I rarely enage in conversation on the internet—this goes double for debate. As a student of social justice with a proactive disposition, I don’t feel like my best interactions will ever happen with stangers in internet-land. However, as we all know, this is not always avoidable.
I recently commented on a Facebook post. It was a “friend” who put up a humorous picture of someone who had written into their newspaper complaining about school curriculum. This person was concerned that the “gay agenda” was taking hold of classrooms when they learned that their grandson had learned about Homo Sapiens in school. It was funny. It was posted with the intention of being funny. My gut reaction? “Uhhhhh..”, and that is exactly what I wrote. My friend adds an innocuous comment mirroring the absurdity of the claim.
And then it happened.
Another party…a stranger to myself…playfully suggested the “God damn f*gg*t liberals are at it again.”
Gut reaction? “^^That’s not a great word to make casual use of.^^”
Result: Onslaught of defense.
Apparently, if we don’t say words we only give them power.
Apparently, as long as we don’t direct them at a person they are fine to use.
Apparently, if you are straight, white, and cisgender you can still be called racial, gender, and orientation based slurs.
I did not know the people advising me on this matter, but I made some assumptions based on the information immediately available on their own profiles. I was the only woman. I was the only genderqueer. I was the only lesbian. I was the only one who still needed to get over the use of the word f*gg*t.
So, with all this being said, I would like to admit that I have learned something. This next statement goes out to those folks, and all those before and after them, who have taught me a little about the language of opression: The next time I am denied work, denied rights, denied basic human decency; the next time I am made to feel unsafe; the next time one of those so-called innocent words is hurled my direction in a violent situation—I’ll remember your feelings. I’ll remember to lighten up. I’ll think of you.
- Do not forget Michael Brown
- Do not forget how the media dehumanized him and tried to justify his murder
- Do not forget how peaceful protests were painted as savage riots
- Do not forget police armed with military grade weapons terrorized and arrested black civilians
- Do not forget Darren Wilson being awarded over $200,000 in fundraiser donations for murdering an unarmed black child
- Do not forget that this system was not built to defend us, but to control us
- Do not forget Ferguson
Photo Courtesy: Annie E Casey Foundation
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released their 25th edition of their KIDS COUNT Data Book. There is a lot of good news for kids based on the trends the group has studied, there is some bad news as well, especially if you’re a child in a Republican majority state.
The good news begins with the group reporting that the number of children who are not…
"im not a feminist"