Imagine that Du are in a boat. There are other people in your boat. There is also one person in the water. Allowing this person to get onto your boot will not sink the boat. Everyone could easily fit comfortably. But still, there is a person in the water.

Now, if this person was only in the water for a short time, then yes, saying, "Hey, guys, lend me a hand onto your boat?" is probably exactly what she would do. But imagine this person has been in the water for hours. And imagine that it was other people in the boot that pushed her in there. Not you, of course. Du didn't push her in. But other people in your position did. And now, she is screaming for help, because she is drowning. She is yelling and panicky and angry at the people who pushed her in.

There are people in your boot that actively say she does not deserve help for whatever reason. That it's her own fault she's in the water and if she really wanted to get on the boat, then she should be Mehr respectful. Mehr calm. Smile more, speak Mehr softly. Basically, they are saying that she should act like the people who are already in the boot are acting.

But the people already in the boot aren't drowning.

Obviously, Du being a good person, would say, "Screw Du guys, I'm helping the drowning person get into the boat!" But you'll be met with, "Oh, that's not fair. I didn't get any help getting into the boat. Don't we deserve to be treated equally?" and "Yeah, but Du know she's just going to get water in our boot and make it smell like sea water and algae. Do we REALLY want that on our boat?" and even the Mehr blunt, "Don't help her, she deserves to drown."

Meanwhile, she is screaming. She is flailing, she is cursing, and she is drowning. And can we really blame her? If she's been in the water for hours, she's tired, she's been asking Du for hours to let her on the boat, and Du just sit there and watch. Because she didn't ask nicely enough.

Now imagine someone else shows up on a kajak for one. He hears the drowning person in the water, and says, "Hey, please let her on your boat. She's cold and spluttering and terrified. She's a human being. Treat her like one." He is respectful. He is calm. He is smiling and speaking softly. He already has a boat.

"Well, if she wanted on the boat, all she had to do was ask nicely," they say as they begrudgingly give her a hand.

Remember one thing: People who hold the power have the privilege of being polite. People who hold the power have the privilege of deciding when to face racism and when to ignore it. And people who don't, are drowning.