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White people made everything about race

by The Grio

(Adobe Stock Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Last week, I wrote about the way people online and white legacy media responded to Angela Bassett’s very real reaction to being snubbed by the Oscars for the second time in her long and storied career. 

While most people understood the points I made, a very specific subset of white people showed up to ask me why I made it about race. 

We get this question any time we speak about our experience as Black people in this country. The very people who benefit from the social and power construct of race always want to know why those who are marginalized by it talk about it. Don’t believe me? Read the comments on this post on my personal website. 

Not only does a white man named Luther come to argue with me about how white people also experience racism (they don’t), but he goes on to make the assertion that he doesn’t see any point in getting into the “semantics” or “hard distinctions” between the terms “racism,” “bigotry,” and “prejudice.” 

And as a white person who is shielded by whiteness, he doesn’t have to. He doesn’t have to consider the very real implications of it all because they don’t impact him in the same way they impact marginalized groups. 

I was having this discussion with theGrio columnist Michael Harriot, and he pointed out how upset white people got when Issa Rae said she was “rooting for everybody Black,” and it’s because they make everything about race — while simultaneously claiming it’s what we do. 

He asked, “Do you know how obsessed with race you must be to believe white people are the best actor, actress, director, writers, and producers 95% of the time?

“Black people created rock, jazz, hip-hop and every form of American music,” he added. “You’d have to be…

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