Tone Policing

Oluo

PC: SeattleSpectator.com

From The Sun Magazine‘s brilliant interview with Ijeoma Oluo author of the recently released So You Want to Talk about Race:

Tone policing is when someone disputes a statement by focusing on how it was said, not on its content. It’s when you’re told to “calm down” or “be more ladylike” or “be less emotional.” The person who’s suffering has to express their experience in a way white people will accept before whites are willing to listen. You all think you’re a better judge of what’s proper than black people are, and that you have the authority to deem our complaints invalid. Your comfort level is more important to you than stopping the brutality we’re facing. Continue reading

Drowning in Whiteness

SeattleA [re]post from Ijeoma Oluo’s speech at “Interrupting Whiteness,” an event held on June 1, 2017 at the Central Library in Seattle, co-hosted by KUOW Public Radio.

Hi, I am Ijeoma Oluo, and I am a mixed race black woman who was raised by a white mother in this very white city.

I have a Ph.D. in whiteness, and I was raised in “Seattle nice.” I was steeped in the good intentions of this city and I hate it. I love this city. I love you guys. Also, I hate it. I really do.

And I’m going to talk a little bit about why. I write about race, and I’m regularly reached out to by really well-meaning white people who want to explain to me what my work is like to them as a white person and the white perspective that I’m missing.

And the only part of the white perspective I’m missing is the ability to be unaware of the white perspective. Continue reading