It Doesn’t Matter If People Like You

I’ve been chewing on something all week. While reading the comments of an article with a racially charged headline (about how black people don’t like white people, or “why I don’t like white people,” or “why I don’t trust white women” etc etc there have been many recently) I had this lightbulb moment.

It doesn’t actually matter if a minority person or group likes white people. It doesn’t matter if the entire race of people thinks I am the white she-devil. It is still necessary to stand up for human rights. It is still unacceptable for people to be murdered by police. They are not judge jury and executioner. It doesn’t matter if every member of the LGBTQ community calls me a breeder to my FACE. It is still important for them to have basic human rights, job protection, and marriage equality.

And it’s not like I don’t have feelings. It sucks to hear that people don’t trust white women. Because, Hi. Hello. White Woman Speaking. My gut reaction is always “No! Don’t feel that way!” But do people have to be my friends in order to fight for safety, for freedom, for equality? I would like to think that I could hate every single man on the planet and still have expectations that they stand the fuck up in the face of rape, sexual assault, and harassment. I mean, it won’t happen, who am I kidding? BUT I WOULD LIKE TO THINK.

So anyways… no one has to be liked or given a pat on the back to do the right thing. It seems so simple, and yet… seems to be a major hurdle for many.

8 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Matter If People Like You”

  1. Thank you. I’m tripping over the same mental hurdle. For me its more the issue that 1. no I’m not going to attack whatever group has said they don’t like, don’t trust, or just in general are mocking white women but 2. why be mean? I know the finger then points back to white fragility and its not that. I will loudly and openly list my privilege and defer to people with experiences that are so very different from my own. I own the systematic privilege I have access to and I want to leverage that for equality. Which at times will mean giving up my privilege to ensure someone else has equality. But just don’t be mean. I know a lot of the titles are click bait and inflammatory on purpose, but what’s the goal? I don’t care who you are, what gender or race or ethnicity you are. If you start a conversation by saying you hate me because you hate all people like me, that sucks. Its a tough place to start a partnership from. I’ll still be there because it matters, but it sucks.

  2. Thank you. White people have done and do many harmful things to groups we’ve othered. Of course folks don’t trust us! Look at what we let happen in our name!

  3. It fucking sucks. But instead of getting mad at the person with feelings, I feel shame for the ASS HOLES who look similar to ME that created this mess. Because FUCK THEM. Fuck them for giving me a bad name. Fuck them for hurting people because of ignorance or blindness or just being an evil ass hole.

    Ass holes come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. People have the right to be mean and angry and whatever. But they should be able to be ass holes and not be killed for it. So… shrug. Gotta just shrug. They don’t know me, I don’t know them, it’s not about ME. And in the end, it doesn’t matter.

    1. I did more pondering. Yeah this. I can name a few groups that I have a hard time trusting as a blanket statement. I don’t know that I would feel comfortable saying “All of these people suck” but I get it. I, as a part of this group who has treated people like shit for a really long time I am guilty by association until I prove otherwise. So I need to go about proving otherwise. And calling out other white people when I see bias and hatred and generally fucked up behavior because that is my privilege and responsibility as a fellow white person.

      1. And it’s not even about walking around with white guilt. I mean, I have white guilt because I’m a good person who genuinely WANTS people to like me. BUT that is not the feeling I am having. It’s more like… I don’t need validation to do the right thing. So anyone can express to me why they are mad at people like me, or don’t trust people like me, or balk at a sea of pink hats being a true movement until we show up elsewhere – but it doesn’t make showing up value less.

        It reminds me how atheists and agnostics talk about how you don’t NEED God to be a good person. Having morality and defending justice/freedom/human rights isn’t because of the payout. It’s because it’s necessary work.

        And I don’t have to read articles about why people don’t like white people. I also don’t have to respond in anyway if I do. I can have my feelings and not say them out loud and still show up. It’s ok if it makes me angry and sad and frustrated and misunderstood. I’m going to feel those feelings. And then I’m going to stand up for what’s right.

  4. Totally agree. White people have been oppressing POC for fucking centuries, but when POC say they don’t trust us our first reaction is hurt and defensiveness. Acknowledging the ridiculousness of that is the first step, I think. I’ve been learning so much lately by just pushing past that initial discomfort and continuing to read and listen when I feel uncomfortable.

  5. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. In particular I have one person who I’d previously considered a friend who after the election told me that because I hadn’t convinced my entire family and every other white person I know not to vote Trump, I’d failed and could not consider myself an ally no matter what I HAD done. I’ve been scolded, called “Becky”, and other various things for showing up to protests/rallies (funny, these same people were thrilled I was showing up for these same things 18 months ago). Etc etc etc. At first I was very, very hurt. The sudden turn around from “you’re my friend” to “you’re my enemy” was stunning and disheartening.

    But recently I’ve come around to a different way of thinking. This person, and everyone who wants to treat me terribly because of what other people who share my skin tone have or haven’t done? They can hate me all they want. They won’t alienate me from the cause. They’ll only alienate me from THEMSELVES, PERSONALLY. I can cut out people who bring toxicity into my life, and still care about and fight for the same things they care about and fight for. My lack of presence in their lives is their loss.

  6. You are correct. I guess people now days, do not show respect for others, regardless of their beliefs and feelings. This is where the main problem, I guess, starts… respect and consideration. I salute you. Marisa

Leave a Reply