I am writing parts of my preliminary dissertation work on “colorblindness” and the denial of white racialized consciousness in the vegan and animal rights movement. I am at a point where I’m looking for narratives of POCS experiences of “discomfort” at AR or vegan events of any kind, due to the climates in which they are “the only one” (or one of the only ones). I’m looking for some narratives (a paragraph or two would suffice, but longer would be cool to) of how you feel in these situations and why. I would like to know if I can use these examples in my dissertation work. These experiences can also be experiences of being “the only POC” on online forums of AR or Veganism in which “whiteness as the norm” is replaced with “colorblindness”, as your experiences don’t have to be confined to physical spaces of AR and Vegan engagement. I’m also interested in POC vegans/AR folk experiencing covert and overt racist, “Eurocentric”, or “white privileged” centric statements and how that has made them feel during AR or Vegan oriented events. I am wondering if people would be willing to share such emotionally frustrating and hurtful moments online. If you are a white ally on here but have experienced friends of color expressing their discomfort, hurt, etc to you in these events, I’d like to hear it as well.
My work is driven by Sarah Ahmed, Frantz Fanon, Joy Degruy Leary, George Yancy… POC philosophers and who are concerned with who emotionally hurtful and incapacitating the ongoing stresses of living “non-white bodied” in a “white world” can be the the minds and physical health of POC.
I can share right now that I constantly feel uncomfortable– not just in predominantly white bodied AR and vegan spaces- but in just about ALL predominantly white bodied spaces. But, I feel even more frustrated in instance when I’m participating in an experience that SHOULD be linked to radical ways of thinking about social justice. What hurts the most is that when I try to express it, I am made to feel like it’s “all in my head”. My experiences of emotional pain, shortness of breath because of anxiety in these situations, rising blood pressure are MY PROBLEM. It is “individual” and not a symptom of structural and institutional inequalities.
The purpose of my paper is overall to try to explain the need for racial healing on all levels– including in organizations and events that are supposedly involved in “liberal progressive” social justice activities. The paper is to approach racialized trauma (for both “colonizer” and “colonized”) with compassion and attempts to make the “invisibility” of “whiteness” — and the ongoing emotional stresses that come with this for many POCs– VISIBLE in a way that is not necessarily “white guilt producing” but “white awareness and reconciliation and healing” producing.