Ajah Hales

Dear DRM,

Thanks for owning your racial blind spots. There’s a lot going on in your comment, and I will try to address the things I noticed in your response in the order I noticed them.

You participate in and benefit from white supremacy on a daily basis. This is an article about race and a designated space to discuss race, so you don’t have to start off with a disclaimer. If you were intentionally participating in white supremacy, you wouldn’t be here, asking me questions. You’d be on Reddit ;-)

Secondly, the phrase ‘risk and abuse’ is very racially charged because it implies physical danger. Consider this: no one, in his long career of idiocy, has ever just hauled off and punched Donald Trump in the face. Generally speaking, as a white woman, you will not face any form of physical danger from asking questions.

Black men and women, however, have historically and recently faced physical danger for talking about race, looking at a white woman, or simply occupying the same space as white people. When white people use phrases that connote physical danger (attacked, abused, risky, dangerous, unsafe, etc.) in talking about race, you are reversing the direction of racialized violence and signaling white racial solidarity that says dangerous space= nonwhite space. I would love if you could be more conscious of this impact going forward.

Thank you for acknowledging that Lecia was justifiably frustrated, not dangerous.

As far as Google goes, you can use it to look up credible sources. There are several (Black and white) critical race scholars who have already devoted a lot of time and energy into explaining the system of white supremacy. There are plenty of James Baldwin interviews on YouTube you could listen to. There are Martin Luther King Jr. speeches, Toni Morrison interviews, Audre Lorde essays, and Melissa Harris-Perry think pieces about race that are free and available to you if you choose to read them. Zora just published a canon of Black literature less than a week ago. Start there.

I don’t blame white people for not understanding how racism works, you were never taught. But if you’re serious about learning, you will have to put forth some effort.

I’m thin and I’m trying to understand fatphobia. I am reading Sabrina String’s Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia. I don’t expect my large friends to teach me the ways in which the world is unfair to them, if I want to address my own complicity in fatphobia, that’s on me. By educating myself, I am better equipped to participate in conversations about fatphobia in person and online, but I don’t — because coming into spaces that marginalized persons have claimed for themselves and re-centering the conversation around myself is wrong. I just read what they have to say and think about it. I try to put myself in their shoes. I actively seek content written by people who are marginalized by fatphobia. I try to use photos that are representative of a variety of body types, not just my own. This is how you begin to take responsibility for your privilege.

I choose to write educational content and I’m glad to see you engaging with it. But me choosing to share information that white people can learn from is a totally different thing than white people demanding that marginalized persons educate them for free. If you find my work valuable and want to send me $50, my paypal link is paypal.me/ajahhales, I can always use some bill money. But please, don’t do it in exchange for asking me questions.

World Changer. Social Thinker. Business Owner. #WEOC