***not all White people, just the ones fitting these descriptions***
White People Have Misplaced Priorities
Sometimes White people, individually and collectively, you should just be silent when we are living through civic unrest because of racist behavior, racial animosity, or violations of our civil rights committed (and supported) by White people.
This moment was created by White people.
You support racist White people by concerning yourselves with insured properties that can be replaced or rebuilt instead of being concerned about Black bodies being suffocated in the streets by sociopathic White Supremacists. Black people pay taxes too. If they want to tear up shit in their communities, what do you care? It’s not like you support them or live there, anyway. Your White people points during times like these are mute. Your White concern is often misplaced. It lacks empathy and can come across as condescending. It reminds us of your descendants you’re our slave masters.
Just be quiet.
You support racist cops by needing more evidence despite having access to clear videos showing White people acting in violation of any and all law enforcement policies. You support racist White people when you don’t call out the hypocrisy of White armed White men storming the capital and police watching police stand down and Black protestors with no arms being charged with riot gear in their own communities.
Sometimes, you all should just be quiet. The hypocrisy is astounding.
You support racists by reading racist bylines written by White run media companies and caring more about looting than the reasons for the looting. White people, you have a lot to learn about humanity and empathy. Sometimes things you say online and on television are so ignorant and so White-centered they are absolutely inappropriate. Your words do more harm than good. Your words do nothing to improve race relations. Your words matter. Your tones matter.
Sometimes, you should just be quiet.
Sometimes there is nothing to say. Other times, there is something you can say to add value or to bring about change. If you don’t do it the right way, you just put another notch in the book of White people’s life. Some of you need to be quiet because you’re culturally out of your league. When you speak to us it’s like wearing a flaming red mini-skirt to a civil rights icon’s funeral. White words spoken at the wrong time send the wrong message.
You should learn to be quiet when it’s appropriate. White people and even Europeans are the only people I know who think they have the right to speak on everything. When White people are having their White people meetings about White people shit, most times we don’t know about, but even when we do, we add to the conversation meaningfully — only when it applies to us.
Everyone can’t speak during times of unrest, especially when it related to something as race or White/Black relations in America. Sometimes White people, when you don’t know what to say or if you’re unable to add value to those you’re seeking to support, just be silent. At the end of the day your intentions do not and will not matter when you use the wrong words.
You often use your words as weapons. A lot Choose your battles wisely. You can be quiet.
The only thing that will matter right now is the perception of White people. You need to understand, White people and racism got us here. Just like our Black skins make escaping racism in America impossible, your White skins during times of racial tensions like we’re experiencing now make escaping being seen as our oppressors (initially anyway) impossible.
You cannot outrun or dispose of your Whiteness. Being silent during this time is a way to show us respect. You don’t have to be quiet all the time, just sometimes. Just maybe sit this thing out. We know you rarely believe we deserve any, but believe more.Be silent can be a way you allow Black people to mourn. It’s a way to momentarily show support for us. Being silent is a way to not have your words misinterpreted or your motives questioned. It’s a way to not center yourselves for once.
There are many reasons you should silent. I just touched on a few. Learn to see silence as a sign of respect instead of a sign of weakness. Use it.
Be Silent Because You Lack Culturally Competency
Because White people often reject cultural inclusiveness (other culture, you guys are proficient in White) throughout most of your life, you really aren’t equipped to speak on certain things, especially during times like this. If you haven’t sat in Black churches during funerals, visited the homes of grieving non-White people, or observed how non-White people react during their times of crisis like these while living under oppression, just read comments, try to learn how they feel and what they are going through, mourn silently, and wait for the right time or moment to add something of value.
Just be silent.
There are some things you just shouldn’t say or do when you see victims of injustice upset, and because so many White people are privileged in ways we are not, you all tend to believe the White way is the right way. Comply, do this. We should have done that. White people never address the elephant in the room — White fears and White evils inside of them that cause them to make up stories on us as if our lives do not matter.
Most times White people are as wrong as a car driving down the wrong side of the road, but you’ll keep going because you believe you have the right and free will to do so. Just sit some things out some times White people. You can’t mess up being quiet or responding in a more appropriate way with words, but when you fuck up with words — you can’t take them back. Just hush like my grandma used to say.
Be Quiet Because You’re Privileged
White people, you guys are so privileged, so used to ruling, and so used to reigning over everything and most of everyone in the world by hook or by crook, you don’t even realize and recognize your privilege when you guys speak to racial minorities. Anytime you speak, you always speak from a position of power, regardless of whether you perceive us Black folk as your equal.
Sometimes White people have caused Black people and people of color so much trauma throughout their lifetimes that they don’t want or need to hear anything from you during times like these because they already know many White folks are incapable of having empathy for them during times of crisis like these when they are linked to racism and police misconduct. The way White people see us puts us at risk. We don’t want to hear from you sometimes.
