Facebooking While Black: White Privilege in Private Messages #thatprivtho

really kanye

I had no idea how to title this post…It’s not 100% relevant…but this one made me giggle so I kept it… It was going to be “Happy MotherF**king Black History Month” ….but…… Anyway…..

I lost a few friends (well not real friends, e-friends and some from millions of years ago) shortly after I started FitNoire. I got messages asking “Hey, is FitNoire only for black people?” And I explained that the site is there for anyone to consume but yes, my target audience is black women, and all the writers, and images there will be reppin the melanin. Apparently that means we should no longer speak to each other. (They must not realize my cousins are missing from Shape, Oxygen, Fitness, Self and um…ALL the fitness mags and websites….and everything else..ever.) 

nene leakes really

Whatevs. Luckily most of my non-black Facebook friends and real life friends and colleagues “get it” and think the site is a kickass idea…. because it is.

So, yesterday I posted two race-related Facebook statuses. One a personal situation, over a link to someone’s thinkpiece about Beyonce’s performance and the racially charged backlash it’s getting, and the other, a more….direct piece (written by someone else) about the idiocy of comparing KKK to BPP. (Now, BPP was far from perfect, but let’s not dare compare the two…ever.)

My majority Blacktina (black and latina) friends list came out in full force to laugh with me about the posts and commiserate about the general racial foolywang going on. (And of course there was a commenter or two trolling because the priv compelled them to…)

My chat/PMs though, had a different theme. I received messages that I wont even bother to share for you here because….ignorance. And my friends list dropped down by a few.

idris head turn

However, none of the dissenting white “friends” posted publicly. They all chose to privately message me with their “i’mnotracistbut” and “ididn’tknowyoufeltthatway” foolishness. Some even posting videos of cooning self-hating white-identified black folks for me to watch. Like…seriously? I realized it was in private probably because they felt the folks commenting on my post would rip them an entirely new asshole. (And they prooobably would have)

But…they also probably felt that I wouldn’t.

I realized that in addition to the priv just seeping from every one of their pores, these people think I’m “safe.”

(SIDEBAR: Kinda like white folks thought Beyonce was “safe” before this Formation came out – and double sidebar: can we be real for a second, I do like the video, but this is the most diluted of ways Beyonce could have come into the Black social justice conversation, and people are up in arms… can you imagine if it was more direct…if she truly “fired shots” in a song, press conference or even tweets?…poor woman would be assassinated or something by now.)

Yes, I’m fun-loving Dani that likes to be silly…and plays too much. But I’m also not one you should try and come for. If you’re not ready to have a real conversation about a hard subject, and do so with an open mind….then boo boo, I’m just not the one.


White friends, I’m not sure why you do it. It could be because I don’t fill my timeline with race-related topics all day long and don’t blog about them often either, or maybe it’s because you knew me from some uber white school or job we attended together, or maybe it’s because I’m married to one of your cousins.

Not sure but listen. You listening? Please don’t let the white husband fool ya. I’m not Staceydashing up in here and my name is not Ravyn. (insert sturdy side eye here)

I didn’t want to be the person that goes back and forth on a facebook thread, but I realize why people do it now. Some folks just need to get cut with words sometimes.

That said….I’m no where near as eloquent as my friend-in-my-head Luvvie….so I’ll let her say what I’m feeling…it’s like she took all my thoughts and formed it perfectly in a way I couldn’t…. I would LOVE if you give it a read… realtalk, it’s kinda long, but worth it. So, so worth it.


And for the white friends who don’t know what to make of this…. Who see my and other folks timelines filled with pro-black ish, and calls for action, or even jokes trying to make light of what’s so harsh. Who look, and listen, and think. Who maybe internalize, ponder, and are brave enough to challenge your own thinking… You who realize, “hmmm maybe this isn’t my conversation right now, maybe if all these people are saying this one thing, I should stop talking and just listen, maybe there’s something valid here.” You who look around and realize, “oh shit, I don’t have any black friends…why is that?”

Or, “I only have one black friend and I don’t even really get her…maybe we should have a conversation…this is going to be hard but I’m going to try anyway”…. or notice that you don’t see any black people on your favorite TV show and at least stop for one second to wonder why….

Or take pause when you hear the term white privilege and google it instead of ignoring or denying it because you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth….You who stop to wonder, and truly think about WHY people who look like you are so upset about a damn song and halftime performance….and instead of inserting yourself in a conversation ignorantly, choose to go read, go research, go ask questions (where appropriate, because black folks don’t want to be your encyclopedia…just a tip)…. I effin salute you. You’re the real MVP these days.

OMG two race related pieces in one week. Who am I? Mamademics?

kanye shrug

I’ll be back to the koombaya ish tomorrow. 🙂



  1. says

    Our white hubbies be throwing fools for a loop don’t they. I don’t post stuff like that either and Wish to gawd I could express how I’m feeling better as Luvvie and you did but I need to sit a bunch of folks that don’t get it and set them straight. Loves this and will be sharing!!!

  2. Tiff says

    Welp. Dang. Ummm. Whoa. Two snaps. And all of that jazz. I won’t even comment on how many of my colleagues have asked me about the Beyonce performance. Societyu is slow.

  3. says

    This was EVERYTHING… I am that person who lost thos folks a long time ago because i do post many race-related and politcal posts and not too many come my way for fear of a revolution up my sleeve. We are all different and all those clueless and angry whites who think the ones who may not say somethi g in mixed company are safe are getting rude-ass awakenings. I love this post and love u too girl! Yes, this needed to be said.

  4. says

    Works for me and I love the private messages. I’ve gotten more than one too. It’s like we’re not like “them” , those other people on our friends list. We’re “special”.

  5. says

    I was in here like yes Ok, Dani. Tell it. I can’t believe it’s still not okay for us to represent what and who we are. As you mentioned there’s lack of representation across the board. I’m sorry that you pursuing your dream and bring your fitness goals to life brought out such ugliness. The struggle is real! I love that you brought it to light and spoke on it.

  6. Michsi says

    Listen, white folks are so afraid that it won’t be all about them. They are shivering because tv commercials are in Spanish, and Tylenol bottles. They are upset that people of color are flooding their Tv’s and winning awards in the arts and entertainment. If everything isn’t catered to them, I’ve seen them personally cry racism. It’s actually getting really pathetic. We have some representation, but like you said these fitness mags don’t feature us, and the damn sure don’t feature women of all body types. They don’t even show progress of fat women on these sites or magazines. It’s actually pretty annoying,

    So this was just in line with people’s white non-sense.

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