“Mansplaining” was so 2016. Half way through 2017, the Huffington Post is peddling a new complaint to add to the American lexicon: “Whitesplaining.”
HuffPo’s “social justice blogger,” Jade Greear, explains this new offense.
“Have you ever had an experience where someone is explaining to you, in a patronizing way, something you actually already know quite a lot about?” she asks. “Possibly about your own life experiences as an African American or Latino? That is whitesplaining—to explain or comment on something in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner, from the perspective of the group one identifies with, thereby clearly exhibiting their own bias.”
Greear says that while “whitesplaining” can be well-intentioned, it is inherently subjective. It perpetuates racism, she argues, precisely because “racism is not subjective.”
“My life experiences and oppression—my truth as a 19-year-old black woman—cannot be invalidated because of the inability of someone with privilege to see it,” she writes.
Greear cites a few examples of “whitesplaining,” referencing issues where she apparently feels white people have no right to weigh in. It was “not only condescending [but] particularly harmful,” she says, when TV hosts weighed in on Colin Kaepernick’s protests, or when “self-professed political pundits whitesplain[ed] why blacks should have voted for Trump.”
She adds: “Whitesplaining perpetuates white privilege, which fuels racism and only serves to erode the progress we have made in the fight for racial equality in America.”
By that line of reasoning, any dispute with Greear’s opinions, which are rooted in her impenetrable personal experience, are not only illegitimate; they’re actually racist. Instead of civil discourse, she demands deference.