Sh*t people say to other people

I have been thinking a lot about this whole youtube phenomenon that seems to have exploded recently.  I watched the “Shit white girls say to black girls” about a week ago and it definitely struck a chord with me.  I’m a white girl and I can, (sadly), admit that I am guilty of saying some of that shit at one time or another to my black girl friends, (and, let’s face it, probably my Indian friends, Latina friends, etc.).

This self realization has been really embarrassing.  I never thought of myself as being guilty of such ignorance.  “But I studied Anthropology in school!  I try to be conscious of other people’s feelings!  I constantly try to be politically correct!”  Watching this video has made me start to question myself and look a little bit harder at the things I say.

On one hand, this kind of reflection can start to feel crippling.  When you think a lot about cultural sensitivity, you could start to question everything, especially the things you find perfectly normally to say to and ask other people.

On one hand I feel really ashamed and afraid that I could be guilty of saying something that would frustrate or anger someone and not even realize it.  On one hand it makes me want to crawl into a hole and not come out until I have read as many books as I can on political correctness.

On the other hand, I think this could be the start of something extremely interesting.  This sensation has brought a lot of things out in the open that weren’t said out loud, comfortably, before.  And to be honest, as embarrassed as I might be for saying silly and ignorant things, I now feel more empowered and educated on what makes people comfortable and what doesn’t.

The collision of these worlds may cause tension, but I think if  we’re open to it, there’s a lot we can learn about each other.  I don’t want to keep making the same mistakes, I’d rather correct them and carry on.  Like if I had something in my teeth, it’s embarrassing, but it’s best if someone points it out.  That way, I pull out my mirror, find it, get rid of it, and continue with my life.

So, what I’m saying is, thank you very much, “chescaleigh,” for helping me to be a little bit more conscious of what’s coming out of my mouth.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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