More often than not, people of color are forced to confront racism on their own, and these constant battles can quickly become draining.
So when an argument with a racist troll feels nearly pointless, White Nonsense Roundup steps in to make the message clear: Bigotry won't be tolerated.
Founded by activists Layla Tromble and Terri Kempton, White Nonsense Roundup is a carefully-vetted group of allies and advocates who want to put their time and skin color to use for people of color.
"If you are a Person of Color (POC), you have enough on your plate! It’s not your job to educate white people about privilege, racism, and what’s really going on in the world," reads the group's "About" section on Facebook. "If a white person is filling your social media with white nonsense – anything from overt racism to well-intentioned problematic statements – tag us and a white person will come roundup our own."
Or as Tromble put it to HuffPost, “It’s the responsibility of us white folks to do the emotional labor that’s required to educate other white folks ― and it shouldn’t be required of people of color again and again."
Tromble and Kempton screen every applicant thoroughly and require them to abide by a code of conduct, which emphasizes patience, respect, education, and taking cues from the people of color present in the conversation. The group has platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where they share educational resources on racism in the United States, the majority of which are written by black and brown folks.
However, their forte is in responding to requests by people of color to jump into challenging conversations on their behalf. The nearly 60 volunteers are available to de-escalate tense situations by educating fellow white people who are not receptive to lessons given by a person of color.
“We need more white people to speak out, to hold other white people accountable to their innate racism. Honestly and unfortunately there are many white people who won’t listen to a black person about race,” Chenoa Alamu explained to HuffPost. “We are deemed whiny, complaining, we should have gotten over it by now, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. But if a white person calls it out, tells it like it is, then a white person is more likely to listen.”
“This is a good thing, but also not a good thing because still, a black person will know better, because we’re the ones actually experiencing [racism],” she continued. “But a close second would be a white person who calls it out.”
So how does one get a White Nonsense Roundup volunteer to step in or serve as backup? Just tag them, and one of the volunteers on shift will help in whatever way they are needed. However, the group makes it clear that none of their work is about their voice, but about using the privilege afforded them due to their skin color to elevate the voices of people of color.
“Nothing I’m saying is new: black, brown and indigenous folks have been telling us this stuff for decades,” Tromble said to HuffPost. “We’re just trying to do it in a way that might hopefully reach some people.”
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Steve Marcus