OhCAE, y’all. I’m just gonna sum this one up before I really get into it. Sometimes you just have to let people live in their reality.
I know it’s annoying when people hold certain beliefs, but you have to know those thoughts come from somewhere. And sometimes you just have to be content with living contrary to their beliefs.
Octavia Spencer’s character, Dorothy Vaughn, in Hidden Figures was undoubtedly my favorite. Not only was the epitome of “Each one reach one” with her refusal to take a promotion if her whole squad couldn’t come because she took it upon herself to teach them what she taught herself.
But she also didn’t have a problem letting people just live with their thoughts.
Mrs. Mitchell said to her “You know, Dorothy, despite what you may think I have nothing against y’all.”
Dorothy stops mid stride turns around and with a gentle smile she responds, “I know. And I know you probably believe that.”
But seriously though, Dorothy’s response just sits with me. It’s exactly how I want to respond every time I hear a white person say “I’m not a racist but…” Like… Yes, you are but I’ll just let you live because white supremacy and anti-Blackness are so tightly woven into the fabric of our global society that people think their sentiments are normal. They believe that they’re one of the good ones because they’ve never physically harmed anyone. They have no idea how their unwillingness to see how they’ve participated in blocking opportunities for POC and all of their other microaggreessive acts are racist.
Let people live with their delusions. Provide the counternarrative with your life.