By Keir Bristol
Apparently a lot of feelings are hurt over Franchesca Ramsey’s video “Shit White Girls Say… To Black Girls.” I’m not surprised. Quite frankly, it’s a Black girl talking about racist experiences she’s had with some White girls. Most people don’t like that. They don’t want Black people talking about their experiences with racism. They definitely don’t want us to turn it into a funny story in which you laugh at the racist people.
I’m not going to go over why this video isn’t racist in detail. If you’re interested, please do the research yourselves. Basically, you cannot be racist against White people- not in an institutional sense. Also, there is no such thing as Whiteface. Blackface is a racist depiction of Black people that presents a caricature of what all Black people are like. It makes it easier to think less of them, to continue to oppress them. Same with Brownface, Redface, Yellowface, etc. White people don’t have a Whiteface, and Ramsey isn’t trying to say that all White girls are like the girl she depicts in her video.
As a Black girl growing up in a predominantly White town, I can totally relate to this video. I’ve had people ask to touch my hair, and then touch it without asking. I’ve had people ask me if I knew fellow Black people on facebook. I’ve heard the “HOLLER!” and I’m all too familiar with the “Z-Snap formation.” This video is about a Black girl, talking about the offenses she’s had to face from White girls because of the color of her skin. This video is about offenses against Black people. Why then, do so many people act like White people are the victims here, when they are the ones doing the offending?
Ramsey said on Anderson Cooper, “I don’t think talking about ignorance is racist. And like I said, I’m not labeling anyone as racist, because that would infer that the statements were saying that someone was better than another race, and that’s not what any of the statements are doing.”
When you watch the video, you will see Ramsey, in a blonde wig, say some of the things that White people have said to her. It’s literally just quotes, of things White people have said to her. How is quoting someone racist? The quote itself may be a racist statement, but saying, “Hey, someone has said this to me before, and I take offense to that isn’t racist.” If anything, telling Ramsey that she is being racist and that she shouldn’t have made this video, talking about her experiences, is racist. That’s like saying, “Talking about your experiences is hurting my feelings, stop complaining! Shut up!” Telling a Black woman not to talk about her experiences as a Black woman because YOUR feelings might be hurt, is racist. That, essentially, is saying that your feelings are more important- that you’re better than the Black race.
Hopefully I don’t have to explain what was racist about the quotes Ramsey used in the video, but just in case…
1. Assuming all Black people know each other or look alike, is racist.
2. Touching someone without permission, is rude.
3. “Cute for a Black guy…” is racist.
4. If you have to start a sentence with “I’m not racist, but…” you just shouldn’t say it, because it’s racist. Trust me.
5. There isn’t a White Entertainment Television because every channel that isn’t dedicated to a certain race IS White Entertainment Television. Once we start representing all kinds of people on mainstream television positively, then we can talk about eliminating specialty channels.
6. Black people bring up slavery because there are after-effects of it, and it still affects us today. It’s relevant in many of today’s discussions, and telling people to get over it is rude and dismissive.
7. Black people can say the word “nigger” because it’s been used against us, and we can reclaim it and use it how we want. Also, if you feel the need to use that word you need to re-evaluate your life and your choices.
8. Saying things like, ‘It’s almost like you’re not Black!” makes it seem like all Black people are the same. See number one.
9. Just because you have Black friends, doesn’t mean you aren’t racist. And using them as a statistic, doesn’t help.
10. Saying you’re not “into” Black guys or Black people, again, makes it seem like all Black people are the same. See number one, number eight.
Oh, and if you are White, and you feel as if you have a better grip on what is racist then people of color… please re-evaluate who the racist one is.