The Curious Case of Black Women Explaining Racism to White People Who Seem to be Hearing but Aren’t Listening.
In a video clip that caught our attention a weeks ago from the Sky News Platform, Afua Hirsch found herself in a really uncomfortable position of having to explain racism to her white colleagues who appeared to be interested in hearing her voice her opinions but didn’t quite allow her to completely finish most of her thoughts.
Besides the unfortunate interruptions by her colleagues through most of the points she was trying to make were revealing comments, which highlighted her original points.
“I wouldn’t expect you to see race …”
Akua began the section on the video by asking, “Do you think — as a white person in a society where majority of people are white — you have a good understanding of the ways in which race affects people psychologically? Because when you say you don’t see racism, I wouldn’t expect you to see it if I’m quite honest with you because it’s not your experience. I wouldn’t imagine that you get ‘othered’ regularly. I wouldn’t imagine that you carry and experience the baggage, being in a country that colonized, on a white supremacist ideology, other countries for 400 years.”
“Life’s moved on Afua.”
Her colleague’s immediate response was, “Life’s moved on, Afua.”
She continued to explain, “I have experienced it. I’ve just written a book about the experience.” But then her colleague chimes in again, “But how often, Afua?
Seriously, how how often?.”
“If it is not ill-intentioned it’s not racism.”
Afua politely responds, “A daily daily experience. Not overt racism acts of othering … Microaggression, subtle prejudice that often comes from very well-meaning people who mean no harm who don’t see themselves as racist,” to which the second lady on the panel responds, “If it is ill-intentioned it’s not racism.”
This is a fascinating discussion not just because the co-hosts are essentially denying that racism exists (despite proof of it), but there are also the attempts to silence a person’s experience by not allowing them to fully speak their truth.
More context: Full Video
For more context, we found the full video (see below), which includes the entirety of their conversation.
Afua Hirsch explains why racists don't need to hide or pretend anymore.
Afua Hirsch argues that closet racists have a mouthpiece in Donald Trump and have no need to pretend anymore, but her colleagues disagree.Please watch to make informed input, and let's agree/disagree respectfully pls. (Full video)Posted by Afropolitan Insights on Saturday, February 24, 2018
What would it take?
After watching, we’re left with one question: What would it take for white people who really want to listen, to be able to listen and engage without the conversation getting overly difficult as it was in this video?
Take a look at the video and let us know your thoughts on the video, Akua’s assertions, or her colleague’s opinions