2020年1月25日 星期六

Should I Tell My Aunt That Her Costume Is Racist?

She dressed up as a person of color.

My mother and my aunt are white neoliberal Democrats who are pretty set in their ways. I have struggled my entire life to confront them and the rest of my family about the way they treat me, and whenever I’ve gotten up the nerve to say something, they dismiss me and continue as they were. Because of this, I don’t feel comfortable discussing politics with a lot of my relatives. Topics like Israel and
 Palestine, institutional racism and L.G.B.T. issues all break down into circular conversations in which I have to defend my more-left-wing stances, which they regard as idealistic and childish. While my relatives respect that my views are changing as I learn and grow, they’ve never been challenged by a person from my generation before.

Today, my aunt sent me a selfie. In it, she is dressed in a “costume” portraying a person of color. I’m reluctant to divulge the person’s name, as I think my mother and aunt both read this column. I have tried to explain cultural appropriation to my family before, but they think I’m oversensitive. I also have a sneaking suspicion that, because we’re white, my family doesn’t think I need to be considering these points about race at all. Do I owe it to my aunt to explain that her costume is racist?

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