One of the things that I've found is irritating about substantive online discourse in the blogosphere and beyond is how race and white privilege rears its ugly head in the middle of it at inopportune times.
If a Black person (or any POC) on a mixed race blog states an opinion that doesn't neatly line up with white groupthink on an issue, they are immediately challenged to prove it, provide links to it, loudly denounced as being 'racist' or the person is viciously personally attacked in order to divert attention from the original subject matter being discussed.
The same hue and cry for accuracy doesn't exist when a white person states their opinion on an issue. It's just taken as a given that it's correct, it's grounded in logic and reason and 'errbody's' supposed to accept with without debate even if it resembles barnyard feces.
The problem is that Whites and Blacks live in vastly different worlds. Black people grow up in a world in which we constantly confront racism and its deleterious effects on our lives. Whites grow up in one in which they live enveloped in that white privilege cocoon. Even if a white person transitions or is GLBT, they still carry with them white privilege as they are discriminated against and reviled by their fellow whites.
Therefore, it's illogical for example, a white feminist to say that you know what it's like to be a black woman' because you're not even though there are some things about womanhood that cross cultural and ethnic lines. But even I'm cautious about saying that line even though I've been transitioned for over a decade and probably have more credibility if I said it than you ever will.
We aren't even close to being a 'post-racial' society either. The election of President Obama and 40 years of post civil rights legislation did not magically erase the 400 plus years of racist attitudes that buttressed slavery and we never addressed post emancipation.
Those attitudes are so insidious that even if you think that you're not being offensive, there are times that the racism oozes into your statement and you're not aware of it until a POC calls you on it.
And don't even get me started on that BS race card meme or the your civil rights struggle is 'just like ours' because it isn't.
Just because POC's are bluntly expressing an opinion that happens to be diametrically opposed to yours, it doesn't make us 'angry'. If we're pissed, there will be no doubt about that because we'll definitely let you know when we are.
Too many times when POC bloggers write about various issues, some peeps get defensive about it. As one of my fave bloggers Renee says, 'If it ain't about you, don't make it about you.' If you don't exhibit the behaviors we're complaining about, then don't take it personally.
Even though online discourse can be maddeningly frustrating at times, they are also sorely needed conversations to help foster understanding as to just how deeply entrenched and pervasive these racist attitudes are in our society.
But if both sides approach them in a spirit of Kingian love, an open mind an a willingness to listen to thoughts and opinions which may uncomfortably challenge some core assumptions you've held about some issues, we'll all be better for the experiences.