That is an incendiary question and nearly impossible to answer without incurring eye rolls and exasperated sighs from people who have never felt the sting of racism. Yet the question is unavoidable when discussing the existence of Indigenous people, colonization, a…
Thanks for your article! I agree that Indigenous peoples in America have been marginalized and all but forgotten, especially in discussions about reparation.
One of the problems we have as a society is that people who don’t feel the sting of racism continue to roll their eyes, etc. This is a psychological tack meant to erase the fact that racism exists in order to avoid accountability. As you point out, we are now all linked.
Anyone who feels the urge to roll their eyes during a conversation about racism should immediately question his/her/their internal motivation: what could you possibly gain from mocking/minimizing this discussion?
The answer is obvious: when white people roll their eyes during discussions of racism, they are really saying ‘please don’t remind me of my profound advantage and what has been stolen from you in order for me to have this advantage. If you do, I will minimize it and pretend it doesn’t exist, because the moral failure of my historical reality AND the benefit I receive constantly on the basis of this privilege is too much for me to handle with integrity.’
This is an ugly thing to admit. But it is also a true thing. It is hard to admit that you may have things that belong to others because there is only one true moral response: how will I arrange some degree of reparation — ie, what will I, the privileged white person, give back? I note that in surveys of reparations to slaves, a higher percentage of POC (not black) than white people as a group agree that Americans should pay reparations to black people, despite the fact that POC’s are also dealing with subordination. Think about what this means from a moral perspective: MORE people already being discriminated against are willing to pay reparations to black people for slavery than the white people who, as a group, are truly benefiting at the expense of all POC.
Most white people don’t seem interested in truth, not, at least, if it compromises their assets. A ‘roll your eyes/’everything is about racism’ stance obviates the discussion, thus guaranteeing assets stay where they are, mostly with white people as a group.