What people of colour think

To all those involved in a love relationship with a person of colour,
(whether that be parental, romantic, fraternal or platonic)

We here at RR would like you to know that every time you condone racism, your SPOC (significant person of colour)

  • feels sad
  • feels alone
  • wonders, if you can have these feelings about others, how worthy you think s/he is
  • worries that if s/he called you on your racism, your love for him/her would suffer
  • wonders whether this is just a part of him/herself that s/he will have to hide
  • wonders whether one day her/his love for you will also suffer

Think about it. Act on it.

7 thoughts on “What people of colour think

  1. I tend to believe that on some level, people of color in relationships with unthinking white people know already that their “love” suffers. Or that it’s on the white person’s terms.

    This list would look different based on the power dynamic/racial identity formation of the POC, wouldn’t it? I mean, if I were writing about me with a partner, I’d say:

    – feels angry
    – feels like a wedge has been driven
    – thinks about your racism
    – thinks about kicking you to the curb
    – thinks about how the trade-off is not worth it
    – knows that the relationship is doomed

  2. I don’t entirely agree that the list would be completely different. In my experience, anger is always a mask for another emotion, often sadness, frustration, powerlessness. To be angry is a way of regaining power over a situation, instead of giving in to the basic emotion. But the basic emotion is still there.

    I tried to express a SPOC’s reactions in terms of emotions, because my main objective here is to encourage that empathy that seems to be so lacking.

  3. Hi sinoangle, I didn’t mean that the list would always be completely different. Just that it might manifest in different ways. I agree about the underlying emotions.

  4. This is list (and the other in the comments) is very true. Seeing it in print doesn’t convey the real pain for people. Thank you for the reminder to keep this in the forefront of my thoughts.

    My eldest daughter just ended a close friendship, her best friend since we came back to the states 5 years ago, because of a racist incident. He (white) wasn’t the “perpetrator”, but he condoned it, and didn’t stand up for my daughter. The pain for her was horrible. Is still horrible. She tried to talk to him about it, and through that talking, decided to end their friendship. I have wanted to blog about it, but my computer crashed in early January, and I haven’t been posting much.

    Resistance’s first comment rings true – my daughter told me that she’d only ever pushed her friend so far when they’d had disagreements/discussions on racism. She said it was because deep down, she recognized the truth on some level, but she didn’t want it to be true. Now she knows.

  5. Thanks for the testimony, cowbell. I know how your daughter feels. It is extremely painful, and difficult, to have to end a relationship like this.

    Unfortunately, there are also some relationships that are even more difficult, if not impossible to end, such as with one’s parents. In these cases, we need other tactics.

  6. Funny, I read that book about broken friendships and racism wasn’t once mentioned. I tend to believe that it can be one of the biggest reasons relationships dissolve between POC and white people.

  7. I’ve seen this to an extent where a white friend married to a Korean adoptee was in utter and complete denial of what his wife was going through. Knowing him I doubt he allowed himself to even consider it because he would likely be overcome with guilt.

    She ended their marriage suddenly, and in the few years since then he remains oblivious to race having had anything at all to do with what she was going through. I feel sad for both of them, but I think she did the right thing.

    I hope I have avoided being an unthinking white partner, but I have experienced not being accepted by the family of women I was involved with. Or in one particular case, her ma simply did not want her daughter to have the problems we would have had. I felt I had no choice but to respect that.

    I had hope to live to see a time where there was more hope. Perhaps my children will.

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