You should have spoken up. Then your friend would have asked you to call her by a friend’s name. As to money, I have made a tiny amount of money writing on this platform for over 3 years. Almost 100% of my readers come to this platform from my resources. My readership.
I have commitments for myself that are between myself and what it is that I do.
I responded to your story because in many ways it was so typical of what is pushed at me by this Medium platform, primarily operated through Venture funding and guided by white Silicon Valley upper-class people.
You — and they — I am not sure know what good writing is.
In my case I’m going to respond to this because it is not good writing. Whatever your goal or purpose was the writing is 100% about you. And you devoted this much time to saying you saw a teen boy extend himself and his nature and beliefs in a public place and you stood there silently, doing nothing. Katherine, I am an ordinary college teacher and such situations arise frequently in my South Orange County college classroom. Any teacher, any counselor — would know what to say and do to bridge the gap between two opposing groups.
As to the situation with Emmett Till: you present this in such a way that indicates it’s somehow optional or attitudinal. Emmett was victimized by spree killers, who were instigated by a dishonest person seeking to evade responsibility. Their primary motive was racism. The secondary motives were equally criminal. The fact that this is presented as “entertainment” or exemplary is so very wrong. As my friend Esha said, very “offensive.”
To anyone who regards Emmett and his family as the same as themselves.
And, there is the situation with your boyfriend. A similar situation is portrayed in the film Get Out. I and anyone would understand how you misunderstood what he could or couldn’t do on the street that day. But where we part ways is: how and why could you continue to fight with him when he told you the truth? How hard is it to understand physical deadly danger from people who would love to beat and kill you? Why would you continue to insist and berate someone who says “I don’t feel safe, I cannot stand up to these men.” With ample, extreme reason!
Now, I can’t really comment regarding your female friend and your calling her “sis.” I don’t know whether that is because as you assert, no white female may call an African American female “sis” due to racism or —
Ya know, I’ve never asked a female friend if I could call them by any nickname. They told me what they wanted me to call them and I did as they asked.
These are such basic elements of humanity. Your aspect of white is how much humanity has been sucked out of you that you cannot even see or fathom this. You unselfconsciously refer to “pretty privilege.” So not just being a white woman but a pretty white woman. Haven’t you heard people making fun of that? That’s in Get Out too.
It’s about thinking of others in context of just being human.
I responded when I realized you really were going to focus your statements on standing motionless, doing nothing — yet close enough to observe sweat, pulse, and flushing — to that young man saying that in public to strangers. You seemed to understand he was speaking from the depths of his soul. Yet did nothing: and compounded by writing about it.
There is a problem with that. First, we oughtn’t write about things we don’t really understand or know indicating that we do. In this case, I think you don’t really ‘get’ a lot about being white or black or white privilege. It’s not a sentence about “white supremacy.” Second, if you were unwilling even to speak out on behalf of that young man —
This is the air out of the room. Silencing him. His voice. The important one not heard.