I can’t keep count of the times I’ve been told “I hear you” and “I’m sorry” since May.

All regular conversation I used to have with these white people about science, food, boys, etc. went out the window the minute they started reciting lines from Instagram infographics. 🙄 https://twitter.com/isasaxonists/status/1309199303567646720
That ignorance surrounding my experience as one of the relatively few Asian archaeologists and anthropologists—that ignorance was on show already ever since I met them in 2018, 2014, or 2009.

However, we still talked about a hundred other things… a connection now lost. 🚫
I’m not ‘grateful’, per se, for the white people who have continued talking to me, probably forcing themselves a bit to remain engaged and stay my friend and colleague.

I just see empathy towards others’ experience as the bare minimum friends and colleagues do for each other? 🤷🏻‍♂️
You can discuss interpretations of archaeological data, your plans for the next biological anthropology conference, or how to frame human evolution lectures.

Anti-racism work is just another topic I care about outside ‘my field’ like the climate crisis, politics, and scicomm. 💬
Clearly, the topics of white supremacy, colonial history and academic racism are too big and scary for some of my former friends and colleagues. 👻

The time is over where we see each other as peers. They’re not ready to rise to this moment. Our interactions are broken.
Because I valued our existing relationships, I waited for weeks and months for adequate engagement on this topic. I was ever-present for them, as a friend and colleague, ready to be patient and even educate these white people a bit.

So I REFUSE to claim fault for any of this. 💯
These people aren’t ready to really ‘hear’ me. I’m a person with plans and needs too, but the white fragility and recentering of themselves is real.

Their earlier commitments to me were a farce—to keep me when it was easier, or when I provided value for them in THEIR life. 🥴
My mom, grandma, partner and friends in Hong Kong all say ‘good riddance’ after I cut contact with those who don’t recognize my ideas, my career struggles, or my humanity.

I’ve started recognizing this is the sentiment I need to adopt as well… for my own welfare and healing. 💔
How sad it is for them to see me, whom they love dearly, so deprived of being ‘heard’.

To have been wronged, disrespected and unseen for a decade(!) of my life.

So I refuse to try anymore with the biggest egos on the planet who don’t get what ‘the work’ actually demands. 🙅🏻‍♂️
You can follow @riveramichael.
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