Extra Salty

So yesterday I was able to access my personal Facebook account again after receiving a 24 hour ban. I know what you’re thinking; it must have been something really offensive to get not only my comment removed but get banned from the social media platform for 24 hours. It was. Well, I guess if the term “white people” offends you it was. 

You read that right; I got banned for the use of the phrase “white people”. Specifically, it was a comment in response to the prolific Facebook bans for the use of the phrase, the descriptor, a term that is most certainly not a racial slur. 

There have been literally dozens of cases that I’ve seen and probably many more that I haven’t, of primarily People of Colour being banned and having their comments removed for use of the term “white people” and “cracker” (‘cracker’ is a term used in the US meaning racist white people – I guess because they’re white, fragile and salty). And before you start; reverse racism isn’t a thing. We’ve already been there and covered that.
Facebook groups dedicated to social justice and Inclusivity have been infiltrated by people opposed to the movement, and comments and posts have been reported en masse for the sole purpose of harassment, silencing and disruption. Moreover, troll accounts have been created on Instagram and Tumblr to troll social justice advocates. Facebook algorithms are such that posts and comments that recieve multiple reports are more likely to attract the ban-hammer. This was a targeted attempt to silence those speaking out in social justice spaces about race and privilege. I was the lucky one – many others have faced repeated bans for longer durations, one Woman of Colour for a one word status update: “cracker”
Why? What could these people possibly have against efforts to make spaces on the internet more inclusive to marginalised people; primarily People of Colour?! I’ll tell you why; it’s because discussions of race, racism and privilege make the dominant majority – white people – really uncomfortable. So uncomfortable they go to unusual lengths to circumvent it that discomfort. 

A US academic coined the term “White Fragility”. Dr. Robin DiAngelo, a White racial and social justice educator who created the term “White Fragility,” breaks it down like this:
“White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviours such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviours, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.”
White fragility is a frustrating dynamic that People of Colour encounter a lot when engaging with white people about race and privilege. It’s the “all lives matter” dogma. But here’s the kicker; all lives didn’t matter until the Black Lives Matter movement started. They couldn’t possibly understand that People of Colour were literally dying in the streets at the hands of those who swore to serve and protect. All lives matter is a blatant attempt to centre whiteness. To derail the discourse. White fragility is the #notallwhitepeople argument. The suggestion that “oh that might be the case, there might be *instances* of racism by neo-nazis, but that’s not me. I’m not doing anything to uphold white supremacy.” 

But here’s the kicker; if you aren’t actively holding a mirror to your own privilege. If you aren’t actively working to dismantle systems of oppression that maintain the white equilibrium, if you aren’t talking about racism in frank and uncomfortable terms; you’re upholding white supremacy. And if you think this doesn’t apply here in Australia, you’re sorely mistaken.
I’m going to end with the words of a woman named Cleo Lebron. A dynamic, strong Woman of Colour from the US who has had her words removed and her account suspended, along with many others.
“How can Facebook ever be a place where people have a voice if the reporting system silences people expressing and bearing witness to the very things worth speaking against.”

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12 thoughts on “Extra Salty

  1. The term “cracker” is racist and offensive. It’s possible to be racist to anyone, not just people of color. I’m glad you got banned for 24 hours. Too bad it wasn’t forever.

    It’s not about silencing anyone. Facebook is a global platform. Caucasians are not a majority world wide, just in Europe and America. It’s not censorship when a private company decides not to provide a platform to you. You don’t pay to use Facebook, no one does. It’s free service, they can ban whomever they want for whatever reason, just like you can ban whomever you want from posting comments on your blog. Probably like you’ll do to this one, no one but you will read it.

    White Privledge…lol are there meetings I’m missing where we are handed this privilege? I certainly don’t have any. I work hard for everything I have. And you know what? My muslim boss with the black VP he reports to don’t believe in white privilege either.

    Like

    • Hello,

      I don’t normally post on forums, but I felt drawn to make some comments in response to your post.

      I want to explain, as best I can, that by virtue of being born with a certain skin colour, some people begin life with fewer or more obstacles than others. I have worked hard to get where I am, and it sounds like you feel that you have too… but if, like me, you haven’t had people walk across the street to move away from me, or followed me around the shops to make sure I am not stealing any thing *just* because of my skin colour, then we are more privileged than some others. This is only the tip of the iceberg. When you further consider dispossession and denial of land, culture, identity, language and equity/equality it is even more obvious how some are more privileged than others…. and the distinction is usual based on one’s Indigenous status.

      I haven’t experienced personal or institutional racism, been looked down on or thought lesser of because of my skin colour or had my history or culture denied. Because of this, I am more privileged than others in society. Same for you. That doesn’t deny that there are others who have gotten more than you, for doing less than you… we might consider those people even more privileged!

      The following article mightn’t change your mind, but I would urge you to have a read of the article I have linked below – with an open mind to the idea that even though you haven’t been handed this privilege on a platter, you are likely still benefiting from a system that does support/enable/benefit some over others.

      http://occupywallstreet.net/story/explaining-white-privilege-broke-white-person

      (p.s. Facebook isn’t ‘free’ – it comes with terms and conditions- we pay in ways other than money)

      Liked by 1 person

    • “And I get it, it’s hard to admit you have white privilege when you’ve amounted to so little despite it.”

      It is amusing to hear a comment like that coming from someone who lives off welfare and arts grants, both provided by the government and funded using taxes paid almost entirely by white people. You’re welcome.

      Like

      • Aaaahhhh! I see whitesplaining isn’t all you dabble in, Eric! Mansplaining sexual violence to women? Tsk tsk! Perhaps it would be prudent to stay in your lane. Oh and I’m fairly sure you know nothing of my finances. But nice try all the same. Thanks for stopping by!

        Like

    • So your reply to being asked to be respectful about others race, when you yourself are asking people to respect yours, is to sarcastically attack them with racism? wow. How is being racist going to solve your racist problem?

      Like

  2. You have trolls! Clearly they didn’t bother to actually read your whole post … their racism is apparent in the stereotyping of you. I have been reading your blog with interest since the beginning. Worked in the APY Lands and came away frustrated and angry at the human rights abuses which is what got me interested in the first place. My black brother is a Walpiri man who was adopted by my family as a baby- white privilege is very real and harder to deal with than overt racism. It is insidious as are the cracker comments here. I’m with you

    Liked by 1 person

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