The legacy of anti-Black racism is that Black struggle gets deemed the property of all other social justice struggles. The symbols and tactics of Black struggle are deemed the common property of all. Black people are required to show solidarity with other people of color, without other people of color owing solidarity to Black communities. Black oppression is always analogized to other forms of oppression in a manner that disappears Black oppression itself. It is presumed we already know everything about Black oppression, so we can just use it as an empty signifier to explain other oppressions.
By co-opting knowledge that we produce and experiences that we have, non-Black people then use us to “prove” the seriousness of their oppression, because everyone is comfortable with Black people sitting at the bottom. It’s why “even Black people" type of statements are made by non-Black people when declaring some sort of oppression that they shouldn’t experience because "even Black people" don’t, in their view.
I previously wrote about how “Black struggle gets deemed the property of all other social justice struggles” impacts womanism and I thought about how much of what Black people create is co-opted as those same Black people are erased. It’s like…cultural appropriation meets progressivism.
Audre Lorde argues throughout her work that we should not be protected from what hurts. We have to work and struggle not so much to feel hurt but to notice what causes hurt, which means unlearning what we have learned not to notice. We have to do this work if we are to produce critical understandings of how violence, as a relation of force and harm, is directed toward some bodies and not others.
But in order to become “respectable,” the targeted group is always encouraged to change. And the changes always, always require the targeted group to become more like the dominant group. If black people act more like white people, or women act more like men, or gays and lesbians act more like straight people, they’ll all see the same outcomes. But the underlying goal of this is to stop being “different.” Act “normally,” and you’ll be treated normally, but if you step outside those boundaries, it is your fault and your fault only.
Phenotypic Sex: secondary, outwardly visible sex characteristics of a person. This includes genitals and breast development. A very wide array of genital shape is possible. This just refers to external genitalia, not internal. Internal reproductive organ shape may not be known until puberty or…
Protest is when I say I don’t like this. Resistance is when I put an end to what I don’t like. Protest is when I say I refuse to go along with this anymore. Resistance is when I make sure everybody else stops going along also
Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone. The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful…and decide what you want and need and must do. It’s a tough, unimaginably lonely and complicated way to be in the world. But that’s the deal: you have to live; you can’t live by slogans, dead ideas, clichés, or national flags. Finding an identity is easy. It’s the easy way out.