Monday, January 26, 2015

To Hell With "Check Your Privilege"

I have a problem with this sign, even though it's technically 'in my favor' as a gay and hispanic. We are really over-playing our hand here, fellow minorities, in a very un-nice way, and "check your privilege" can have serious consequences.

It's one thing to raise awareness about disadvantages that individuals have, so they get recognition for their condition by others who are more advantaged, and the advantaged can thus learn/sympathize/assist/understand of their own free will. It is quite another thing to spread propaganda shaming others because of their sex/race/orientation/religion. Ahem.

Straight whites are the PC-approved punching bag of our recent time, if I may say that as a gay latino (if I weren't those things, I think it would be racist and straight-apologist for me to express this opinion...phew!). Recently, straight whites actually helped us out though, like, a lot. Certainly not all of them, but plenty. Especially Jews! They're letting gay marriage spread like it's going out of style, and the privately owned mainstream media is letting us know of any misbehavior by anyone wildly against the program. If a fellow hispanic acts like a total asshole (Zimmerman), I can rest assured the media will paint him as "white-hispanic" to decrease my chances of being oppressed during the trial, since minorities can't be racist against each other in the mainstream narrative. Phew! And, on top of being my go-to scapegoat, whites even have a phenomenon called White Guilt, where they KNOW they can be discriminatory, and are genuinely ashamed of their ancestors' actions, and those "hicks" in trailers, who are...not bad, just poor. They are even ashamed that they are SUBCONSCIOUSLY discriminative, just by being humans with brains, and they publish cartoons and articles at length lamenting their original sin.

Meanwhile, we the minorities are rubbing our hands together, ready to play the role of oppressor now! We love when they feel guilty! Instead of enjoying the settling harmony of acceptance, we put up signs shaming them for things TOTALLY outside of their control and that only reflect conditions in their lives that have nothing to do with their ACTIONS or content of their CHARACTER, like: their gender, sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic footing...sound familiar? We list all the goodies they got that we didn't, by chance, so we ask they hold it as a heavy raincloud-reminder over their heads, for our sake. Really you guys? The sign says "straights can hold hands and gays can't" -- true, but I rarely think of this at any point in my day! No matter which country I'm in! Why should they? Were we listening during Pre-K "we are all equal" circle time, or were we assuming that was just for the white folks in the polos who looked kinda, like, mean, and heteronormative? Let's not prop ourselves up by putting them down -- let's all support who we are; all of us are goddamn meaningful.

I COMPLETELY understand that the fight isn't over for minorities. There is still a *LOT* of discrimination against non-whites and non-straights, and I'm really only thinking within a coastal, U.S. scope here! There's so much work to be done. But privilege-pointing isn't how we should deal with it. If anything, this tactic builds resentment and divides us from the people who should be WITH us, not against us. If you think WE'RE oppressed, roll the die and take a few weeks in a third world country, or Russia. Jesus HQ Christ. (I was Christian for ten years or so, so...I can say that...)

Everyone deserves to have a shot at the best life possible. I encourage you to not impede progress by biting the hand that, well, fed/feeds us. We live in a democracy, not the fascism this sign would like, and our happiness is still, to a large extent, white people's business too, and our affirmative action (which helped me get into college, and didn't help white people) is not an amendment. No homo! (I'm gay, so I "can" say that. No free speech privilege here!)

If anything I said offended you, by all means, don't hate me, feel free to educate me! I put this out here because I think this needs to be addressed and I'm interested in hearing any kind of input.

LOVE -- // *****GRATITUDE***** \\ -- LOVE