When you’re exhausted from debating race with strangers, they step in
By Cassandra Santiago and AJ Willingham, CNN
Updated 9:27 AM ET, Wed December 6, 2017
(CNN) Social media conversations on race typically take one of two routes.
The first, and the one less traveled, leads to a thoughtful, fact-driven exchange of ideas. The second (more popular) route leads to bitter back-and-forth filled with tired stereotypes or racially inflammatory barbs.
But now, when discussion swerves in the second direction, there’s a group of white allies prepared to do the rerouting.
White Nonsense Roundup is a social media watchdog group with about 100 white volunteers. Its goal: to relieve people of color from the emotional labor of engaging with a person’s racist or racially insensitive thoughts.
Say, a person of color makes a post about Black Lives Matter. Then others respond with ignorant or offensive comments. That person can tag White Nonsense RoundUp to snatch some edges — or, better put, to educate people with context and fact-based views.
Think of it like roadside assistance for social media debates you’re tired of having.
“It’s really unfair that we expect people of color to experience racism, but then also explain it to us,” the group’s co-founder Terri Kempton, a book editor and college instructor, told CNN. …
“I thought, ‘What about if we take on some of that emotional labor or burden?’” Kempton said. “Because white people are responsible for talking to other white people about racism.”
One of them is Kevin Tillman, an educator in Oakland, California, who says he uses the service almost every day. Tillman, 40, is a leader in the vegan hip-hop movement and often encounters trolls online. …
“I feel strong enough and have felt strong enough to have conversations about race on my own. But I was getting tired,” she said. “When I saw the (White Nonsense RoundUp) post, that’s when I was like, ‘Phew, finally somebody white who gets it … someone willing to carry the burden of racism.’”
I don’t think this is a parody …