I wrote this a few months ago, but I’m sharing this again. Because in light of Hillary Clinton’s nomination, I’m seeing A LOT of white liberals using people of color simply as their political football to pick fights with other white liberals. White Hillary Clinton supporters don’t have any less white privilege than white Bernie-or-Busters (especially when they are as wealthy as Sarah Silverman, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, or Bill Maher). There is a white privilege argument that can be made for both groups of supporters here. Also, Bernie Sanders didn’t have a monopoly of self-serving, apathetic, or sexist/racist white people (the so-called “bros”) within the Democratic party in his fanbase. Someone who was really intersectional (if that word even has any meaning anymore) would understand this. Someone who was really intersectional would also understand how NOT FUCKING COOL it is to use people of color like this.
I’ve seen this white “faux-allyship with minorities” angle as a stick to hit other white people over the head with used too much by people who are supposedly on my side. I’ve seen it used by white hip-hop fans to demean other white hip-hop fans for gravitating towards “whiter” rap (rap that wasn’t gangsta rap/trap or mainstream party rap; how offensive THAT is is another conversation entirely), I’ve seen it used by white feminists to berate other white feminists for not proclaiming some stupid pop song as some game-changing feminist anthem, and here it is again with Hillary Clinton. Patronizing minorities like this doesn’t make you an ally, white people. STOP IT NOW.
During my early years of learning about social justice issues, whenever I would listen to some sort of social justice activist or speaker talk, I couldn’t help but notice a “schism” for lack of a better term. To be more specific, many of the activists for issues facing the black community that I was aware of at the time would speak very eloquently about those issues, but only approached it from the point of view of the heterosexual black male. This would mean that the speaker’s point of view would be at best, shortsighted and a worst, patriarchal and homophobic machismo. So I felt a breath of fresh air when I discovered speakers like Cornel West or Michael Eric Dyson who decried sexism and homophobia in their racial justice platforms at the end of my high school years. It was reassuring for me to know that taking a stand…
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