When It Comes To Ending Racism, Most White People Can’t Focus
White people have R.A.D.D (Racism Attention Deficit Disorder), intentionally losing focus on their roles in upholding White Supremacy. It’s one way they avoid addressing racism, and they’ve perfected it.
For most Black people, our issues evolve around social, systematic, and institutional racism. No matter how much evidence we provide on systemic racism against Whiteness, White people will find some insignificant side issue to make the point they want to make, invalidating victims of racism if not muting their points altogether.
White people work wonders, muddying subjects involving racism with anything they can to avoid having a discussion of race, which is currently deemed a public health crisis for us. They must have a school for that shit. They will find any, and I do mean any reason, to not address racism. If they aren’t trying to tell us what we mean, they are trying to force their wills upon us or control our bodies and minds. It’s the most unbelievable shit to witness.
It’s damned near impossible for White people to change. The only thing White people will change is the subject to avoid discussing and ending racism. Changing their ways, changing their thinking, listening and comprehending racism from victims, and addressing problems head on are not their concern unless it’s fashionable like this past summer’s with Black Lives Matter protests. Black people are out here screaming and stomping in the streets telling White people what the hell is wrong, and what do they do? They tell us what we meant to say and create a new damned slogan for us.
White folks changed the subject, shifted attention away from the problem, centered on Whiteness, and made the problem about systems instead of Black people. Others have moved on, thinking the threat to their freedom is over with the last election. For these folks, they don’t have the attention spans to change anything except a television channel. I like to call White folks’ inability to focus on matters of race, Racism Attention Deficit Disorder (R.A.D.D.). R.A.D.D is White folks’ limited attention span any matters relative to White Supremacy and racism and their hyperactivity about any and every nonsensical thing except controlling their racism is the official diagnosis many Black antiracists warriors have given White people, a diagnosis that comes from the National Institute for Genetic and Astronomic Superpowers (N.I.G.G.A.S). If you don’t know what this institute is, please see Black Twitter. It coincides with our superpowers we received on December 21st during the negrosolstice.
For White people and those not on Twitter, it’s a joke.
White folks seem to be always changing the conversation, centering whatever irrelevant, ancillary views they’ve deemed important to avoid addressing the point we Black folks want to talk about, and that’s racism.
They Intentionally Ignore Racism
I recently wrote a piece about medical racism and Dr. Fauci’s pleas specifically to Black people about our lack of interest in taking the Covid vaccine. White people never let us get to the front of the line in front of them for anything, and they never offer to help us without a motive, so Black folks are looking for the motive. Most of us Black folks aren’t buying the “we care about you now” line. We know White people. Fauci’s pleas skimmed over our concerns and went right to taking the vaccine so that White people can get back to doing normal business and not doing shit about racism in peak White folksiness. White folks’ attempt to sell the vaccine has been centered on the caring about our health. They’ve failed to realize racism will be around long after Covid is gone, and the financial, emotional, and mental impacts of racism harm us far longer than the pandemic. For Black folks, racism is the pandemic we’re most concerned about, and we’re the only ones worried about it.
One of my examples in my piece referring to medical racism and Black skepticism was a magazine article about an autism study about African Americans that has since been recanted. The story was about 6-years old, and I wasn’t aware the medical had recanted or disavowed it. I remember when it was released and doctors at my husband’s clinic were discussing it. I had no clue the data had been re-analyzed by researchers and the anti-vaxxers had been reprimanded, and how would if I’m not affiliated with any autism communities. Black people aren’t anti-vaxxers (myself included), were just suspicious of White people touching Black bodies because we know they don’t care about us. We also fear the medical community.
But for a lot of White commenters, reading the one or two lines in my piece sent them into a tizzy. They couldn’t focus on the racism in the essay because they were side-tracked on the irrelevant debunked MMR study example. Some White commenters even went as far as calling me an anti-vaxxer, knowing nothing about my health situation to know whether I had a legitimate reason for suspecting the vaccine to begin with. My piece was centered on the concerns of Black people, not the comfort of White folks. The number of White people who weren’t able to see the racism in any of their actions was astounding.
