Couple years ago, I was asked to be a part of an organization. I was still a student. I was the youngest person there, but a lot of them were older women, older white women. They were kind of, in a way, a little bit clique-y, I would say. Maybe they just so weren’t aware that there might be someone who’s younger, who had a different background than them, who would see the world differently.
Were in a meeting, like an annual meeting. they were talking about food, they were talking pretty, I would say racistly, about how they, as women, or one of them said that they would never visit Chinatown, because they were afraid of it. And then we got talking on the topic of Indian food, for some reason, because apparently there was a social with Indian food. One of the ladies made some comment about how her clothes were so stinky after. How she brought the smell home with her and how she didn’t like the smell and all the other women laughed and thought it was really funny.
And I was sitting there like…. that’s racist. So anyways, I noticed that right away, because POC and despite the fact that I am a light skinned Asian person… I decided with this group of ladies that I was going to call it out. And I called it racist, white privileged and that comment was unacceptable.
They wrote back a letter to me saying that I was wrong, that I judged them all as women and I don’t know them. And that I was the one who was inappropriate. I felt that if I didn’t say anything, no one would say anything.
What they had demonstrated as a group of women, they demonstrated something called white fragility, which is a very common thing when you call out racism or when you call out white privilege…. It’s just so hard for them to fathom that being called the racist is worse than actually experiencing racism.