Why is it so hard for you to talk about racism?
Why do you feel attacked, offended, or uncomfortable when the topic is conversation is racism in America?
Why do you never know what to say?
Why do you cry when black people share their frustrations of being tokenized, discriminated against or stereotyped?
Why do you feel white guilt?
Why should I care if you feel white guilt?
Why do you always feel the need to defend yourself and the good “not-racist” white people you know?
Why do you not see yourself in this system that both you and I are part of?
Why do you believe that you have not benefited from a system that was built on slavery, structural racism, and white supremacy?
Why is your response All Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter to Black Lives Matter?
Why do you think racism doesn’t exist because we elected our first and, thus far, only black president?
Why do you only have one black friend?
Why do you have no black friends?
Why do you think I look like or remind you of your other black friend?
Why do you think your classrooms, your schools, and your hometown were predominantly white?
Why do you have a problem with Affirmative Action?
Why do you think I speak for all black people?
Why do you think you didn’t learn much about black history in school?
Why do I have to educate you on black history?
What did your parents teach you about black people or racism?
Why are you scared of predominantly black neighborhoods?
Why do you feel scared of black people, more specifically black men?
Why do you stereotype black people?
Why do you confuse your black colleagues and/or classmates for each other?
Why do you want to work in Africa?
Why do you feel like it is ok to touch a black person’s hair?
Why do you know nothing about black hair?
Why do you think it’s ok for you to wear braids or dreadlocks when black people are discriminated against for wearing those same hairstyles — the ones that we created?
Why do you think it is ok to appropriate our culture but not our struggle?
Why do you think blackface is not offensive when it was used by white actors/actresses to perform negative stereotypes of black people in the 19th century?
Why do you ignore my blackness?
Why do you think I’m different?
Why do you call yourself an ally?
This is a non-comprehensive list of real questions that have crossed my mind over the years and all of the answers to these questions are rooted in privilege. Ask yourselves these questions and really reflect on your answers.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
- Mahatma Gandhi