there’s a boy in my class that thinks that we live
in a post-racist, post-sexist society.
he thinks that discrimination doesn’t exist,
and i always want to ask him
when exactly he thinks it stopped.
i want to tell him about every single friend i’ve had who has been scared
when a man smiles at them on the bus, or tries to start a conversation
on the street, because yes, they might be harmless,
but they also might be the men we were warned about since we could remember.
i want to tell him about every friend who smiled back
because they were taught it’s impolite not to.
i want to tell him that i met my best friend when i was five years old
she has dark eyes and dark skin and dark hair
and is slogging through things a dozen times darker than she is
and she gets followed around stores by employees
who think she’s going to slip that lipstick into her pocket
because they’ve been trained to base what a shoplifter is around
what colour a person is.
i want to ask him what it’s like, being able to think things like that
without having to live through things that prove him wrong.
because god, i would love to believe him, but last week my friend told me
about a man who followed her most of the way home,
asking her about herself and matching her pace when she tried to get the hell away from him.
i want to have him sit down with everyone
who has personal experiences that debunk his blind theories.
i want him to try to tell them that we live in a post-racist,
post-sexist society and get uncomfortable
when they stare at him with an anger that can’t be expressed
by telling him to go fuck himself.
i want to ask him why he thinks it is that he feels an obligation to speak out with his opinion every time someone offers theirs.
i want to tell him to shut the fuck up and listen without laughing after the other person stops talking."
— 'Dear Generic White Boy Who Thinks Racism Died With Segregation,' by theappleppielifestyle. (via theappleppielifestyle)
— Maya Angelou (via wordsnquotes)