White People Whitesplain Whitesplaining


I’ve been on the receiving end of mansplaining, so I have some understanding of the general dynamic, if not the specifics. Honestly, this is one of my big concerns in researching and talking about diversity. I am happy to be a translator for as much understanding as I have to those who have not come to that point. But this is no way a license to steal the voices of those who experience racism every day.

It’s true that members of an oppressed group are not under any obligation to educate their oppressors. It can be awful on so many levels when someone turns to you and expects you to be the voice of [whatever] group. Yet not being given the opportunity to explain in your own words, and having well meaning members of the privileged group try and do that for you… Wow. A toxic concoction to swallow, indeed.



Seems that in order to tackle issues of racism, one needs a combination of awareness, social skills, and a willingness to stand up. Perhaps more importantly, we need to know when to shut up. Lack of listening is, after all, part of what got us here in the first place.


What I Mean…

Image of a person speaking into a can with a string coming out of the bottom.


  1. uttered clearly in distinct syllables.
  2. capable of speech; not speechless.
  3. using language easily and fluently; having facility with words: an articulate speaker.
  4. expressed, formulated, or presented with clarity and effectiveness: an articulate thought.
  5. made clear, distinct, and precise in relation to other parts: an articulate form; an articulate shape; an articulate area.
  6. (of ideas, form, etc.) having a meaningful relation to other parts: an articulate image.
  7. having parts or distinct areas organized into a coherent or meaningfulwhole; unified: an articulate system of philosophy.

When I have used the word “articulate” to describe someone, I’ve always meant that they can get their point across clearly and in a logically constructed manner (see 4, 5, and 7 above). Often I use it as a term of admiration for someone who has helped clarify and simplify my own thoughts on a complex subject. Through their vision, I add new language to my lexicon. Continue reading “What I Mean…”

Macklemore’s joyous, upbeat anthem marred by sexism, racial stereotypes of women of colour

Macklemore, amazingly outspoken proponent of marriage equality has dropped the ball. Minutes ago, his latest video, for “Downtown”, was posted on Facebook. I clicked, expecting something fun with a good beat. On that count, I was not disappointed. The music is fun, with a full and joyous sound, reminiscent of the era in which scooters and big, theatrical dance numbers were common. The colour palette of the cinematography supports the retro feel.

Something that should not be brought back from the past, however, is the idea that women are only good for eye and arm candy, and that black women are acceptable because “…I like a big girl, I like ’em sassy.”

Continue reading “Macklemore’s joyous, upbeat anthem marred by sexism, racial stereotypes of women of colour”

Redneck urges ‘white racial responsibility’ – and it’s brilliant

Just found this in a post titled “Redneck’s” viral video calls for whites to post their own “white racial responsibility” videos. Damn. It’s brilliant. Never thought I’d be so proud of a redneck from my country. Brought tears to my eyes.

Hope for humanity: cranked up about 10 notches.

Lurching toward equality

Is the glass half empty or or half full?

In discussing whether the world is improving or getting more awful every day, it’s quite common for people to state their belief in the latter. In part this is because it’s easier to begin a conversation from the common ground of what two or more individuals reject. Defining what we are not can be a much quicker path to camaraderie than defining what we are. Avoiding danger is a survival mechanism, the neural wiring of which leads us to give more weight to the negative despite realising that positive focus is better for long-term health and happiness. Continue reading “Lurching toward equality”