Most of the White readers completely ignored everything in the piece about the medical racism and the nation’s history of anti-Blackness honing in on the two sentences of the now recanted and irrelevant example, demonstrating how White people will intentionally muddy the waters to ignore racism. Some readers shared their personal experiences with vaccines, as if I’ve had no vaccines. I had chicken pox, and I had a chicken pox vaccine. I’ve had Tetanus shots too. My kids were also vaccinated. I’m not anti-vaccines, I’m anti racism, and racism is more of a threat to me than Covid most days. The White people discounting the entire piece to focus on the two sentences have R.A.D.D along with the White folks who read that and their take away was Black folks are anti-vaccinations. Trust me, we’re not. If you listened more, perhaps we could have productive conversations on race.
My essay was talking about racism in medicine, questioning why suddenly White people care about our health outcomes, and the lack of interests of the White healthcare community to do something other than overlook racism by practitioners. White readers were talking about something else altogether. I had countless links provided by “helpful” White readers redirecting me and other Black readers to info on the recanting of the study they’d deemed important.
Ask me how many of those concerned White commenters wanting to make sure we got “good,” vaccine info provided good links on plans to address anti-Blackness and antiracism in medicine?
Not a one. Not. A. One.
Us taking the Covid vaccine, or any vaccine, is all about White comfort, nothing more. Fuck our suffering, screw systemic racism, forget all about the American Medical Association apologizing for not addressing anti-Blackness and blatant racial discrimination about which explains the lack of Black physicians in healthcare today, and Black folks’ experiences with medical racism. White people in the comment section of my piece without realizing it revealed their extreme biases, their true motives, their insensitivity to Black voices and issues on race and systemic racism, and their inability to stay focused.
White folks’ R.A.D.D. is bad!
White folks have all the energy to snatch Black folks’ autonomy. They love correction. They love telling us what’s best for us, while in the same year telling us they’ll never know what it’s like to be us. White people think Black people should just shut up, trust them (the people who can’t address racism or control their own racist behavior mind you) throw our caution to the wind, and vaccinate ourselves to save White people again this year after we just saved their asses from self-imposed tyranny.
White people are probably the most ungrateful, disrespectful people on earth. They are the reason White Supremacy never ends. The lack of interests in understanding and ending racism and their inability to follow the winding road and turns of White Supremacy will forever prevent us all from living in a more ethical and compassionate society. White people intentionally ignore racism because it means they’d have to be uncomfortable.
White people aren’t concerned about Black people, they are concerned about themselves, and they’ll ignore anti-Blackness and racism if it means they get to remain comfortable. Changing subjects and decentering Black people is all about ignoring racism and recentering White people. It’s just more of the casual racism we endure every day, and it’s why we ain’t never outgrowing racism. No matter their ages, White people just aren’t vested in antiracism as Black people are.
White Folks Keep Misplaced Priorities
Let’ be honest. All White people care about is getting back to normal. They don’t have serious plans to address racism, because racism requires them to sacrifice, give up some things, and change. The expectation is that it’s our jobs to do the sacrificing for everyone. Black folks should do all the teaching and correcting. Clearly America believes it’s up to us to save this country and ourselves. We cannot be the priority, even when we try to make ourselves the priority, and White folks consciously and subconsciously work to make certain we Black folks’ priorities are misplaced. That’s the only way they can sustain White Supremacy and capitalism.
White folks’ incessant pushes for our compliance despite our concerns has been laid bare. Whether it’s getting a shot or voting, White people believe we our born to prioritize White people, and our mistreatment in the process concerns no one. Those days are over. Black people have gotten the memo. No one cares about us. Caring about Black people comes with conditions and limitations, and as soon as we center ourselves and our safety, White folks revolt. We don’t need conditional allyship. We need White people who can make us a priority and fight racism at the same time.
The fact White people blame us for not wanting the vaccine instead of the Chinese Province Wuhan (where the flu originated), Europe (for not closing their borders sooner and ending air travel into the U.S.), Trump (Black baby Jesus in a golden diaper where do I begin), White people (for being so gullible for Trump’s bullshit, for not following social distancing orders, for opposing mask ordinances and suggestions, bucking state closures early on, etc., or the government’s mostly White practitioners on the Coronavirus Task Force failing to honor their Hippocratic oaths to do no harm as they stood by and allowed Trump and his family to kill us highlights White folks’ inability to see racism and how it impacts our everyday life.
White voters aren’t blaming their collective for electing the most evil, incompetent fucking president in modern American history (beating out Dick Cheney, mind you), or White governors deciding to put business over people which is nothing more than Racism Attention Deficit Disorder.
