We’re in a writing group together and there’s some things I want to say. If you look back to last week’s meeting, you’ll remember this situation coming up when we talked about creating characters.
Our friend, who is a black woman, shares in a deep moment that even though she’s black, she pictures characters in stories as white unless their skin color is specifically stated otherwise. You, a white man, states that you find the statement very interesting and promptly change the subject to something else. I try to continue the conversation to discuss whitewashing in the media only to get cut off and ignored.
In that moment I’m deeply hurt, but I also can’t exactly point out why. Looking back, the subject change isn’t obviously abrupt and cutting me off is an excited reaction to what I’m saying that goes off on a different tangent. The conversation merely flowed in a different direction and a statement that resonated with me, maybe just didn’t for you.
But the thing is, this changing-the-subject thing happens every single time something dealing with racism or feminism comes up.