So I'm a white guy. Just going off recent experience, yesterday I watched Blackkklansman in a Portland theater and it was hard to watch, mainly because I noticed I had to stop myself from laughing or smiling at certain parts that were really f'ed up. My impression was that that was the question the movie was putting to white people: "So, did you think it was funny? Did you like it?" Nothing was funny about that movie and yet it was making me realize that whether I want it there or not, like most white people, I've got a little racist living inside me. There were a few black people in the theater and there was one black guy in the back who was laughing throughout the movie, especially at the racist scenes. Eventually someone shushed him and he blew up, "Don't you f'ing tell me to shut up! They keep saying it over and over, "N****r this! N****r that! N*****r! N****r! N****r! F*** this movie! F*** all you white mother-*******!" He kept shouting and hitting the wall until an usher made him leave the theater, and after the movie the usher started apologizing to people leaving for the interruption. I told him I don't think he should be apologizing, and that while I get what he's saying, there's a bigger issue going on than just "he interrupted the movie." I said I don't think that was a movie you're meant to enjoy and I was glad that guy had been there. So the friends I was with said, "I don't get why he got so mad." and in truth, I don't think I get it either, but what I do think I get if nothing else is this: That guy might have seemed angry to some people, but all I heard was someone really, really hurt. Like, beyond hurt. I know a bit about pain - I tried to kill myself when I was a teenager; like, seriously tried to kill myself, with a note and everything and wound up in the hospital. And I'm a pretty sensitive guy. And I'm saying, I'm not sure even in my worst moments I have ever been as upset as that guy sounded to me. He didn't seem crazy - up until the moment some one told him to be quiet he sounded like a normal guy, and a normal person doesn't get that upset, they just don't. And I've heard that kind of hurt from a lot of black people I've known or met, something deep, something carnal, and it's not about them - it's about white people. Not just the out-in-the-open racists but white people everywhere, esp. in the U.S., who won't acknowledge that something really twisted and sick is going on in this world and black people have been taking the brunt of it for a long time. White people like to talk about equivalence a lot: "Well, maybe this black person has endured racism but racism against whites is real too." or "Well, I'm sure black people are having a hard time but that's no excuse for interrupting a movie, that was really distressing to me." Well, maybe it's about time white people started getting distressed. Because, this is just the sense I'm getting but I just don't think any pain white people endure in their lives is really comparable to what black people endure from living in a racist society. People like to say, "Well pain is pain, let's not dismiss what anyone's going through" but in truth I think white people who complain about racism against whites are wimps and are the very deepest level of pathetic. If you're white like me, this is my message to you - we don't know what real racism feels like so let's keep our mouths shut about what we don't know and listen for a change.