Contemplating "Hypersensitivity in People of Color"

An analogy:

If I slash your arm, then hit the wound with a bat, then dropkick you in that same place with spiked boots, your arm would be a mite “sensitive”, would it not?  Sure.  Then some time passes, and the wound heals over somewhat, but you still have a bruise and/or scar.

Because my savage assault on your arm was “in the past”, would that make it okay for me to poke you – even ever so gently – right in your fucking wound?  Or would that make me a major asshole?  And who is wrong in this situation, you for pointing out that “Hey, that still hurts!” or me, for being an insensitive asshole?

Let’s say I bumped into your sore arm by mistake.  What would be the right thing to do in that situation?  To apologize or to criticize you for being too sensitive?

It’s not that the racism-apologist is incorrect in referring to the person of color as hypersensitive.  Certainly we may be, but we are justified in being such, because old wounds – systemic institutional wounds – are slow to heal.  And someone being a racist asshole – even if only subtly, “by accident”, or “poking fun” – is still going to hurt.

Comments

  1. Honestly, I don't know how he does it. I jumped for joy like an idiot when I first read it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had an experience that I think illustrates quite well this matter.

    When the teacher in my American History class said that we'd soon cover the subject of slavery. So I warned her that I wasn't sure I could handle it.

    And this friend of mine said in a condescending voice : "Seriously, you should woman up."

    I was hurt that she couldn't put herself in my shoes.

    Later on that day she started complaining about something stupid and those words came out of my mouth : "Seriously, you should woman up."

    She then apologized for being so insensitive earlier, however the subject changed quickly after. I wish I had been quick enough to go into details about what hurt me, because I don't think she really got it.

    Next time I won't let it go so easily.

    ReplyDelete

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