“it means I don’t want White People in my life”.
That really isn’t funny. It comes off more as a statement than a joke. One that’s less about shredding power structures and more about spiteful contempt and clear-cut prejudice towards another race and out-group. The agenda of reacting to prejudicial experiences by projecting prejudicial experiences (That make Whites “Aware of their race”) is deeply vengeful and insecure.
I have a difficult suggestion. Bare with me. In regards of the people who criticized you; how about you try listening to their criticism. Actually listen. Quietly. Without talking or thinking of what you’re going to say next, And reflect on them? You’re annoyed by these sentiments I understand. Frankly, if people feel like you’ve been judgmental and prejudice and your only response was to explain yourselves while further ridiculing and belittling their opinions and feelings — you deserve to feel a little annoyed. Same rule applies to us all. There’s a very realistic likelihood that this has been less about White Tears and more about people (Some mentally ill) feeling genuinely and reasonably hurt by your behavior rather than by your cause. Note that to oppose certain rhetoric isn’t to oppose the rest of your cause, and to make such rhetoric won’t always be backed because you happen to have cause. Having a Cause or Experiences They Can’t Understand™ is not an insurance policy. You’re still responsible for what you say and some people will call you out for it.
Here’s where I’m coming from and why your sob story won’t nudge me: I’m from the Middle East, a region where White People (Mostly) and other Western citizens, majorities and minorities of all kinds of colors (Probably yours included) actively tax-funded and participated in wars that widowed women, orphaned children and killed countless of civilians. I’ve seen images of Arab children bombed into shreds since the age of 5. Often kids my age. These aren’t people rejected at bars, these are people’s lives being taken away. On top of this, I’m an Arab minority within an Arab minority in my own Arab majority country who experienced racism with death threats on the side. Yet, I can see Israelis, Whites, Shiites, Sunnis, Black, Latinos as fellow human beings, flawed and diverse individuals like the rest of us. People born into cultures where we would’ve been no different had it been us - and I am capable of taking them as friends and partners based on their individual values and merit. Such a Joke/Statement wouldn’t even cross my mind. I would never say “I don’t want American people in my life” and expect to be given a pass. Then again, my personal coping mechanism is love, compassion, communication and co-existence as opposed to hate and resentment. If it was the latter, I’d completely understand why they would rightfully be upset. Regardless of the “so many White friends” that I have. They’d have the right to call me a racist because intellectually and behaviourly I would represent Text-book definition of Racism and my crap is no rose bucket because I’m a Person-of-color.
Systematic prejudice and non-systematic prejudice are both Racism just as greater evil and the lesser evil are still evil. Admitting this doesn’t do less justice in our fight against the greater evil. If Whites beat up a Black person for his race in a classroom, it would be Racially-Motivated Violence. If An all-Black class does the same to a White classmate, it would be Racially-Motivated Violence. If the Shiite-Majority discriminate against the Sunni Minority in Iraq, their actions would be Sectarianism. If the Sunni-Minority commits atrocities against the Shiites in Iraq, their actions would also be sectarianism. When 2000+ Gazan civilians are killed by Israeli forces every couple of years, that’s savage racism. When 5 innocent Israeli civilans are killed by Palestinian terrorism, that’s also Savage Racism. Why go as far as to mention such comparisons? Because that’s what the doctrine of “My Racism is Not Racism Because.” looks like in action and I’ve been hearing it before you could write your name. It’s the driving force for lack of empathy, collective prejudice, justfiable vendetta and cycles of hatred. It’s not the philosophy of MLK and the civil rights movement, it’s the philosophy of Mid-East primitivism and civil war.
There isn’t further “Explaining yourself” that you’re required to do. I’m merely suggesting that you listen, self-reflect, admit that you made a minor mistake that perhaps doesn’t represent your true self or intentions. Doing so isn’t to deny there are systematic racial problems in our world today and it isn’t to fight them any less. It’s a mere act of being decent, progressive, empathetic and a communicative human being. Thank you.