My habit of showing my humanity via having feelings, is routinely used by white people as ammunition to discredit anything I have to say.
By Shannon Barber
Don't call me angry when what you mean to say is: this Black person has full human emotions and I'm uncomfortable. Or if you mean: I feel personally slighted by a generalized statement because who is this Negro is telling me what to do. Don’t dehumanize me because you are uncomfortable with what I have to say.
Before we go further, for the official record, this is not me angry. I am sad. I am exhausted. I am not angry.
One of the downsides to being a writer in the age of the internet are reader comments and being accessible when someone feels some type of way. The function of this type of entitlement is that I am expected to give my time and energy freely, be nice, and show only the face of a Strong Black woman. Any sign of humanity, of emotions, or even simply saying, “no I don’t want to talk to you/further engage” enrages people who exercise this type of entitlement. There is a mix of righteous indignation that I have not made myself available that is mixed with disbelief and dismissal.
Often, people will go out of their way to find me, send me a private message where they explain to me what I've already said, explain how I've experienced my life experiences incorrectly, explain to me that my anger and aggression are too scary to be given space, how I personally am responsible for racism and sexism still existing – these are just a few of the nicer things. I won’t repeat the rape and death threats verbatim, nobody needs to see that.
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