If you’re a person of color tired of constantly explaining the meaning of “black lives matter” to your white followers on social media, there’s a group of white activists who have launched an online crusade called White Nonsense Roundup that just might be able to help.
Founded last year by friends Layla Tromble and Terri Kompton in Washington state, the organization of more than 60 volunteers works round the clock to respond to racist trolls online at the request of people of color.
“If you are a Person of Color (POC), you have enough on your plate! It’s not your job to educate white people about privilege, racism, and what’s really going on in the world. If a white person is filling your social media with white nonsense – anything from overt racism to well-intentioned problematic statements – tag us and a white person will come roundup our own,” the group’s Facebook page reads.
Founder Tromble doesn’t claim any particular expertise beyond being a “queer person who was an activist in college” and being “a person of conviction that sees racism in our country is literally killing people and the least I can do is tell other white people that’s a bad thing,” but in a recent interview with HuffPost about White Nonsense Roundup, she said she sees the service as her responsibility.
“It’s the responsibility of us white folks to do the emotional labor that’s required to educate other white folks ― and it shouldn’t be required of people of color again and again,” Tromble said to HuffPost. “One of the goals of the service is to do some of that labor for people. Let them go have a drink and not worry about nonsense going on on their Facebook.”
The group has weighed in on everything from why “all lives” aren’t treated equally in society to why white people need to stop telling Jemele Hill to “stick to sports,” and everything in between.
Just after the deadly Charlottesville protests, White Nonsense Roundup shared a Teen Vogue op-ed digging into the concept of white privilege and inherent racism in American society and made a claim that all white people benefit from being born into a society based on white supremacy.
The Facebook conversation went pretty much how you’d expect, but White Nonsense Roundup was there to take the emotion out and inject some facts.
In a little more than a year since its launch, the group has garnered nearly 100,000 likes on Facebook. Facebook is its main platform, though it does manage accounts on Twitter and Instagram as well.
Online White Nonsense Roundup gets largely positive feedback from people of color. It’s other whites who give them negative feedback, Tromble told Huffington Post, who accuse the service of being divisive or “racist against white people.”
To deal with trolls, White Nonsense Roundup will block them, but first, it tries to engage with people who disagree but are willing to discuss issues in a productive way.