25 ways to tokenize or alienate a non-white person around you (or, 25 examples of the racism we witness on a regular basis)

by basil, billie, qwo-li, jenn and colin

1. walk up to that black girl you barely know in the co-op and say “what do you think of the new (insert hip-hop artist here) album.”

2. ask one of the only arabs in your community to write the article for your newspaper on the situation in palestine.
a) then, after they write it, take their research, re-write the article and sign your name to it.

3. in a big group of many activists, say “how can we bring more people of color into our struggle.”

4. in a big group of many activists, say “black people don’t have the time to care about trees”.

5. go up to the Makah woman at the unlearning racism workshop and say “I saw a program about Crazy Horse on PBS, he did alot for your people.”

6. act like the only people of non-white ancestry in your community are the ones visible to you.
a) assume that light skinned people around you are white without ever knowing their ancestry.

7. talk about race as if the only groups are black and white.
a) talk about race as if the only groups are black, white and hispanic.
b) talk about race as if the only groups are black, white, hispanic and asian.
c) talk about race as if the only groups are black, white, hispanic, asian and native american.

8. picture a violent, irrational arab everytime the word “terrorist” is mentioned. ignore the arabs who do not fit into this stereotype.

9. look to a non-white person in the room everytime racism is brought up.
a) make sure they have the last and most defining word on the subject.
b) sympathetically and silently agree with everything they say.
c) thank them profusely.

10. fearfully avoid assertive non-white people in your community.

11. ask a native person; “do you make your own jewelry?”

12. use the identity of white anti-racist as a shield against accusations of racism.

13. ask an arab you don’t know what they think about the war in iraq.

14. after a non-white person in your predominantly white workplace points out racism, ask “what are some of the positives of working here?”

15. get a racist white person to facilitate a panel on racism featuring non-white queer people for a predominately white audience.

16. pit light-skinned non-white people against each other based on how they identify racially and what you think is most correct.

17. say “i noticed a lot of black, filipino, and korean people who own grocery stores sell a lot of liquor.”

18. when a multiracial native person tells you their heritages, say “what a magical mix.”

19. tell a racially mixed black person, “you don’t act black.”

20. when you find out that someone is mizrachi, say:
a) “you’re an arab jew? that’s fucked up.”
b) “what are you talking about? I’ve never heard of sephardi/mizrachi jews. what makes you think you’re a person of color?”
c) “jews are from europe.”
d) “there are no palestinian jews.”
e) all of the above.

21. at the last minute, get 2 non-white people to facilitate a workshop on racism at your skill share and make sure none of the white folks from your organization attend the workshop. Profoundly, deeply thank the facilitators.

22. if a non-white person wants to organize a workshop at your conference specific to their ethnic community, before you “let” them, ask them “how many do you need?”

23. organize a conference with an all white organizing committee.
a) when non-white people organize at the conference and want to speak for themselves, accuse them of “hijicking” the event.
b) tell them you will publish their written statement on your website, and wait two years to do so.

24. if you see a black man speak about racism, say “he was so angry–but very articulate.”

25. if you’re white and confronted on your racism, cry.