If white people really care about their relationships with BIPOC, they need to learn to discuss racism in an open and honest way

A wall made of stone

I had a short romantic relationship with a white guy. He was cute, funny, and he didn’t get insecure when I helped him beat certain bosses in video games.

But when I opened up to him about my past experiences with racism, he responded in ways a lot of white men do.

“Well, I’m Irish! We suffered discrimination too!”

“I experienced bullying in school because I wore glasses.”

“Are you sure what you experienced was racism?”

“I’m poor, so I can’t have privilege.”

I eventually sat him down and tried to educate him on white supremacy and white privilege (even…

Grieving what never existed

Black-and-white photo of a broken hourglass

I saw an old childhood friend commenting on a post on Facebook a few years back. I recalled having a lot of fun times with her — sleepovers, dressing up as the Spice Girls in the fifth grade and sitting together during lunch in high school. I always thought she was very funny and smart, and I always hoped she thought the same of me.

I was curious if she changed much since our K-12 years. I thought she must have — we were both in our 30s at this point. So, I decided to send her a friend request.

Claiming you’re “color blind” is the same as saying, “I psychologically abuse people of color.”

A woman slumped against a brick wall

Note: In this piece, I am referring to a specific type of racism that is currently and formally called “color-blind racism.” I am not referring to the medical condition.

When it comes to racism, a common way many white people address the topic is to claim that they’re “color blind.” Being “color blind” in this context means one doesn’t recognize racial categories. They claim to see people as all the same, regardless of their skin color.

While it might sound like a fair, egalitarian view of the world, it’s anything but. …

How you talk about yourself matters

A woman in a grey sweater screaming

Whenever I open up to others about dealing with mental disorders, I always say, “Yeah, I know, I’m completely crazy.”

And I deal with a lot — bipolar II, PTSD, ADHD, and generalized anxiety. I’m “totally crazy,” I say.

I call my medication “crazy pills.” Whenever I have a day where my symptoms were kicking my butt, I say, “My crazy is off the charts today.” Whenever I’m having a hypomanic episode, and people start to notice my fast-talking and restlessness, I say, “Nevermind me, I’m just crazy!”

I use the word “crazy” almost every time I bring up my…

The only people who would think anti-racists are miserable are those who celebrate white supremacy as if it’s Christmas

I once saw a meme featuring the Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It read, “Maybe the Grinch would be nicer if every five minutes a dude wasn’t singing songs about what a piece of sh*t he is.”

In the cartoon, there is a voice that sings,

“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch
You really are a heel,
You’re as cuddly as a cactus, you’re as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch,
You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel!”

— Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

The voice continues to sing lyrics that…

If you choose to keep your blindfold on, then why should any BIPOC waste their time on you?

“Racism is real,” a person of color says.

“Provide sources to prove your point,” a random white person demands.

The person of color has two choices — they can ignore the demand (which might be the best choice), or they can try to provide studies and research. Most likely, the white person will dismiss it all as “biased” or “flawed.”

In cases where the person of color is speaking about a personal experience, solid proof might not be available. The white person can then accuse them of lying and/or use gaslighting tactics.

I’ve participated in enough Internet arguments about racism…

A biracial girl’s hair journey

My teenage half-brother, who is white, got his station ready. Vent brush? Check. Fine-tooth comb? Check. Water bottle spray? Check. A bottle of Luster’s Pink Moisturizer Hair Lotion? Check.

He then went to work on my hair, with a tender-headed 9-year-old me crying as he tugged the tangles and with the brush and comb. The entire time, he complained about my crying and how “messy” my hair was.

Although he was insensitive to my cries, I have to give my brother some credit. He bravely tried to groom my hair, only having a vague idea how to do so. However…

Shame is always a poor motivator

A couple of people I follow on Facebook shared a quote that said the following:

“Idk who needs to hear this, but you’re not overwhelmed. You are lazy and unorganized.

“Wake up early

“Get an agenda book

“Create a routine

“Create boundaries (say no)

“Stick to your schedule

“Write down AND adhere to your deadlines

“You are standing in your own way.”

Reading this on my Facebook timeline didn’t inspire my ADHD mind to get more organized and stick to a schedule.

However, it did inspire flashbacks to all the shaming I experienced before I was diagnosed and able to…

Many people don’t know what sundown towns are, but as the U.S. grows more racially conscious, it’s important to know about their history and continued existence

“Whites only within city limits after dark.”

“Don’t let the sun set on you here, understand?”

“N*****, God help you if the sun ever sets on you here!”

Starting from the end of the U.S. Civil War, it was common to see racist signs containing these words outside of towns. As newly-freed Black slaves traveled north, northern states had to find a way to enforce their white supremacy.

Such towns were called “sundown towns,” though suburbs, counties, and even entire states enforced the same sort of segregation. Residents of sundown towns kept their communities all-white on purpose, threatening anyone who…

While we can be a challenge to be around, being a challenge isn’t the same thing as being toxic

“Getting rid of negative people can be so refreshing.”

“We don’t appreciate negative vibes around here. Move along.”

“‘I love my negative life,’ said no one ever.”

I often see quotes like the ones above floating around social media. There are also a million articles telling people to dump anyone who is “negative” and “toxic” from their lives.

As someone struggling with bipolar disorder and PTSD, it’s extremely hard for me not to take it all personally.

I’ve been labeled “negative” and “toxic” because I can be depressed and irritable at times. I’m aware that my mood swings turn people…

Savannah Worley

writing about my experiences with racism & mental health | #WEOC member | she/her

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