Black Women vs. White Men In Public Spaces: Crosswalk Experiment and Relevance
Kayla Renee Parker

Another Case of #WritingRacistThingsWhileBlack

Although #WritingRacistThingsWhileBlack is not one of the “racial privilege” hashtags Kayla Renee Parker bothers to list in her racist article that peddles in all sorts of generalizations about human beings based solely on their skin color and talks about nonsense like “white spaces” and “black spaces” (what the heck are those?), perhaps it should be. It’s a privilege white people don’t generally enjoy. It falls into category #3 on this list, which contains 49 other such privileges. (Others that Ms. Parker has exhibited in this article of hers include ##2, 4, 10, 11, 16, 18, 22, 36, 39, 48 and 49.)

Needless to say, the little “experiment” she and her friend carried out would never have been published in a single academic journal, and that’s because, just like her claim that she and her friends got kicked off the train even though they allegedly weren’t talking any more loudly than anyone else (so, of course, it was because of their race, right?), the experiment is little more than a case of confirmation bias … meaning that when you set out to prove a point that white men don’t move out of your way when you’re crossing the street, you wind up doing things like walking a bit too aggressively right into them or looking at them or not looking at them in a certain way or perceiving them to be walking a bit too aggressively right into you just to prove your point or because, unconsciously, you’re already biased. To conduct this experiment correctly, you’d have to have someone who doesn’t know what you’re measuring follow a very specific and fixed protocol.

Further complicating this issue is the fact that white people have been repeatedly accused of being racist for moving away (or even crossing to the other side of the street) when a black person is passing by, so that these white men may have it in their heads that moving away from a black person who’s walking towards them would be racist, and they may be over-compensating for that. In other words, it’s a lose-lose situation. If you, as a white man, move aside when a black person is walking towards you, you’re going to get accused of being racist and shunning the black body. If you, as a white man, don’t move aside when a black person is walking towards you, you’re going to get accused of being racist and disrespecting the black body. In the game of racism, white people simply can’t win, and the result is that absolutely everyone loses.

As I’ve argued here, it’s high time that we (and I mean all of us) stopped playing the game. Stop categorizing people by race. Stop conducting dumb experiments to prove to yourself how persecuted you think you are based on your race. Stop fanning the flames of racial tensions further and further. Start treating people like individual human beings. And then maybe they’ll start treating you like one too.

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