People I’m tired of: Part 1

by tehgay

That white girl from ABC’s “What Would You Do?”

“What Would You Do” films a series of poorly-constructed social experiments in which actors pretend to be racist or sexist or homophobic, and other people react.

During the course of the experiment, there’s nearly always one white woman who starts crying while doing nothing to change the situation.

Seriously. I’m tired of her.

A black woman is being escorted out of the store just because she’s black? White girl does nothing. White girl cries. White girl hugs her boyfriend.

Two gay soldiers are told they are disrespecting their uniforms just because they’re gay? White girl sits. White girl sobs.

She’s always young. She’s always timid. And she’s always sad about the thing that happened because she just let it happen.

This happens to people with privilege a lot, I think. Why ABC really only shows this reaction coming from white women I don’t know. Perhaps they’re playing into the false narrative of women being emotionally unstable. Maybe I’m speaking from privilege and not acknowledging that society has built in significant stoppers to woman displaying agency in public. But I do know this type of person, in both male and female manifestations. They realize that the world out there is just mean, and that there are all sorts of people out there who are mean and bigoted and it just breaks their heart to know that such people exist. And so they stand around and feel horrible while the people who are actually experiencing the mean things have to deal.

So people who are discriminated against find a way to cope, to talk, to reason, or to “take a stand,” while, guilty, privileged people justify their inaction by exacerbating or pretending emotional turmoil.

“Gosh, I just feel so bad that homophobia is out there. I can’t believe people said those things to you.”

That’s cute. I can believe it, but then, it actually happened to me, you know. Why don’t you figure out how to do something by reading a book or using a Google search bar until you get ideas. Do that, and spare me the task of comforting you for something that happened to me. Do that and spare me the task of educating yet another person that I had hoped would have educated themselves because they, I don’t know, cared about me. Do that, and then do other things to make a difference. Do these things and motivate me to join with you, to invite you to my events and talks, so that ours is a reciprocal relationship in which we share a vested interest in dismantling institutionalized homophobia.

Because after a while, I stop caring about how tremendously sensitive you are, and I just really hope you start doing something about it.