Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people.
You know how you like to stand up for other people? The oppressed, the down trodden, the people that, in your mind, need you. Well, there isn’t a thing wrong with that. Unless…
When THEY speak, you don’t listen.
I am going to take this to a personal level so no one feels attacked but I certainly hope people will read this and understand that they need to do what’s best for the people they are CLAIMING to be trying to help.
Last week, I was talked over in two different conversations. “Talked over” is what I call it when someone completely ignores me and acts as if they know my life better than I do.
The first was this piece of garbage. I will delve into this fool in my next post. For now, I would like to just leave you with that link. You can see that s/he originally stated that Black people don’t actually call themselves “People of Color.” S/He assumed that I, the writer of the post they were commenting on, was white and went into a diatribe about the fact that it was a term white people use to put down minorities and separate themselves. In my reply, I pointed out that I was a PoC and that s/he did not get to decide what we called ourselves. Note that not only did this person belittle me by saying “Gives a metal” but even with the knowledge that I was a PoC and that I DO call myself that, s/he continued to say that it’s a white people specific term.
There are about fifty things wrong with both of this person’s comments and I will be getting to those in a bit. For now, let’s move on to the second conversation.
Someone made a post about “Tragic Mulattos” and why they used that term. Me and a few other Bi-racial people spoke up in support of this post. None the less, even though we’d made our own race clear, we were spoken over. NON-Mixed People were speaking “On our behalf” to say that it was not okay for this term to be used. They even went so far as to try to dissect the terminology and it’s origin. Which baffled me even more because in almost every case, they were reiterating what the OP said in the first place.
It didn’t matter how many times Bi-Racial people spoke up to say that they agreed with the OP. It didn’t matter how many times we made our own arguments in favor of the OP, people were still “Helping” us by saying the exact OPPOSITE of what WE believed and wanted.
If this is “Helping,” don’t help. You don’t get to decide what someone else wants. You don’t get to speak for someone else and when they tell you that they want the exact opposite, ignore them because what they want interferes with your goals.
This is neither helpful or kind. This is selfish and destructive to the very people you are PRETENDING to care about.
As one of the mixed people who participated in that second conversation… It was incredibly frustrating lightskinned/mixed PoC being used as a rhetorical point to oppress and speak over other PoC (and even ourselves, since our agreement on the OP apparently didn’t matter).
Second co-signer here. That was some bullshit.
Another one of the mixed race women who was participating in that conversation BEFORE it was rudely interrupted by a bunch of assholes, and spoke up to say that AS A BLACK WOMAN OF MIXED RACE WITH MY PERSONAL LIVED EXPERIENCE THAT I AGREED with the use of the term “tragick mulatto” as the OP had defined it AS ACCURATE AND ENTIRELY APPLICABLE TO MY LIVED EXPERIENCE AS A BLACK WOMAN OF MIXED RACE, I cordially invite every single one of you rude motherfuckers to shut the hell up next time people are talking about something that doesn’t concern you.
I want to reblog this for the perfect commentary and so that Riley (The OP of the “Tragic Mulatto” post) can see that we are standing with them.