When Jon Snow, tired after a week of reporting, looked deep into the camera’s lens at a pro-Brexit march and said, “I have never seen so many white people in one place”, something about the remark spoke to my soul. It seemed like a bold comment for national television, but not one that many people of colour on the left would dispute.
Of course, there was outrage. Some of the criticism of Snow’s comment focused on the idea that it was unnecessary, but others were outraged by the use of the word “white” in and of itself. Either way, Channel 4 churned out an apology within 24 hours.
It’s a strange time that we’re living in, but this is 2019 racial politics. As a person of colour I’m so accustomed to being identified as black, brown, mixed – whatever label white people ascribe to me. Why is it still uncomfortable, still taboo, for white people to be called white? I spoke to some white friends, rather than experts, about how everyday instances of being called “white” made them feel, offering anonymity to create a more honest conversation.