Posted 6/2/16

pandrasb wrote:
Just gotta


Not sure she'd appreciate that gif. It's a white man with white snowflakes. She might feel she needs to suppress herself.
Posted 6/4/16


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Posted 6/5/16 , edited 6/8/16
> Getting worked up because somebody doesn't understand you is probably the most normal thing you can do, and it's why humans won't ever reach the point of "we're all in this thing called life together, let's figure a way to make it the most manageable as possible" even though that's what we're all thinking- because we have what we have come to address as an ego and id. Granted we have a conscious super ego, but you can consciously be brave yet subconsciously be frozen by fear. Your conscious mind and subconscious body aren't always in synch in that regard. You must recognize that people say and do things without the intent you've artificially painted onto their actions.

So... it's really nothing new- what she's talking about and acting like just happened last year has been going on before humans even had speech; Tribalism exists in the animal kingdom. If you think ideals and consciousness is going to override nature, well tell that to the galactic cluster of stars hurling towards the milky way that will end in a cosmic cataclysm. My point is we're a cosmically insignificant inside joke, of which most of the rest of this universe will never comprehend. So by all means you've lost all meaning to your humanity when you start to forsake your own will- the only thing we have to relate to one another. I'm telling you to do what you want instead of complaining about it a year later on an article(in my eyes you lost this battle and your will is weak girl), if you're in this situation then move out if you have to suppress yourself, but how dare you suggest that it's his fault for being ignorant when you haven't even tried to talk to him- moreover you just avoid it. Grow a pair and talk to him, if he hates africans as much as your insinuating then fkn move. This whole race thing is getting out of hand media. You realize that black people only exist in our minds? Just like the saying "does a tree make a sound if it falls in the woods with nobody around to hear it". Humans perceive the tree to fall in the first place, one might argue the tree is not technically even falling or making a sound but was simply perceived to be by said human via said human's senses/conscious vantage point in perception of our 3rd dimension. See I'm sure this is going too deep into it now, but my point is that everything in our reality could literally be a figment of our imagination and what we think we perceive is just a misinterpretation; Sunsets don't exist, it's called a mirage yet we think of them as such a beautiful thing. Even though it's literally all imagined by us. Calling yourself black is scientifically silly and is the same- it's light and your mind is simply trying to imagine a more concise world. To simply it as far as color is a bit primordial and lacking in evolution I would say. Use it as a description if you will, but saying "black people" doesn't even make sense when you're literally only referring to "african americans". So please stop sounding as if you lack any scientifically modern knowledge little girl and media. Nobody is made of some light absorbent devilishly seducing black blood from Soul Eater that produces talking demon blades, we all bleed the same blood. The colors we know of are only existent from a human's perception and their interpretation of what might be reality. Why judge things from our rose tinted glasses of "reality" when said things are obviously existent beyond it i.e. light(skin color)? It's one thing to judge another human's thoughts if you will, but I just find it pretentiously amusing that a human thinks their perception has any meaning behind it, besides that of making an efficiently concise simplification of their "reality".

What if we all hated each other by eye color- Like Naruto. See how silly this world is. It's a fkn joke and frankly I don't feel bad for idiots like this girl who suggests that the internet full of propaganda and trolls is a valid citation for "facts".
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Posted 6/5/16
You don't have a hard time getting along with white people, you're just a bigoted racist asshole. Get the fuck over yourself.
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Posted 6/5/16

Gross1985 wrote:

That poor woman is being oppressed; she is unable to adhere to her stereotype.


I actually understand that if I am getting this right. Some people want to avoid contributing to a stereotype. Mine was so bad I didn't hang out with other Asians unless we had a fair amount of diversity. I felt it would confused people on national origin.
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Posted 6/5/16
I'm open to other cultures but on some parts I empathize with the girl as a Black man but I'm not going suppress who I am to conform to the standards of an individual or group of people and if they don't like what I'm doing I just shrug it off. And the part on Chocolate City and Marvin Gaye, I'm sure there are many people who identify D.C. as C.C. and the term was actually coined up by Parliament because at the time D.C. was experiencing an huge influx of Black people. Also Marvin Gaye is not only an recognizable figure in the Black community but he is a music icon who is recognizable across all music genres and racial ethnicities for his social activism and works in pop culture and in those terms he is like 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, or The Beetles, figures who are easily recognized across the globe.
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