“Marginalised people often do not have the luxury of emotionally distancing themselves from discussions on their rights and experiences… Tone policing assumes that the oppressive act is not an act of aggression, when it very much is. The person who was oppressed by the action, suddenly is no longer a victim, but is “victimising” the other person by calling them out.” – Too Young for the Living Dead
When White people try to dismiss Indigenous and other people of colour’s (POC) discussion of colonialism and its present-day impact by focusing on “tone,” that’s racism.
The language of “civility” has been used throughout history to justify the colonialisation of Indigenous people, the slavery of Black people, and racial stratification all over the world. All of these patterns are part of Australia’s history.
Read my case study of tone policing.