Tone policing is an oppression tactic—it systemically keeps oppressed people and the issues they raise silenced. So, it’s no surprise that there is long history of racist and misogynist tone policing—women, Black people and especially Black women are no strangers to this phenomenon. As Tess Martin writes in her piece, “Racism 101: Tone Policing”:
The suggestion that you can’t deliver a razor sharp argument against racism unless you employ a chilly brand of academic detachment from the subject matter is pure bullshit. Being subjected to any form of injustice is infuriating. The last thing I want to hear from someone who has just said or done something completely out of line is how I need to check my emotional response to it. But tone policing works so well as a defense mechanism because it renders a perfectly legitimate complaint irrational, especially when the offending individual maintains his or her own saintly calm. If you can successfully shut another person down based on her anger or frustration, then you don’t ever have to answer for your own racist conduct. And, bonus, by remaining cool as a cucumber, you appear to be in the right to those around you, especially in comparison to the irate person you just insulted with your belittling behavior.