White folks don’t blame Trump for making it impossible for us to get masks to stop the spread of Covid, or the Black Surgeon General telling Americans to stop buying masks. Instead, White folks are blaming me and other Black people for rightly not trusting the medical community or our federal government that has always been gunning for us. White folks choose time and time again to bully the victims of racism.
White folks’ priorities (and blame) stay misplaced.
No one cared about Black people during this pandemic until the help began dying and not wanting to take part in the economy anymore. America needs its most hated and least respected workers to keep the economy going. Without us, America collapses.
Black folks have always been expendable to America, and up until recently, they could afford to lose us. We have been invested in making America fair and fair for everyone, but America hasn’t reciprocated. Now, many Black folks no longer see themselves in the American dream. The fish scales are falling off the eyes of Black folks, and White folks are getting nervous. We’re all living a real life modern spread of disease here in America because White people have felt they had the right to do whatever they want, just like they have throughout history. White people are infamous for spreading diseases through Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, which is one reason many nations communities that have long histories with colonization are looking for ways to reduce the footprints of colonization. They’ve learned the hard way White folks will kill you and blame you for dying or being ill. There is nothing new under the sun, including how White folks’ memories work. Black folks in America are being singled out for it because White folks refuse to treat their R.A.D.D.
Fix racism, all of it, and we have no problems White people. There is a lot to do, and ya’ll have no time to lose focus. A race war is a brewing, one that White people started. An economy is collapsing because White men and women collapsed it. White lawmakers are breaking the very laws White people created to govern us, because we’re all learning laws and governance is really for non-White people, not Whites, and the institution of racism created by White people is at the center of it all.
Fix racism and you’ll fix America, so stay focused, White people. We ain’t going back to the way it used to be, ever. So any other side discussions that don’t include how you all are going to fix racism is a fucking waste of time and an insult to Black folks’ our intelligence. We know your hustle, and we your R.A.D.D. is intentional.
White folks’ inability to see the correlation to national systemic racism as the root of all Black folks’ problem and to stay focused on us long enough to solve racism is why racism will never end and why so many Black people have zero interests in trusting White people. White folks can’t gain our trust if they keep hurting us, and you damned sure can’t be respected if your solutions for solving social problems is to ignore the shit you’ve always ignored, blame the victims and talk over them. That’s bullying and abusers do it all the time to avoid taking responsibility for their behavior. That’s exactly how you don’t earn trust. It’s how your voices and opinions become mute.
Black folks don’t have time to go up and down trees to show White folks their racism and lack of focus, because we’re too busy preparing for White folks’ 2021 shittery. Either you get it by now, or you don’t.
With Racism, Trust Is Always The Real Issue,
Racism breeds untrustworthiness. Every time White people display their racism, regardless of whether the racism is consciously or implicitly, a red flag goes up for us. Those red flags are protecting us from getting our hopes high and our feelings hurt. Most Black people live their entire lives seeing the same things our parents, grandparents, great-grand parents experienced, even when we move to do what should be better settings, and we live and among White people. Black people have testimonies from Malcolm X, Dr. King, Frederick Douglass, and former slaves, both free and those enslaved. We keep checking in on White people waiting for change, and all we get are excuses and prompts to wait longer.
White people have the attention span to put a man fucking man on the moon, but they can’t fix racism. They had the time to invent automobiles to drive us from one coast of the country to the other, but they can’t fix racism. They had the time to create hybrid versions of fruits, flowers, dog breeds, and vegetables, but they can’t fix racism. White people had the time, energy, and focus to create systems and schemes to extract wealth from Black and poor people, but they can’t fix racism.
Where White people spend their time, energy, and attention shows what they care about most, and we know White people don’t care about ending racism. So save those lectures White people and focus your energy and attention on racism, White behavior, White pathologies tied to racism. If White people can’t do anything about their own behavior, how dare they lecture us about ours? If they are doing untrustworthy shit, how dare they insist we trust them? People when they feel protected and when they see change. White people asking Black people to not only trust with no evidence of change, but to ignore the past is untrustworthy, and no one should be second guessing themselves about it.
Trust is a personal choice, and White people don’t get the right to demand we trust them when they show us they can’t be trusted. Black folks might have been born one night, but it wasn’t last night.
