Why are you so sensitive?

We’ve all met them. Those Chinese people who revel in their moral superiority and belief that simply by saying they are not racist, that means they are not. And that means that whatever racist thing they say that you are offended by just means you’re the sensitive one.

You say…

“Not being racist is not some default starting position. You don’t simply get to say you’re not a racist; not being racist is a constant, arduous process of unlearning, of being uncomfortable, of eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating. It’s probably hard to start that process if you’ve been told that every thought you have is golden and should be given voice, and that people who are offended by what you say are hypersensitive simpletons.”

I’m not racist but…

There’s a lot of this going around. “I’m not racist but..” and this is usually followed by racist words. This is a variation on the theme. This is the one where they say “I’m not racist but I’m just not attracted to brown skin/Malays or dark skin/Indians.” This is not acceptable. You have to push these people to ask WHY they are conditioned to believe so.

You say…

“Attraction is not just about a feeling. It’s a heavily mediated experience and part of an industry that pumps billions into creating images of what women should look like. It can be hard to decipher what you are attracted to versus what you have internalized as attractive. This goes for both how we see ourselves and how we see others, and it leaves a lot of room to fester for some really messed up ideology about size, race, and sexuality. Chinese standards of beauty get conflated with romantic ideals and create ideas of what romantic femininity should look like, all serving to uphold a certain standard of beauty. This impacts our self-esteem, the kind of energy we put out there, the types of people that are drawn to us, and ultimately who we end up dating.”

(Adapted from) Samhita Mukhopadhyay