OK, so I recognize that I usually go for MONTHS without writing a new Blog Post, because I like to organize myself when I present information and it takes me time to find time to do that. So today I will be riffing off the top of my head, with no pre-organization or planning, no proofreading or editing. I have a few things to say so I’m going to just say them.
(1) I am about the project of ending Oppression. ALL FORMS OF OPPRESSION. Which is why I am REALLY struggling with the large number of folks I have encountered who are only about the project of ending one or two forms of oppression – but then want to argue that OTHER forms of oppression don’t actually exist or are irrelevant. These are the same people who will RAGE when anyone writes/says anything that is offensive to THEM or those LIKE them…but will then easily slip into making derogatory and bigoted commentary about other oppressed/marginalized groups. This is HYPOCRISY in its highest form, and I have grown weary of it to the point of wanting to delete all Hypocritical Offenders from my Facebook account.
I have found this phenomenon especially present in any conversations about Gender Identity and/or Sexual Orientation. Today this issue was raised around Kobe Bryant’s bigoted, unprofessional, and totally juvenile hurling of the homophobic slur “Faggot” at an NBA referee. In this instance, the same folks of color – and if I’m being honest, most of the offenders were uncritical Black men – who RAGE against RACIST slurs hurled at everyone from the POTUS to professional athletes, decided to come to Bryant’s defense by calling this out as “Not A Big Deal,” “The NBA’s Continuing Conspiracy Against Kobe Bryant,” “We Are Being Forced To Be Politically Correct,” and one Fool actually had the nerve to assert that EVERYONE has used and/or currently uses terms like “Faggot” and “Gay” in “the heat of battle.” Another Favorite: “Kobe didn’t ACTUALLY mean that the Ref was GAY!”
This level of ignorance and hypocrisy is completely unacceptable and untenable to me. Either you are against ALL forms of oppression/bigotry/derogatory slurs…or you can’t be against ANY of them. You can’t have it both ways. One of the greatest weapons that Oppression – which is a living, breathing phenomenon – can wield is that of DIVIDE & CONQUER. One would THINK that when a person holds membership in one or more oppressed/marginalized groups, they would ACTIVELY WORK not to oppress other marginalized groups. But unfortunately, as theorist Paolo Freire pointed out long ago, many Oppressed Peoples only feel validated when they have found another person or group to oppress. It is an Evil Cycle that is as old as time; and when I see Fools engaging in it, they are going to hear about it from me.
And Religious Folks: I don’t care WHAT your religion says about Homosexuality. Religions have, historically, had much to say about EVERY marginalized culture in the World…whether their religious TEXTS support these assertions or not. There are religions still in existence that believe people of color, people with disabilities, women, and foreigners are inherently inferior. You can make distinctions all you want between being “born” one way versus “choosing” to be another, but all you will be doing is engaging in a futile attempt to excuse your own Bigotry. So STFU.
(2) As far as I am concerned, my Facebook Page is like my Home. No one disrespects me or spreads ignorance in my Home without reaping the consequences. When I believe in something, it is because I have spent copious amounts of time researching, reflecting, theorizing, and analyzing around it. And I’m a pretty difficult person to argue down when I know a little something something about a little something something. I once had one of my OWN siblings accuse me of stacking my page with folks who agree with me. Not so. In fact, many people do not agree with me, and any of them are free to take me on when I post something that they do not agree with. And many have. But anyone who does should come to the table PREPARED TO ENGAGE. Because if I put something out there, it is the rare occasion when I am unprepared to engage over it. In the case of my sister, she doesn’t agree with some of my progressive views but doesn’t have any evidence to support her conservative ones. So she felt shut out of the discussions on my page. But that was on HER. Disagree with me, but know what the fuck you are talking about when you do. Because it is going to be hard to catch me in a discussion where I don’t know what I’m talking about. Because when I don’t, I ask questions or observe the commentary of and learn from others.
So this is just a warning to everyone that if you pop off with some ignorance on my page, I am going to metaphorically roll you up. (Old West Coast Term. I Still Use Them, Because I Am Still A West Coast Woman). Don’t get all sensitive about it. Think before you type. Because I am thinking…ALL THE TIME. About EVERYTHING.
(3) If you have me on your Friends List, take a moment and GET TO KNOW ME. I’m pretty clear and straightforward about who I am and what I believe. But clearly, some folks either never knew who I was or have forgotten. I’m really not the type to stand by quietly while folks promote ignorance, and I have no respect whatsoever for the follow-up that “we are all entitled to our OPINIONS”. Yes, we are. But when you spread ignorance, you are sharing more than your OPINION…you are sharing an UNCRITICAL PERSPECTIVE. I present opinions about songs, colors, scents, TV shows, and other items/events that we all respond to in our own ways. But when I am talking about oppression, privilege, power, and ideology, I present CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES. Example: In my OPINION, Purple is the Greatest Color On The Spectrum. But I have no evidence to PROVE that assertion. I am PERSONALLY moved by the color Purple. But in my Critical Perspective, calling someone a “Faggot” is an act of oppression. And I am able to provide clear and difficult to counter evidence of this. Learn the difference between Opinion and Critical Perspective. And especially learn it before you step to ME.
(4) If I were a man, the Bitter Pills that I hand out would be much easier for both men and women to swallow. But I won’t be ashamed of the fact that I am a strong, intelligent, critically-thinking WOMAN. And I just wasn’t raised to dumb myself down for men, stroke their egos when they are not reciprocating, or present myself in a “ladylike” manner so as not to damage anyone’s fragile ego. I wasn’t raised by weak women, and even the girls I rolled with starting in Kindergarten were and are Tough As Nails. The Truth: I absolutely do NOT “Know My Place” as a woman in this culture. And I don’t accept the place that has been created for me by Patriarchy. And as I approach 40-years-old in a matter of DAYS…I have to say that I really don’t give two shits about what folks think about my Big Mouth and my Bigger Mind. I’m not docile. I’m not quiet. And I am Ride-or-Die for what I believe in. I won’t apologize for it. I have many flaws…but these aren’t them. And for the religious folks who want to remind me about “Adam’s Rib,” I want to remind YOU that whatever God you believe in GAVE ME THIS MIND TO USE IN THE SERVICE OF ENDING OPPRESSION. And that is how I will continue using it. You can attempt to shut me down, but I can assure you that it will absolutely take A Nation Of Millions To Hold Me Back. We all have our gifts, our powers. Are you using yours for GOOD…or are you using them to perpetuate EVIL? Choose Up, People, CHOOSE UP!! Because if you don’t, I won’t keep your hypocrisy a secret from you. Or from anyone else.
Thanks And Good Night!!!