Next Time, Maybe Just Don’t

Retired Portland Police Officer Don DuPay replying to a tweet of mine about sexism in the NBA
  1. “Well behaved women seldom make history,” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich says. Women are constantly told that our behavior is unacceptable because we live in a world that gives everyone permission to tear us down — even each other. Oftentimes the same behavior that makes a man a “bold leader” makes a woman a “cold bitch.” People who critique every move a woman makes would rather that we just STFU and don’t try to change the world.
  2. Bernice King said it best, on her own Twitter account last week: not everyone will like you and that’s okay. The people who don’t like you might be loud, but they’ll never outnumber the people who are indifferent toward you and they’ll never be as important to you as the people who love you. Make it a conscious choice (or in some cases, a daily practice) to focus on building a community that supports you and to ignore the haters. I understand some people have perfectly legitimate reasons not to like me: I’ve been opinionated for decades and like all humans, I’ve made mistakes and even hurt people, for which I’m sorry. But even hating me doesn’t give you the right to abuse me.
  3. Being a white woman willing to take on white supremacy means opening yourself up to the vitriol of people who are not willing to do this work. Being a woman, it’s easier for people to lambast me for believing we can tackle structural racism than it would be if I were a man. But as James Baldwin said, “White people know very well one thing… They know they would not like to be Black here.” For all the flack people throw at me, it isn’t even a fraction of a percentage of the hatred Black people get for standing up for civil rights and demanding an end to white supremacy. I try to keep that perspective when people choose me as their target. Better me than the Black and Indigenous people whose lives are threatened by extrajudicial and state-sanctioned violence and killings.

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