Just be quiet. Please.
Even when White people are being told that you’re saying the wrong things and why, they just can’t let shit go and just walk away. Engaging with an entire group of people who are mourning if you lack cultural competency with that group, can make you look like assholes to a total stranger. Just be quiet. Send flowers to the family instead. Order lunch and have it delivered to them.
Not saying anything can mean everything to people struggling to deal with their trauma.
Learn about the people and their culture you wish to ally with or support. Learn what’s offensive and what’s not. Don’t get angry because you’ve been checked by Blacks and people of color when asked to stand down. Sometimes a lot of you are just plain wrong. Just be quiet. Look and learn.
Observe and get some wisdom. Speak out of turn and you play yourselves.
Be Quiet Because You’re Rude
White people think the way they handle things is just fine. If you someone dislikes their method, they get angry and take things personally instead of moving on. Even when they don’t have to comment, they just can’t help themselves. With your collective ethnic group’s history of racism, anti-Blackness and ties to slavery, Black people and POC don’t like to engage with White people at certain times, especially during times of racial strife nationally.
White people speak the same racist political code as White politicians that backs to the founding fathers. Nobody wants to hear that shit during times like this. Just shut the heck up.
Y’all can be rude and you don’t even know it. Learn to read rooms or the room will show you how it feels about your presence and your words. Be quiet.
When you don’t listen to victims, you’re being rude. When you talk over people, you’re being rude. When people don’t want to hear what you’re talking about and you keep talking anyway, you’re being rude. When you insist things gotta be your way or the highway, you’re being rude. When you insist we need to see the way view things, think the way you want us to think, or support your ideas that we know aren’t good for us, you’re asking us to become White Supremacists.
Please, just be quiet.
When non-White people ask White people to sit this one out or tell you you’re being rude or inappropriate and you insist on being heard anyway, you’re being rude as fuck. We don’t want to hear from you. Learn to be quiet or you will be told to shut the fuck up. We don’t need your righteous indignation now.
Be Quiet Because There Was More That You Could Have Done
White people, you are so late to this racial injustice fight it ain’t even funny. While I appreciate many of you wanting to be an ally now, it’s too late to ride with us for this moment. It’s like the caged lion at the zoo who turns on its handlers one day because its tired of being imprisoned. All caged things long to be free.
America didn’t have to end this way, but White people have helped it to stay this way via White Privilege, White Supremacy, and their cousins institutional and structural racism.
White people’s inability to reign in White Supremacy even when you know White Supremacy is the culprit is a perfect of example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. White people have all the power and ability in the world, but they can’t stop being themselves from being racist.
Either you have power to do this or you don’t.
Sometimes during moments like these, Black people don’t want to hear anything from you because we know you don’t mean well. You just want us to be quiet so that you can remain comfortable. White comfort comes at the expense of Black people. It always has.
There are no comforting words you can offer us during this time after we’ve witnessed (again) a White male police officer inhumanely killing a Black man (again) and getting away with it (again).
The source of our never ending pain and sorrow is White people.
There are no words you can say to me to that will make me believe we will be all right because the fact is we’re not — and we’re not because of White people. White people kill us and get away with it, then they don’t want us to be angry about it.
White people, this is a marvelous time to do something or be quiet. Instead of policing our words, strategize with White people on how you can help us or just leave us alone. We can do bad all by ourselves.
Be Quiet Because You Don’t Know What Is and What’s Not Racist or Inappropriate
I will post this Tweet from Madonna. I want White people to tell me what’s wrong with it in the comment section below. I am telling you up front there is something wrong, so pay attention. I didn’t ask you what you thought she did good White people, I’m asking you what is wrong. I will dissect it after I get your feedback. Read the words and then play her video. Drop your comment below. This is a cultural competency examination.
Be Quiet Because You Worry About The Wrong Things
White people, even well-meaning ones, are worried about maintaining civility and order as nothing changes. The only time anything seems to change for us in America since slavery has been when we escaped seeking freedom or rebelled/revolted against White Supremacy and tyranny.
White people, you don’t know what it’s like to live in this skin. You will never know. You don’t know what it’s like to keep being told to wait, be patient, be kind, smile, trust the police, and my favorite “Not All White People” — as we keep having to give our Black kids “the talk” about the police and how White people operate in this country. Being silent doesn’t remind us of your complicitness to injustice and racial discrimination in connection to White Supremacy.
Be Silent Because Your Words Could Be Seen As Insincere
Sometimes White people, you all are defensive because someone calls you White. Anytime we say White, you guys want to fight. In this moment where being White means being a part of the problem, you do what you well, center Whiteness. Being defensive is so ingrained into your DNA that when you hop into online conversations, join public discussions or make comments in public to people of color you’re attempting to show solidarity with, your comments appear insincere.
