How many dedicated women of color, who spend their lives fighting oppression, have to scream at us, or commit blogicide, or throw up their hands in disgust and abandon the label “feminist” before we actually take their comments at face value and LISTEN? In each of these posts WoC bloggers or allies express outrage at being hurt, slighted, ignored, disgusted, or silenced by the behavior of mainstream white feminists. Yet we white feminists keep claiming our innocence. We insist we’ve done nothing wrong, that Marcotte is being wrongly victimized, that Seal Press shouldn’t be blamed, that Full Frontal Feminism helps advance the cause for us all, that we should excuse Steinem and Ferraro for their racist remarks because they’re just old school, and so on and so forth all the way back to the first wave.
Not so many months ago I commented on the Angry Black Woman’s blog in a thread on feminism, expressing shock and dismay at the anger directed at white feminists. In my naivete I assumed that feminism = a struggle against ALL oppression, a movement inclusive of women of color. I could not understand why anybody would reject it.
Good lord was I wrong.
I’m sick of this cycle. I’m sick of seeing white women dismiss the concerns of women of color. I’m sick of our self-righteous claims of inclusivity while we marginalize the voices of women of color when they speak out. We marginalize them if they do it with anger, or do it in the wrong way, or do it while disagreeing with us, or #%$@cking do it at all. I’m sick of us exercising our white privilege and then accusing our sisters of color of causing divisiveness when they refuse to submit to our racism. Mostly it’s unintentional racism by white women who want to believe that we are saving the world. But we are not. We’re oppressing and silencing the very people we talk so eloquently about being allies with. I’m sick of seeing so many of us refuse to take a stand for fear of alienating our white sisters.
We are the enemy and the oppressors of WoC. Do you realize how wrong, how screwed up, and how profoundly anti-feminist that is?