No, No, No...What Do You Want From US?
...Seriously, what do you want from us? It seems that you’ll always be dissatisfied. I know that I’m using a variation of what the Unapologetic Mexican calls the insatiable martyr wite-magik attack. Still, since we will always be wrong if we don’t do as you wish, tell us what you want. You say that you simply want us to listen to you and acknowledge all of our unearned privileges and flaws. I cannot help but suspect that you want far more than that.
~ taken from a comment on Abagond
...you seem to be another complainer who beileves[sic] if it were not for the presence of whites, the world would be a swell place.
~ taken from a comment on Abagond
It's sad that even when WP try to be friends with POC we end up making them feel more alienated. It sounds like just being around us is a no win situation for everyone. It seems like those girls had good intentions but nonetheless contributed to your desire to withdraw to more familiar surroundings. I wonder if there is a way for white people to behave that would be considered acceptable by POC, or if just being white and human at the same time produces a negative effect no matter what.*
"What do you want from us?"~taken from a comment on Stuff White People Do
Funny...I was just going to ask you the same damn thing.
How many times have I seen this question from white commenters on POC/social justice blogs? Here's a hint: I've stopped counting.
One, this is ridiculously self-indulgent. It puts white people people on the "giving" pedestal; i.e., What do you want? What do you want us to give you? No, you can't have that. No, not yet. It's too soon for you. We don't think you need that. We think you need this instead. We think you need that. You don't know what you're asking for.
Uh...seriously? Black Americans recall their parents' generation hearing something similar during the whole Civil Rights Era. My parents' generation, and several ones before them, recall being told something similar by the British, French, German, Dutch, and Portuguese. Young whites have absolutely no clue how narcissistically racist they sound when they go onto a POC's blog of their own volition (or in the case of SWPD, go onto a blog entitled friggin' Stuff White People Do) and write this bullshit. Seriously? I often liken a blog to a maison. What type of person goes into another person's maison (a complete stranger's, no less!) and asks that idiotic-ass question?
Heaven forbid you point it out, though...'cause then you're "just being mean" and calling them a racist (or a drapto) to dismiss and discredit everything they say. It has absolutely nothing to do with their own behavior or decision-making skills. Their racism is your fault and you'll have to pry admission of accountability from their cold, dead fingers.
And two, this is a classic case of white people asking the wrong questions during racial discussions. *shakes head* Typical, typical, typical. You know...questions like, "Why do you hate us?" instead of "What's it like to experience such and such?" Or questions like, "Why can't I say nigga?" instead of "What does it feel like to hear non-black people say that word?"
You know...they want to stick to the self-serving questions. Ego-stroking questions. Self-victimizing-but-in-a-glamorous-way questions. Because that's their whole purpose for coming on POC blogs (or emailing POC personally) - not to "learn" or "understand" anything about someone else, but to serve themselves - a similar approach to the one used in creating white guilt fantasy flicks (not-so-coincidentally, mind you). So whenever I read this question from a white commenter or reject it in my comment moderation queue, my first thought is, "Uh...no, no, no, no, no - what do you want from us?"
I mean, shit...you came to talk to me. You could have gone to any other blog in the 'sphere, but oh, no...you came to chat with me. So...what do you want from me?
Be honest when you answer that, now!
*This last sentence will be discussed further in a later posted...stay tuned.