As soon as I heard that, a huge fog about many things I've been stewing on suddenly lifted, and something very important became clear: I am not the problem.
I usually keep things like this to myself (although recently I've been trying to break out of that habit), but with the show coming up and many of the things I've been involved with this week, as well as things that have happened to me and are going on in the world today, staying silent is self-destructive.
There's this pattern of behavior I notice in White men that really has to stop. It goes like this:
- I say something critiquing or poking fun at White privilege, male privilege, and/or straight privilege.
- White man decides that I'm hostile and angry and personally attacking him - as though he knows me and my thoughts/feelings/beliefs better than I do. And certainly those feelings matter less than his own because Black women are (to coin a phrase) "rhino-hided she-beasts" until proven otherwise.
- White man decides to verbally put me in my place by attacking my intelligence, my sanity, or my morality - as though I must be stupid/crazy/evil to say what I say. They have learned the lesson very well - Black women are intellectually and morally inferior.
- I shut up and keep my pain to myself because it's no use talking to the person who does this. I've been trained very well and know that I am supposed to remain silent in the face of White/male anger and disapproval.
- The person who does this walks away with no clue how fucked up this whole thing is. They too have been trained very well and know that there's no point listening to that Angry Militant Black Bitch about anything.
STOP FUCKING DOING THIS!
It's racist and sexist. I tried not taking it personally. I tried giving it the benefit of the doubt. But you know what? It is personal, and there is no defending or excusing it. I don't care who are, who you vote for, who you're friends with, who you work for, who you studied, or who you're fucking - this behavior is racist and sexist. And if you see this happening and you sit by and watch and not say or do anything, you may as well be agreeing with it.
I am not Mammy. I am not Sapphire. I am not Jezebel. Just because I'm not mothering or fucking you does not mean I'm trying to castrate you. For real, I have better things to do with my time than to deliberately go out of my way for the express purpose of making you feel bad. Will I sugarcoat my exasperation at your ignorance and apathy? No. You need to know what your shit does to people like me.
I tell you because I want to believe you're a decent person and that you care about not doing racist, sexist things. If you can't see that my telling you when you're fucking up is not about hating you, but about still having hope that you're a decent human being - then that's your shit, not mine. So stop putting your shit on me and acting like I'm the one stinking up the place.
DON'T FUCKING DO THIS TO ME EVER AGAIN!
And tell me you're sorry if you have. Yeah, I know you don't think you did anything wrong, but it lets me know you're not a calloused asshole.