Of Activists, Feminism, and Mammy Issues
breaks down the whole expectation that black folks are somehow supposed to also go fight everyone else's battles as well as their own.
I think it's real interesting, clueless, and fucked up how many folks can't be bothered to learn something about black rights and the battles fought here, and simply buy into the McDonald's/American Kumbayah story that "Now all the black peoples are free and happy!" and imagine that, now everyone's sitting on beemers and Oval Office desks, and dammit, why aren't they helping anyone else?The Reference to the Court of Appeals
post puts it nicely:The reference to ‘court of appeals’ is a metaphor for how (‘american’) Blacks are often expected to authenticate the suffering of non-Black people of color. For instance, I’ve read the work of diasporic South Asians who have faulted ‘american’ Blacks for not caring sufficiently about (or even supposedly participating in) the profiling of people-who-look-‘Muslim’ at airports. What gets erased is that, before Sept. 11, diasporic South Asians weren’t organized against racial profiling because it was Blacks who were (and still are) being racially profiled.
So ‘solidarity’ is always supposed to go in one direction, *from* ‘american’ Blacks *to* non-Black people of color. When non-Black people of color are in trouble, Black people are supposed to be front and center validating the struggle with their presence, even though non-Black people of color are only there for Blacks when it’s convenient.
There's a real split between "Get mine activism" and actual, equality & human rights activism. The former has a simple, fucked up goal - which is to get the same privileges as white men. Not to actually get equality for everyone, but just for themselves and maybe a few folks like them.
That mentality shows itself really quickly- they're only upset when it comes to power being used against them, but no one else, and unsurprisingly, accept that basic concept - that black people are supposed to be
magical negros mammies for the cause subservient StepinFetchit
"Allies" when they need it, though they remain silent in the face of police murder, economic targeting, focused relocation (who remembers Katrina?), and a host of other, goddamn-it's-blatant bullshit.
I had a conversation on Twitter awhile ago, pointing out the problems of how quick a lot of East Asian Americans are to buy into being #2 on the racial hierarchy system. If you have any understanding of racism, then it's pretty clear that your duty is to step up as an ally MORE if you've got privileges than it is expect more from the people with LESS or NO privilege.
And frankly, if you couldn't be bothered to know the people and listen to them who you're now asking for support? That you understand their history through the propaganda of the oppressors? Why should they ally with you?
There's no such thing as "equality for one" - either we all get it or it doesn't exist. "Get mine" greedy activism, in the end, only becomes the oppression it claims it's fighting, and in the end, supports it the entire way.
ETA: A nice commentary on willful ignorance with regards to black folks while demanding servitude in activism