Racial Discussion Fatigue Syndrome (#RDFS)
RDFS is a REAL thing! Wasn’t sure how to wrap words around what I was feeling and then I stumbled across a video from Akilah that summed up my feelings! Over the last 3 months, I have experienced it a few times. The worst of it when I was hurt by family members and then with all the conversations I have had around the murders of black men and unrest that our country is facing.
It is exhausting to try to explain to people that I am not crazy, being oversensitive, and that my voice matters, is valid, and is based in fact. It is draining to try to convince people, who are dead set that you are “making everything a race issue” or “you are playing the victim”, that they are being intolerant and close-minded.
I don’t care that you “know black people” or you have a black friend! That doesn’t change the issues or make you not blind. Black people are not tokens or crutches. Basing your character and actions off of the strength of who you are friends with doesn’t change who you are or what you believe on a deep (conscious or subconscious) level. Not to mention that people befriend people they hate for ulterior motives every day! It is unreal how often I hear this as a defense statement.
The same people who have never been mistreated because of the color of their skin are the most insensitive. Just because they have never experienced mistreatment it makes it really hard for them to even imagine a narrative of someone else experiencing it at such a high frequency. People who quite frankly don’t even have a dog in the fight or two feet to stand on to tell the next person they are wrong! The truth of the matter is I am tired of being forced to eat my feelings on a daily basis so that I won’t be viewed as the angry black woman, uneducated, or ____________ (insert colloquium here).
The same people who are so quick to throw the “angry black woman” term around don’t even realize that it is pure propaganda and stereotyping which has been indoctrinated that they are continuing to push. It is sad to live in a society that deems even your feelings to be wrong, unattractive, and disruptive. My feelings deserve to be and will be heard and appreciated just like the next person. I am making a promise to myself that I will not be censored anymore. That I will not accept the notion that ” it’s sad that you feel that way but shut up about it.” <–Yes, this was a message received in no uncertain terms.Yes, I am a black woman that gets angry at unfair treatment and injustice, but I am not an angry black woman. I’m actually quite the contrary :-)!
I don’t say all this just to cause an uproar. I say all this to say that I will be a part of the solution by calling out wrongdoing and using my voice to have open conversations with mature adults (I am not wasting any more of my time talking to unwilling people). I am not going quietly. Why? Because ignoring the race, inequality, and systematic oppression issues make them worse not better. Not talking about it and acting like it is a thing of the past is dangerous. That is the equivalent of having cancer and saying if I don’t talk about it, it will go away and I will be healed! Nope, it doesn’t work like that. You have to attack it with a vengeance the minute you are aware of it.
Don’t fall into despair! Don’t let racial discussion fatigue syndrome get the best of you! I know in difficult times things can sometimes feel hopeless. I thank God that feelings are not fact! In one of my previous post Racism Is Real: My Christian Response To The Issues, I give words of encouragement and a positive perspective that will help you to stay victorious during such turbulent times. For more actionable steps check out Awesomely Luvvie’s post.
The tough, real, raw, and transformational conversations have to happen. Be brave and keep pushing forward. When it starts feeling like too much, step back and fill yourself back up with all the great things this life has to offer. God always uses His voice and appoints leaders to be the voice of people for direction, correction, and progression. Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
Photo Credit: Defender Network