This Woman’s Post About Racial Gaslighting Blew Up Online — Here’s Why It’s Important
Racial gaslighting sounds like: “It was just a joke, calm down,” “Racism doesn't exist anymore,” “Why is it always about race?”
Jacquelyn Ogorchukwu Iyamah is a 26-year-old user experience designer based on the East Coast.
With a passion for wellness and degrees in both social welfare and user experience design, she uses her Instagram account @ogorchukwuu to create a safe space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and to educate people on how racism and colonialism affect the well-being of BIPOC communities.
Jacquelyn promotes the importance of inclusive wellness and providing more education around racial trauma and mental health.
As a writer and designer, Jacquelyn sheds light on the multifaceted impact of racism and provides resources for BIPOC communities affected by it. Just last week, she made a post about identifying racial gaslighting — and it's being shared widely across the web.
"Gaslighting is when someone manipulates information to make the victim question their own experience, memory, or reality. People are able to recognize gaslighting when it comes to relationships, friendships, work settings, and issues like sexism. But when it comes to racial gaslighting, there is an immense disconnect," Jacquelyn said.
"I have noticed that in general, people are able to acknowledge abusive behaviors such as narcissism, manipulation, and gaslighting. However, it is difficult for people to see how these forms of abuse are ever-present in conversations about racism."
For many BIPOC, racial gaslighting has been a longtime reality, especially as they share their experiences with racism online and in real life. Instead of building understanding and allyship, racial gaslighting deflects important conversations about race and silences BIPOC voices that need to be heard.
"When BIPOC share their experience with racism or confront someone about their racist behavior, the immediate reaction of the perpetrator is to question the victim's experience, memory, or reality," Jacquelyn said.