Racism Is Not Our Fault, So Stay Focused
Let me make this clear. White folks created racism and they maintain White Supremacy, sometimes, we Black folks foolishly help. But the state of America is because of White people. They made this nation, and they’ve always had all the power. White people have all the authority. They make all the laws and they created this fatally flawed system. White people are at the top of the social hierarchy, and they influence everything that has anything to do with how we live. The buck stops with them. White folks choose not to focus on racism, because racism doesn’t affect them, they only feel the effects from racism when we rebel, march, or complain after decades/centuries of mistreatment. All that mistreatment led to the mistrust in the Black community today, and White people will need to take time and pay close attention to fix it, or not. At this point, we’re at the “have no more fucks to give” about White folks’ half-hearted, fair weather allyship efforts. We’re in self-preservation mode because we know we’re all we got.
White people will make everything and everyone the problem except White people and their racism Their R.A.D.D. works double-time, and is often used to absolve them of any wrongdoing, while aiding in disassociating White folks from the collective group of Whiteness altogether. I don’t care how many attempts White folk make to try to decenter us and their racism, I’m putting them right back on their squares. Their constant refocusing won’t work. Nice try though.
White People, Normalize Focusing Solely On Racism
Refocusing is taxing, and it wastes valuable time. We never move forward because we stay moving backwards. It’s the reason so many antiracism activists get so burned out or quit all together. White folks’ inability to stay focused on racism is like teaching little children to walk in a straight line. It’s ridiculous. For most Black folks, racism is the single most important issue, because it drives inequality. The two are married to us. For most White people, its not.
Racism is at the root of every problem this nation has, and we’re tired of White folks not having attention spans long enough to address it.
Racism is the problem, not Black people.
Racism is the problem, not Black people.
Racism is the problem, not Black people, the victims of the racism.
“It’s not hard at all to understand a person; it’s only hard to listen without bias.” ~ Criss Jami (Killosophy)
With racism, most White people have Racism Attention Deficit Disorder. Because of their inherent racism, it’s damned near impossible for them to listen to us without bias, which is why in my opinion racism will never end.
White people don’t have the desire or the mental stamina to stay focused on racism long enough to discuss it or address it, because there is nothing tangible in it for them in their view. If there is a straight line leading from the problems of racism and White Supremacy to their sources, you count on White people not to stay on the path that would take them to the root of the sources, because that’s too much like right (and they’d have to look in the mirror).
White comfort is all that matters, and how they achieve that comfort not of their concern. It means they’ll ignore us, deny our pain, change the subject, and push their personal agendas on us to achieve their personal goals, regardless of if we view them as racist. We Black folks and People of Color can’t continue to allow White people to decenter us and their racism. As long as we do, they will always change the subject or move on from subjects that focus on racism, which means we’ll never get change to ease our discomfort. It would also save our lives.
Changing subjects and ignoring victims of racism is racist. And if you want to know how wrong you are, listen to or read the comments of Black people. If you find your point is off point, you missed the mark. While we all make mistakes, recentering and changing subjects happens too much with White people for it to be accidental. It needs to be called out a lot more often. As we live through this soft coup, that’s looking more like a hard one more each day, never forget racism got us here.
Racism birthed birtherism, which led to Trumpism. Racism is the virus. Racism is America’s 500-year pandemic. White people did that. To blame Black people for anything linked to a pandemic, or the economy is to use us as a scapegoat, and we’re tired of being racist America’s scapegoat.
Black existence in America is about being frustrated because we cannot exist, and if you can’t understand our fears, frustrations, and trust issues without being insensitive, judgemental, or selfishly dismissive, you can’t be an ally. In fact, it’s probably best that you not be one.
Just be self or collective-centered, racist, and White. That’s safer for all involved.
The focus should always be on racism. Conversations by White people should always include racism and how it harms others, until its no longer a thing. And if it can’t be, don’t expect us to stop talking about it because you can’t or won’t. We want to address our discomfort the same way want to center yours.
White people changing subjects created by and about Black people and having short attention spans on matters of race shows their racism, and it needs to end.
But it won’t, because White people just don’t have the time or attention spans for that.
Marley K in Quarantine 2020, sick and tired of racism.
If you enjoyed this essay, you may enjoy these others related to racism, Black issues, and Black autonomy:
What Not Having Autonomy Looks Like For Black People
Black people aren’t as free as you think they are. Our bondage just looks different.