If you think all Black people’s blogs are “social justice” blogs, you’re racist.
I read some newspaper article recently that pretty much summed up Tumblr and the responses to it this way—privileged people who come here are shocked to see marginalized people talking about their experiences, so they think everyone’s just obsessed with social justice, rather than talking about their own lives.
Also, for many white people activism (and interacting with or professing care for people outside of their race in general) is tied with immaturity. For them it’s often just a pit stop on the way to embracing the system and adopting the same ideals as their parents.
It’s something they “do” in their teens and early twenties to be different, to be noticed, to feel superior, to feel significant, to show that they’re an independent thinker and their own person. Knowing the ins and outs of an issue isn’t really as important as “finding their voice” and the point is to be as loud and annoying to “the establishment” (Their parents) as possible to show they’ve grown up. In this effort they often change causes more often than underwear without accomplishing much.
Deep down they know they’re full of shit and so do their parents, which is why they put up with it up to a point. (The quote ”If you’re not Liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not Conservative when you’re 35, you have no brain.” really comes into play here. This is the standard progression for white people who have no “skin in the game”.)
Young white liberals become white conservatives (or “moderates” as they now prefer to call themselves) either when they get a job or have kids and they no longer need something artificial and foreign to them to give them a sense of purpose and importance OR when their repeated half-assed attempts at playing white savior are met with genuine criticism by the people they’re talking over and not helping. At that point they decide that “I’ve done all this for ‘these people’ and it’s not enough — I guess the stereotypes were right.”
SO… I think when white people see people of color and other oppressed groups advocating for themselves on Tumblr, Twitter and elsewhere online, they project their experiences onto others. For them “tumblr activism” is like their activism phase… something you can throw off and on at a whim and which doesn’t really affect you. They may have patience at hearing about oppression at first but after a while they get bored with it and want you to move on… to grow up… and grow out of it… like they did.
The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson from In the Court of the Crimson King an Observation by King Crimson