One of my Facebook friends who’s an avid reader of this page posted a status about the existence of a Facebook group called White Women Discussing Racism. Upon seeing that name some people immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was a bunch of Karens trying to make themselves feel better about whatever prejudices they may have. A sort of KKK…Karen Karen Karen group if you will.
Naturally I was curious. So I figured the only way to truly discover what this group was about was to join it myself. Now I know what you’re thinking, White Women Discussing Racism….but TANA not white. Well, that wasn’t an issue because the homepage stated that women of color were welcome. Yeah I have a “cocolooks” but small ting (not literally of course).
It’s a closed group so you have to request permission to join. So I went to the sign-up page and from the get-go I noticed they had a lot of rules. One that caught my attention was that there was to be no unauthorized use of the terms “White Fragility” or “White Privilege”. I was intrigued.
Another thing they asked was whether you agreed with their assertion that systemic racism definitely exists but not all white people are racist. If not you need to tell them upfront because I guess that factors into whether you’re accepted or left in request purgatory which is the same way I treat distant family that I don’t know.
That concept pretty much lines up with my beliefs so I said to myself “self, this isn’t too bad”. Once I completed the rest of the questions I submitted my application and waited to see whether I would be accepted, “iggyleeks” notwithstanding.
A few hours later I was in. I began my reconnaissance mission by reading posts from the Admin. Then I moved on to the hundreds of comments from random members. To my surprise the group wasn’t what I expected.
It’s a bunch of women, mostly white, trying to come to terms with whatever innate racist tendencies they may have and unlearn the behavior in a “safe environment”. It’s like a weird support group where they try to teach and rehabilitate others. Kind of like RA or Racists Anonymous where people post “Hi I’m Brooke, I didn’t know this was wrong but now I do, I will do better” and everyone replies “Hi Brooke!”.
I’m sure you can guess what I did next. Yup, I posted a message to the group. I told them that when I initially joined the group I was expecting a much different experience and I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. Then I mentioned that, as a black man from the Caribbean, I appreciated what they were trying to do.
My message went for approval and 2 minutes later, I was promptly deleted from the group. That’s right, I found the aim of their group commendable so I tried to commend them. Next thing I know, when I clicked on the page again I’m seeing “Join Group”.
Clearly it wasn’t because I was black. Something tells me it had something to do with my Vienna sausage. I ain’t mad at them, maybe they don’t want to deal with male macho BS. Maybe they figured men would disrupt the whole “safe space” vibe, make fun of the ladies and turn everything into a big joke. Me? Jokes? Never!!
I am encouraged by this experience though, albeit more shortlived than Iwer’s 2020 Road March and Soca Monarch tour. I learned that when women say it’s a women’s only group they ain’t playing.
Maybe when they’re done unlearning racism they could unlearn sexism. People with “Pee-Pees” matter too. One cause at a time I guess.