Your words may or may not be sincere, but your actions White people always show us what you’re really made of. If someone Black says to you “not now” or “this is not the place for that,” just shut up! You’ve already said something wrong and it’s that Black person’s friendly way of telling you should stand down. When your White raises up causing you to get defensive, you injure us even more. An entire nation of Black people are tired.
Just be quiet. Please. It’s not that hard. Back away and be just be quiet.
Then when we get sassy because you insist we listen to you in all of your ugly superiority, then you get angry because your feelings are hurt. Now, we are back to square one, centering your White feelings again. White people, this is just too much for us to be dealing with right now.
Just be silent.
Be Quiet Because Your Feelings Get Hurt Easily
If you’re quiet White people, you don’t have to worry about getting your feelings hurt. Black folks know how sensitive you guys are, and we do our best to navigate your feelings by avoiding you unless we need to (or desire to) interact with you. We don’t intend on hurting your feelings, but when you guys violate by not staying on the sidewalk because the streets are for the big dogs, you’re being disrespectful so we give you the business you didn’t want from us.
You guys like to be petty and comeuppance in the name of Whiteness, but get upset when you’re hit with the undeniable history of White people you’re so desperately trying to outrun. You petty will never erase the history of White people. You may not know your history, but we most certainly do.
But if you’d just be quiet… Just live and let live. White silence would save you White feelings.
So shhhhh… be quiet.
Be Quiet Because Hurt People Hurt People
This is the most important message I think White people don’t get. White people must be hurt, broken, miserable, deficient, empathy-lacking people to treat us the way they do and/or to tolerate/condone how we are treated.
I don’t know if it was because you were nurtured to be this way or if it was because nature created you that way, but a lot of you White people are hurt to believe how you treat others is okay. You have been hurting Black people in America for 400-years and you haven’t stopped it. You have been harming and killing Black and Brown people globally longer than that. You are hurt, and you are hurting us.
Until you heal yourselves, you can’t help us. We don’t want or need your advice. It’s like a current domestic abuser telling his friends how not to be violent. It’s ludicrous.
You cannot be a moral authority because we have proven you to be immoral. Your immorality is in our history books. It’s shown by the way you worship. Your immorality has been depicted in movies, magazines, and has been shown around the world millions of times on television. You say you love us, but you keep hurting us. Sometimes, you just need to be quiet.
Your words and your actions haven’t aligned for a long time. Just be silent.
Sometimes you straddle the line between being a White person and being an ally. We see it in your social media comments and in the content you like occasionally. It doesn’t go unnoticed. You know what we do though, we just be quiet and watch you like what you like hawks look for predators close to its nest. White folks are so double-minded sometimes it isn’t even funny.
When it comes to racism White people pick a side and stay on it. Don’t butter us on one topic, then return to being White and cringe-worthy dipping in our kool-aid without being invited to the party.
Being in relationships with White people is like being in a relationship with a domestic abuser. We are trying to escape, but you have all the power, you have all the money, and you have convinced everyone there is something wrong with us when you’re really the problem.
Be quiet. Silence is the best medicine you can offer if you will not fight with us against racism.
Be Quiet Because You Don’t Have The Same Energy Fighting With White People
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written something on social media or even here on Medium meant specifically for Black people, and White people will jump into the comments tone policing, concern trolling my feelings, reinterpreting what I meant, changing the topic or re-centering themselves/White people.
First, to intrude in a conversation because you feel the need to cape for White people as we grieve racism is rude as fuck. You deserve to have your asses handed to you. There is a time and a place to talk, but not when you get ready. This is our time. Let us breathe. Just because you’re privileged doesn’t give you the right to butt into our private family conversations and finger wag. Just be quiet. If you wouldn’t do it to us in the streets or say it to our faces in the streets, you sure as hell shouldn’t do it online.
Can you imagine my Black ass sashaying up into the middle of a bunch of White women having a White people’s conversation about White people shit I’d been close enough to overhear, and then I just barge in to tell them how I feel?
That’s what White people do to us. All. The. Time.
All the time.
Please White people be kind to us during this painful time. We are in a perilous state right now. We saw this coming, but you didn’t listen, so speaking less is more.
Use this time to educate yourselves. Enrich yourselves culturally. Learn how to become an ally and what that looks like. Find ways to fight injustice in your hometowns. Understand every battle ain’t your battle. Sometimes you just need to be quiet.
Be quiet. Just practice being quiet.
We don’t need your input on everything and the fact that a lot of you believe your input is required, justified, and right only highlights your White privilege and makes you look racist.
Sometimes White people, you should just be silent. Be quiet.
Just be quiet.
Marley K, Angry, Sick, and Tired in Quarantine