Woke people need to stay in their lane…

I am so tired of people who claim to be woke. They’re not very woke, they need a few more hours sleep because they’re cranky as hell and don’t always make much sense. In their minds, they are the chosen few who have risen above racism and cast judgement on us lesser people. In reality they’re harassing their allies and driving them away.

I had a friend who got mad at me for saying Roseanne Barr was a horrible person for dressing up as Hitler and pulling little burnt Jewish cookies out of a gas oven. I needed to “stay in my lane”. Several Jewish people said it was fine and they agreed with me. She spoke over them to tell me, once again, to stay in my lane. I simply said “no” and got unfriended.

And now, today, I have a “friend” who posted this…

ridiculous radicals

Gee… I wonder if a “radical” wrote this. I am a Liberal and have no interest in being Radical. I also don’t think that POC need to learn how to act like white people. I believe we need to accept people as themselves. So I wrote, “I’m liberal but don’t think that at all.” Short and sweet, right? This was the response…

Holy shitballs folks, maybe when something angers you it’s time to examine why you’re so angry…

Because I, btw, do not consider myself a liberal exactly because of how invested in white supremacy liberals in the USA are.

And because any discussion about race leads to white folks moaning about how “not them” instead of calling out other white people.

Not every generalization applies to you as an individual, get over yourselves. They apply to liberals GENERALLY.

Although I find the ones quickest to #notall are usually the most guilty need to be defensive.

That you even get to argue this shit is a privilege. Deal with the fact that you are racist and do better instead of thinking that when I complain about men/whites/liberals I’m calling you out personally.

Unless, you know, them shoes fit.

For someone who’s claiming myself and the other person who commented are angry, she sure has a lot of rage. I responded that her response was full of anger and she might want to look in a mirror. She was not happy to be told that.

People need to stop pinning labels on others and making assumptions about their beliefs and prejudices. Instead they need to treat each individual as just that, an individual. Black people can be prejudiced against other POC, southern Baptists can end up being supportive of trans people, white liberals can be open minded, and radicals can be ignorant.

If you build a big wall of intolerance between you and your neighbour, you are never going to see your similarities and you’ll never get the chance to actually know them.

Sadly, I don’t think this friend is going to try and listen but hopefully someone will because racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia are growing and the people who should be fighting against it are fighting their allies and calling them names instead.

Intersectionality and pink hats…

Dreadlocks. The style that White people have been wearing since the 1960’s. I’d never really thought about them other than vaguely wondering if they got mildewed in the centre after being washed. But now I was being informed, very strongly, that these clumps of hair were deeply offensive to Black people. Why? Because Black people were punished at work and at school for wearing dreads and braids and even just their hair in natural poofy curls.

I can understand intellectually that it would be frustrating and unfair to not be allowed to wear your natural hair style to work while Johnny gets to wear the same style. Although I fail to see how Johnny cutting off his dreads is going to make things more equal. It seems like an everyone loses situation.

Then there was the little girl who wanted a Japanese Tea Party for her birthday. People instantly cried out “cultural appropriation” and “racism”. At least up until Japanese people stepped up and said it certainly was not.

Cultural appropriation can be a real thing but it can also be incredibly hard to sort out. A big company took Native patterns, without payment, and put them on a t-shirt. That’s definitely cultural appropriation. But what about the average person who picks up a shirt or other garment while traveling? Is it cultural appropriation to wear it? Most of my friends agreed that if someone was given a garment it’s safe to wear but how is anyone supposed to know it was a gift? The shirt looks the same whether it was a gift or not.

The other part of cultural appropriation is the judgement. There’s no knowledge of what the individual is like or what they believe but they have beaded braids or an embroidered shirt so they’re guilty of racism. Sentenced and judged without even knowing.

And as more people learn about cultural appropriation, the tighter and more ridiculous it becomes. First it was fighting against corporations then individuals who wore certain clothes or styled their hair too similar to what a POC would wear, then it moved onto words White people can’t say and emojis that White people can’t use.

That Facebook emoji has black skin so you can’t use it.

Even yoga’s come under fire. I refuse to believe that every single White person who’s ever done a downward dog is racist.

Last year we had the pussy cat hat, made as a symbol of protest against Donald Trump, specifically a reference to the comment he made of “grab em by the pussy”. It wasn’t a protest against trans women or women of colour, although it definitely ignored them. The worst that could be said against the protestors was they were tone deaf. And, honestly, nothing was stopping a single woman of colour from making a hat in any colour she wanted. I know someone who knit one in the trans flag colours. There were free patterns online and they could be knit in brown or black.

As we enter another year I’m noticing more and more the dislike of White people, especially cis White women. Lots of “where were the cis White women when there were Black issues to be protested”. I don’t know. But I do know that this is not the first time cis White women have protested and I do agree that there should be people on both sides standing up for each other.

I’m looking at the States from Canada and see a president sowing dissent among his government and citizens. I see cuts to health care and children’s food programs. I see LGBTQ rights crumbling and I see people up in arms about a knit hat on a statue. Yes, she is a very important figure who made an incredible difference. She’s also dead and is unlikely to care. The statue was not disfigured, the hat is not permanent. And there are so many other issues to worry about right now.

Facebook is suspending accounts for complaining about White people because it’s “racial prejudice” to the point where people are calling White people “yt people” to get around the scans. There are police disproportionately killing POC or arresting them. Judges are sentencing POC with long sentences, much longer than White people. Black preschoolers are suspended and expelled for minor issues that White children get a time out for. Black children are seen as older than their age and they’re given less pain medication when they’re sick and in the hospital. All these are more important than a hat.

I think the hardest part of the cultural appropriation issue is it leaves people feeling there’s no room for dissent or criticism because as soon as you disagree, you’re obviously racist and being judged by your friends. Most of my friends on Facebook are introverts and this is the bulk of their social interaction. Being ostracized on Facebook becomes a big deal.

I’m a firm believer that people own their own body. That means they have the right to say no (or yes), they have a right to wear their hair the way they want and the right to wear the clothes they want. It’s not my right to walk over to someone and tell them their hair is cultural appropriation. It’s hair. They’re not stealing sacred artifacts out of burial grounds. Can we please focus less on cultural appropriation and more on human rights? There’s enough of them at risk right now.

Photo from A Mighty Girl