Color Outside the Lines: When it’s too much

Hello and welcome to Color Outside the Lines, a weekly discussion space for people of color.

Thread Rules

  1. We ask that only those who identify as people of color participate in this discussion. White Avocados, while valued members of this community, should remain in ‘lurk’ mode.
  2. Shaming and hateful speech are unacceptable.
  3. Please keep potentially traumatic content safely behind spoiler tags.
  4. Nobody on this thread is more or less a person of color than anyone else. (We will not set clearly delineated boundaries on who qualifies as a ‘person of color.’ As a starting point, this thread uses the definition of ‘non-European heritage of sufficient prominence to affect one’s navigation of a society built on white normativity.’ However, we recognize that there are identities which skirt either side of the divide. If people feel that they meaningfully experience the identity of being a person of color, then they are welcome to participate.)

1) The term ‘people of color’ encompasses a broad range of experiences. We are not a monolith. Therefore, we ask that participants respect each other’s experiences during the discussion, and refrain from promoting one particular experience as being more true to our shared identity as people of color. Furthermore, we ask that participants attempt to voice their own experiences as opposed to generalizing on behalf of the community as a whole. Of course, there are some exceptions. Participants are welcome to interrogate how shared experiences like marginalization help to forge common bonds within our community, but please remain courteous towards others in doing so. 2) We ask that participants remind mindful of the following: we would like to keep this space as safe from white privilege as possible. Even people of color can help to perpetuate systems of white privilege. For example, people who enjoy passing privilege may not understand the experience of being a visible minority. What people of one ethnicity know about people of another ethnicity might operate through the proxy of whiteness. We simply ask that a conscious effort is made to acknowledge white privilege. Likewise, we ask that visible minorities consider the unique challenges of passing privilege when posting. Again, we are only asking that participants keep this in mind while commenting.


The Prompt

If I had to choose a theme for the way the past week has played out for me, it’d be oscillation. I’ve openly freewheeled between emotions and motivation: rage, numbness, need to scream, need to do nothing, need to cry, need to laugh, need to be surrounded, need to be alone, and on and on. I’ve processed through talking incessantly and logging off completely. I’ve felt this week is just one more notch in a seemingly never-ending pattern and perhaps the potential, no matter how small, for a tipping point. I’m both tired and fired up. I’ve openly mocked and laughed at people whining over corporate looting and gotten incredibly angry as white people who have no problem telling me and other black people–and people in color in general–how to protest or how to talk or what we can and cannot say, only to turn around and act like an ally now that it’s trending, despite being part of the problem in ways both large and small. As I’m writing this, I’m currently under curfew (at 8:00 fucking pm), tired from a protest–knowingly putting myself in a crowd and potentially exposing myself to Ms. Rona, and having just received news that someone is in jail.

Please use this space in whatever manner benefits you most today.