I like Tim Wise, but in some ways, it frustrates me (with the system, not necessarily with him) that he (and Robert Jennings, to some extent) are the biggest names in anti-racism. They’re the ones that people listen to, but they have, at best, second-hand experience with racism.
Like, if a black anti-racism speaker spoke with Tim Wise’s inflection and passion and clear disgust for the institution of racism, they’d be dismissed immediately as “angry”, “talking like a black preacher” and “paranoid”. It annoys me that anti-racism needs Tim Wise to lend legitimacy to the movement.
Tim Wise is saying the same things that blacks have been saying for decades, but his voice has so much more power because of his privilege. In the same way that a disabled person who talks about ableism is a “whiner”, but someone who talks about how hard it is having a loved one who is disabled is “strong” and “bringing new issues to light”.
Our voices as the underprivileged mean comparatively little. Even though I understand the “why”, that’s the case, it still makes me angry and too world-weary for my years.