Stuff White People Say

September 20, 2008

“POC keep hijacking our threads…”

Filed under: Uncategorized — nquest2xl @ 6:56 pm

Funny how that works…  It’s been my experienced that whenever POC express their views in strong, unapologetic terms in interracial discussions where disagreements occur, it’s the POC and anyone who agree with them who are labeled the trouble-makers (there’s a long history of that) and people who “hijack” threads.  Nevermind the times when clearly racist Whites say all manner of things to attack the POC no matter what the conversation is about: it’s always the POC who is out of place and out of order.

That aside, I’ve never understood this concept no matter where it has been raised. I’ll never be able to understand how anyone can “hijack” a conversation.  It all sounds like people who aren’t willing to accept responsibility either for their own actions for willingly participating in the “hijack” or for what is being explored in the “hijack.”

Speaking of what is being explored…  Let’s see if I have this right.  The term “hi(gh)jack” refers to taking something (over) by force and diverting its path.  Another definition indicates that hijacking is arbitrary which, in terms of on-line discussions, suggest that the hijacker is attempting to use something off-topic to divert people’s attention away from the topic.

But what happens when someone is accused of hijacking a thread and their comments are focused on the topic — the underlying assumptions used to formulate the thesis in the topic?  What do you call the allegations when its not hijacking, in any meaningful sense of the word, that the person is complaining about?

Also, what gives someone the power to hijack a thread?  Is it the “force” of their arguments? What is it?

In these interracial discussions we have, why is it that it’s always the POC who are labeled as those hijacking threads?


  1. Damn, Nquest, I was going make a post about this exact same issue, with a similar title, except replacing “hijacking” with “derailing”.

    Renee of Womanist Musings has a post called No Really It’s Not Me, It’s You about privileged people derailing the thread of people without said privilege. Guess who you see in the comments! It’s White Trash Academic “relating” to Renee’s experience, equating me with the privileged people who derail the threads of the people without that privilege:

    White Trash Academic said…

    Please keep posting here and I will keep listening. I was very concerned (and a little suprised, call me naive but I expected better from the readers of a feminist blog) about the way your posts specifically seemed to often derail into other discussions, however I have now read enough other blogs to notice a pattern.

    On white feminist blogs it’s tone, on non-feminist blogs discussions of race get derailed by focusing on problems with “how the discussion was framed.” WTF?
    September 16, 2008 7:20 AM

    Amazing, isn’t it? People of colour can keep writing blog posts about race, and white people can thank them and say/think they understand, but they may interpret it as something completely different and not understand what is being said at all.

    Comment by Restructure! — September 20, 2008 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks, Restructure. That explains why White Trash Academic approached the discussion on Macon’s blog with her cookie cutter response about topics being derailed by tone and objections to the way the topic was framed. She wanted to pretend like the “content” of Macon’s header-post wasn’t being dealt with which was exactly what she was not dealing.

    Contrary to the fact she thought was relevant, Macon was saying something well beyond the idea that ‘some Whites won’t vote for Obama because he’s Black.’ By the topic alone, Macon was asserting that White people who do vote/support Obama necessarily have to “overcome” the fact that he is Black like the idea of Black + president is Mt. Everest.

    It’s funny how you linked to Rene’s post… when the first thing White Trash Academic tried to do (with me) was make it about her. When that didn’t work, she had to try something else and eventually settled on the bogus idea that we were not dealing with the content. “Content” she never cared to identify.

    Comment by Nquest — September 21, 2008 @ 12:15 am | Reply

  3. […] “POC keep hijacking our threads…” by Nquest at Stuff White People Say Posted in White People Studies. Tags: conflict, equity, human relations programming, inequity, Macon D, peace, people of color, privilege, race, race war, racial conflict, racial equity, racial inequity, racial peace, racism, troll, trolling, white, white antiracist, White Trash Academic. […]

    Pingback by White people think that ‘racism’ means racial conflict. « Restructure! — November 13, 2008 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

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