Why white people are quiet about nazis.

I'm obviously not a spokesperson for white people but being critical of the conditioning of whiteness is important to dismantle white supremacy. So I'm gonna take a shot at why there are so many white people not speaking up today... against nazis. There is no nuance here. Nazis.

1) We know exactly who will respond and we "don't want to deal with it." It's our uncle or old classmate or coworker or spouse. It's our friend we like but probably only recently realized is a bigot because we never talked about it. Who we tell ourselves isn't "that bad" or "just doesn't know better." It's the debate we don't want to delve into. (Read: We would rather sit quietly than confront racists in our lives because racism doesn't pose a threat to us personally and arguments are uncomfortable).

2) We don't believe social media does anything. Or speaking up in any way, actually. Better not to rile anyone up if it's not working anyway. (Read: We would rather tell ourselves our voices don't matter than ruffle feathers in any way).

3) We want to keep things "positive." It's a huge bummer to think about pesky things like racism. We genuinely believe that systemic racism will disappear if we all keep saying "love and light." (Read: We have the privilege to not face racism as a barrier and danger in our daily lives and believe this is true because of our attitudes and not white supremacy).

4) We are still stuck on semantics. Like what IS wrong with all lives matter? Why isn't reverse discrimination an important topic too? We have so many questions that aren't answered. (Read: These questions and the entire issue of racism matter so little to us that we haven't even bothered to do a google search to read one of the hundreds of articles available on just about any question we might have. We don't for a moment appreciate the amount of emotional energy that has already been expended by countless people explaining these things by actually reading up on them. So we bring them up on days like today, when nazis are marching, to detract from the issue at hand).

5) We stay out of "controversial issues" because we have businesses to protect. It's not "on brand." (Read: We probably have racist customers and we shouldn't have to lose them even though our whiteness was a part of why they came to us to begin with. It's not fair we should have to lose those racist dollars).

6) It's "not our thing." (Read: Standing against nazis is not a priority or interest of ours. We don't care).

7) We are still in shock. (Read: We have lived such homogenous lives that racism surprises us).

If these don't apply to us as individuals, we can be an exception to the above. Be a person who gives someone else a glimmer of freaking hope that not all white people are just waiting for an invitation to bust out their tiki torch. It is important and useful to look at these patterns, and to stand against them instead of insist they don't apply to us.

This is not directed at anyone in particular so if it's ringing personal, that is a useful signal to do some digging of your own. If we literally cannot get in agreement on "Nazis are bad," I'm not sure where to begin.

We can google our questions. We can share others' words if we don't have our own. We can face the discomfort of standing up to the people in our lives. We can put our money where our mouths are by being clear on where we stand, always. We can stop supporting businesses complicit with white supremacy in their silence. We can act like our children's lives are in the balance, because some folks don't have the option to pretend theirs aren't.