Despite the continued shooting of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of police officers, a protected system of structural racism that red lines minorities out of livable neighborhoods, schooling and employment and the constant rallying cry dubbed “Black Lives Matter” that aims to combat this violence, White privilege is still taking a front seat in the media.
This week on Fox News’ The Five, hosts complained about their exclusion from a movement largely focused on saving Black folk, noting how “uncomfortable” it is to even discuss race with people of color.
From The Huffington Post:
“It is uncomfortable,” guest host Melissa Francis said, explaining why she’s become averse to discussing race issues amid the rise of #BlackLivesMatter. “Sometimes you feel like it’s hard to say anything right.”
Regular host Kimberly Guilfoyle took offense to the notion that white people might struggle to grasp the discrimination that black Americans face. “You’ve got to be inclusive,” Guilfoyle said. “I think it’s very insulting to say, ‘White people don’t understand.’ What are you talking about? You’re part of the problem then if you’re … speaking and labeling all white people, saying they don’t understand the issue or saying they can’t relate. That’s really not giving people much credit, is it?”
Interestingly enough, what both Francis and Guilfoyle fail to realize is that the movement has long welcomed the support of White allies who dare to confront the system that they inherently benefit from. Black Lives Matter, contrary to popular belief, is inclusive at its core.
But it’s not likely the hosts have any wish to become White allies — guest host Brian Kilmeade called the movement “an impossible situation,” complaining that he was tired of being blamed.
“We’re in an impossible situation,” Kilmeade lamented. “If you come up to us and say there was slavery in this country 220 years ago and white people did it and I hold you responsible, what do you want me, Melissa, Greg and Kimberly to say?” he said, naming the show’s other white hosts. “Number one, my relatives weren’t even here. My ancestors weren’t even here at the time.”
Here’s a suggestion — how about the hosts start by realizing that their comfort is contingent on the destruction of Black bodies and silence. No matter how well-intentioned, refusing to confront a system that supports and even celebrates the destruction of Black bodies and communities while it benefits White communities makes you guilty.
But considering that discussing race in any capacity makes these hosts “uncomfortable,” it’s likely they won’t understand just how insultingly whiney they sound.
SOURCE: Huffington Post, Fox News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty