Recent news coverage, and events and how people are reacting to them have me despairing and internally ranting. This is not a rant. These are my thoughts. I’m not looking for anyone to change my mind.
If you can’t see the racism or sexism in a picture, sentiment, text or action, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. (Especially if others say it is). If you are not the target of the racism or sexism, or don’t know the context, then you have the privilege of being ignorant of it and to the history behind it. It doesn’t affect you, it is not about you, your body, your words, your actions, your past, your very self. You can refuse to see it or defend it, because you are not the one hurting.
If you do detect instances of racism and/or sexism and it is not about you, congratulations for being sensitive and reasonably educated. You can see what others endure. I believe this qualifies you as a ‘snowflake’ as if this were a bad thing and not indicative of a complex unique individual.
If you do see racism and sexism and it’s not targeted at you and you decide to say something against it, good on you. It may mean you get tagged as a ‘Social Justice Warrior.’ Again, being a SJW is not like being a Bond villain, even if you are stroking a cat at the same time. However, while speaking out, please think about whether you’re speaking over others who can, and do, speak for themselves. Being an ally means helping, not commandeering. Boost the signal of those with lived experience of racism and sexism. Please note, to be seen as helping others is ‘virtue signalling’. I think it means we are only allowed to highlight the bad we do and if we get any attention for positive achievements it’s a ploy to bolster ‘personal brands’ and egos. If you are a man and do this, you are apparently a ‘white knight’ in it for ulterior motives. If you are a woman who does this, you’re shrill, a feminazi, and someone who will ‘destroy the joint’.
By talking about this, I could be accused of virtue signalling my apparent SJW status for some arcane benefit. If I note any criticism, then I’m a whiner playing the ‘woman card’ like I’m a member of a club that grants astounding boons hitherto unheard of. Yeah nah.
Time to go read Karen Wyld, Celeste Liddle, Dr Alana Lentin, Jane Gilmore and Ketan Joshi, and many, many others who know the history, have the experience, and who continue to work for change.