#WhitePeopleEquivalents

by Mia McKenzie

On Monday night, we posted an announcement on the BGD Facebook page for QTPOC wanting to submit their work to BGD, encouraging them to do so (you totally should!). A white woman commented, asking if she could write for us. “I mean, I’m white but I would write about black LGBT experiences.” She said that she loves our site and reads it all the time. I’m not sure how it’s possible to read our site and think that’s a good question to ask, or even a reasonable thought to have. But I am constantly dumbfounded by white folks’ ability to be clueless, so…Anyway, I told her no. In fact, I told her hell no. She got really mad and said…well, I don’t really know because I deleted her comment without reading past the first few angry words. But you get the point.

Frustrated, I took to Twitter to share the experience with my radical WOC Twitter friends. We all rolled our eyes collectively and lamented the existence of white people who think that they can write about our experiences at all, let alone when we are already here writing about them ourselves. I tweeted:

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And thus the #WhitePeopleEquivalents hashtag was born. It’s chunky, but it worked.

That wasn’t enough, though. In fact, that just reminded me of all the ridiculous ways that white people center themselves, conflate their hurt feelings with our very real experiences of oppression, and generally undermine us.

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I was on a roll. By the time I looked up from my keyboard, other people were already joining in. As you can imagine, POC took to this hashtag pretty darn quickly. Here are some of my faves:

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Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 9.14.34 PMThese are just some of my faves, but there are way more. Look for them on Twitter under the hashtag.

How many of these have you heard?

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bgdbwsmallerMia McKenzie is an award-winning writer and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous.

 

 

 

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