Believe People of Color
Even before I became sick from Covid, I've been vey candid with my past experiences of racism. Be it incidents of racial profiling via policing or walking while black in the suburbs of Ohio. As I've shared these traumatic experiences, I have had the misfortune of experiencing this scenario below, in one form or another.
POC: "I had a really racist experience while at work. Even though this isn't my first experience it was hurtful."
Self proclaimed non racist: "Its possible that its not racism. I had a similar experience so I don't think it is racism. I know a POC who says they never experienced racism at work. So it's probably not racism. Every bad experience isn't racism."
****** ****** STOP! JUST STOP DOING THIS! **** ******
That impulsive response is rooted in white supremacy. Believing that your interpretation of a scenario has more credibility than the POC that experienced it, implies your reasoning trumps (pun intended) our social acumen. This behavior isn't solely from those who lean towards the right either. This is so engrained in our society that this occurs across all political spectrums.
White allies, PLEASE do the work and audit your interactions with people of color (would be great if you intervened when you saw others behaving this way as well). Reflect on why your first impulse is to dismiss clear admissions of hurt that POC are gracious enough to share, or you will find that less and less of us will consider you trustworthy enough to lay bare the hurt and even shame and even PTSD that comes with experiencing a racist encounter with you.