I couldn’t clap enough for your response. You covered it ALL to include the kitchen sink. You get it, and I appreciate how thoroughly you detailed the nuances and layers of crossing lines. How you feel is the same way people of color feel every day when we come into the worlds of those in power. The consequences for crossing the line is different most times. He who holds power influences/dominates/controls the culture (i.e. colonialism)
And your British guy is absolutely out of touch if he thinks people of color aren’t seeing him as the colonizer, ESPECIALLY Haitians. His people (and the US) are the reasons the nation is so poor, and why the god forsakened place literally can’t get a break.
How could he be oblivious to that fact?
There isn’t hardly a person of African, Asian, or Spanish descent who doesn’t see Brits/Anglo-saxons, or Whites in this manner. While most of these groups may not know the history or have the vocabulary to articulate what Whiteness has done to them personally, they all have negative stories to share about White people unless they grew up assimilated or isolated. Colonialism has touched/harmed too many cultures, languages lands, and people for persons of European descent not to know this. Not knowing is a lack of social awareness and emotional intelligence, and comes from living insulated and sanitized in White privilege.
Even if a white person suffers violence or theft in our communities at the hands of people of color, we don’t want that smoke because it’s not going to end well for us. We don’t want to give the police another reason to violate our persons. So again, the worry is a non worry. The scenario is used frequently to scare White people and to keep us divided and it works lol.
I loved, loved, loved your synopsis on what happens when White people come into Black and Brown communities. They can’t simply enjoy/partake and leave it the way they found it. There is always something wrong with our communities and they either need total punishment (via economic disinvestment) or gentrification (buy cheap, sell high, making our places “better". Yes, White/European folks need to learn how to enjoy our spaces and leave. Most people of color can’t afford to live like Whiteness. Literally, it’s killing us.
It’s actually killing Whiteness and the earth too, they are just too foolish/ignorant to realize it. A reality tv show would be great to teach White people about themselves, but it would be so controversial that it would set the world on fire. We need that like we need water. Thank you for your response. It’s the best and I feel blessed to have such an awesome, emotionally intelligent readership. It makes having hard conversations like this possible.