Thursday, March 09, 2006

And I think that is the issue that I'm getting at. Comparing my oppression with your (not "you", a figurative you) oppression doesn't bring you validity, you merely expose your ignorance of my struggle and belittle my fight for change by implying that it is a thing of the past. Racism and homophobia manifest differently because they are different. The similiarities they have lie in the fact that those who have the power to oppress only have so many avenues to wield their oppression.

Black history is not a tool with which others get to use as they see fit in order to push their agendas. At what point did anyone say that was okay? You diminish my fight by presuming and implying that it is over, and we're all living high on the hog. You do not get to commandeer my voice and those of my ancestors to bandy about in the name of your cause. and a part of me can't help but see that as a form of psychological manipulation.

I've heard (and I imagine you may have also) countless conversations where someone white -- gay or straight -- compares some injustice to slavery. But these people know so little about the history, detail and scope of slavery in North and South America. They don't know or understand the extent of its impact and how it has pervasively influenced our lives and our nation on a fundamental level. And that's just slavery. I'm not even touching on the years of subtle and overt oppression that flourished throughout the years and continues to malign our society to this day.

So if you don't know these things, if you don't fully understand, haven't bothered to educate yourself beyond the average high school textbook, what gives you the right to wield it like a sledgehammer and diminish their journey to some trite analogy to "validate" your feelings.

Because the reality is: Yes! Someone would say _____ about _____. People say it all the time, just not always someone in your social circle. You don't know this because you're not paying attention. I like Parry Shen, but yes, there are radio hosts who make blatant derogatory remarks about the way black people speak. And no, they're not few in number. So stating that it doesn't happen because it's socially "unacceptable" is bullshit, and it is wrong to imply that AfAm are treated with greater respect than other POC or members of the GLBT community because millions of people of African descent who will happily inform that that is certainly not the case.

And to me -- and I am not alone in this -- that is exactly what those statements do.

This is a post from this thread. She? articulated my pet peeve better than I could ever do.

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