A report by the UK ‘s Telegraph today revealed that Oxford University has published some guidelines for students on how to recognize a terrible microagression: avoiding eye contact with minority students. Because we know people with darker skin than you can’t understand that you might just be shy, having a bad day, or have social anxiety; they will take it personally which leads to the worst of possible outcomes. Hurt feelings.
Oxford University’s Equality and Diversity Unit explains in its Trinity term newsletter that “some people who do these things may be entirely well-meaning, and would be mortified to realise that they had caused offence.
“But this is of little consequence if a possible effect of their words or actions is to suggest to people that they may fulfil a negative stereotype, or do not belong”.
The article is critical of this newsletter, quoting the University of Kent’s Dr. Joanna Williamson who says “[e]ssentially people are being accused of a thought crime”. YES! That is the most heinous of crimes, to think against progress. Saying you mean well is not taking responsibility for inherent white racism. And it’s not hard to see how this is directly related to Trump. Here is just one of many examples of not-my-President doing that very thing:
Look how Trump averts his gaze while Dr. Ben Carson is talking to him. IT. MAKES. ME. SICK. The alt-right Neo-Nazi Zionists are following in his footsteps. Furthermore, this is someone he knew and had spoken with several times. To show such disrespect to a passing stranger is maddening, let alone one of your own cabinet members.
Avoiding eye contact is certainly a failure to recognize your white privilege, at best. But if you look too long, you’re in trouble again. The Guardian is wise to remind us of the ‘white gaze’. Here is another thing for white people to rightly hate themselves for. If you’re not familiar, the white gaze “traps black people in white imaginations.” It makes drug dealers feel guilty for committing crimes, and absent fathers remorseful for abandoning their children. Staring too long is so hurtful, but also never look away.
Featured Image: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/26/ben-carson-to-donald-trump-stop-calling-hillary-clinton-a-bigot.html