I have heard from a black English friend that the US is the most racist place he’d ever been. My brother and his wife (mixed race couple) encountered hostility and strange looks when in New York which they’d never experienced before. Trump is clearly racist and was incredibly elected by a majority of both white women and men. This was staggering around the world and just have very painful for right-thinking Americans especially of colour. Slavery is not properly taught in American schools. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up and live in that environment and I can only try to imagine and to empathise. It must grind people down.

And yet many of the things you talk about — blocking aisles, not helping eachother pass comfortably on the street, we all experience that. It feels like because you’ve encountered a lot of racism you’re seeing everyday assholery through the prism of race. I live in multicultural London and people of every ethnicity do these things. And people of every ethnicity are also lovely to each other. I imagine a Nigerian living in Nigeria would experience the same everyday assholery as you, and the rest of us but not ascribe it to anything but those individuals (who may behave differently the next day anyway, people who are late for work because their train broke down are more likely to rudely barge others than those who aren’t). In Nigeria the overwhelming majority of people being rude would be black, in much of the US they would be white. In Shanghai, Han Chinese.

I appreciate that it must be stressful never knowing whether a person who acts a jerk is motivated by racism — and that’s not something I’ve had experience of (except on rare occasions where I’ve been in a minority in a foreign country). But I’d say for peace of mind it would be good to be open to the possibility that the person acting an ass is just a human being an ass that day, or in that moment.

NB: on #metoo — the founder has said this: “It can be used by everybody and still be ours,” Burke continued. “Don’t opt yourself out of what was started for you because the media isn’t acknowledging your hurt and your pain and your stories. They never have. This is your movement, too.”

Black women are women first before black no? Would it really have been better for anyone were this movement to have stayed small?

Law grad, teacher of history and politics. Training under Brazilian shaman and psychotherapist Xamam Alba Maria. Aikidoka, guitar-strummer, runs men's circles.

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