I know my best friend got this from another friend, so it’s probably making the rounds of the internet. Knowing exactly how hep & with it I really am, I presume some number of you have seen this already, but I couldn’t resist sharing it when it seems relevant to a number of recent topics here, including the definition of “Oppression = Prejudice + Power“. Here’s someone with a novel way of fighting prejudice, but with no clue about fighting oppression:
There’s a certain likelihood that this is trolling, but it reflects a position that is honestly taken by bigots the world over. Remember that rant I dropped on y’all about the One Drop Rule? Don’t forget that it was occasioned by Michael Shermer’s insistence that
If you identify by color & push for non-white identities, white identities will push back.
That line of thinking also constitutes an important premise of Tucker Carlson’s recent “inclusion makes us weaker” segment that blew up the internet. Oops. Not that one. I mean the other one. Dammit. This darn internet machine. I told it I wanted the segment where Tucker Carlson insists that talking about oppression is crazy because we should all be in this together. No! I mean, Yes! Like that, but talking about race. No, not just talking about race! The one that is about all oppressions, not just sexism alone or just racism alone. Yes, that one. Finally.
Eh-knee-waaaaaay… He’s explained his position ad literal nauseam, and it is this: if we can’t have racism, then we have to have one, unified culture where everyone is exactly the same in, like, everything. Get ready for raisins in your potato salad and lots and lots of mayonnaise, because the response of the privileged to a call to end oppression is all-too-frequently, “Okay, we’ll all be exactly alike, then there won’t be any oppression anymore.” Of course, the too-spoken corollary is, “So change yourself until you’re exactly like me.”
This is a common reaction. It’s certainly not limited to the United States. Nor should you think that this is limited to some discontinuous deep past:
In Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, various iterations of the Indian Residential School system were created … Attendance was mandatory, and Indian Agents would regularly visit aboriginal communities to take children as young as two or three from their homes. …These students were punished for speaking their native languages or observing any indigenous traditions, routinely physically and sexually assaulted, and in some extreme instances subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization.
The removals continued in Australia until the 1970s. The last residential school in Canada didn’t close until 1996. The U.S. government still operates 59 Indian Boarding Schools today.
Queer folk have their own tales of forced assimilation, though family ejection rather than external family removal was more common in white, queer experience. But it’s important to note this shit when it crops up, not merely to have good time mocking the bigots, but also not to aid us in creating the monoculture the bigots disingenuously advocate.
Instead, we need to take these moments that we recognize as assaults on one community using tactics developed for war on another as motivation to fight back in a systemic way, in a radical way.
In this particular case, people who care about fighting queer and trans oppressions should see the (probable-)troll’s “SLGBTQ” formulation as motivation to fight the colonizing, anti-indigenous oppression that persists today, but that also inspired the forging of this very weapon hundreds of years ago.
Also, too? VOTE. Vote like a norse berserker: intimidate the Freud out of anyone who tries to stand between you & your ballot, then slash your way through that thing from top to bottom. Preferably down its left side.