I wanted to write about how privilege has shaped our nation so much, and maybe I will do a bonus post later about that, though I am finding it hard to write even this. The past week has been a roller coaster ride, culminating in my being hired by NYPIRG to canvass for their anti-fracking campaign. I should be in a good mood, and for the most part I am, but every time I turned around to do research for today’s post I was confronted with an irritating instance of white whine. It got to the point where I felt I was triggering myself, and then, after going home to get online to just unwind playing on Facebook, I came across this little gem on a friend’s wall.
It was like a punch in the chest. I could not believe that this person could not see how offensive this could be. The fact that “trans panic” is still used in the defense of people who murder us, the amount of rape and simple dehumanization that we face are all apparently lost on this person. Myself and one other tried to explain how wrong this was, and we got that great stock defense of all those that use such insensitive humor: I am sorry that you don’t understand me.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I unfriended the person on Facebook, and frankly will IRL. How is that ever an acceptable response? How do you not take a few seconds and actually think about how your comments might have been extremely hurtful, rather than think about how your feelings were hurt by the trans, PoC, gay or whatever person calling you out? Hey, I’ve been known to make inappropriate comments. I screw up, we all do. When I screw up though, when I fail to check my privilege and someone calls me out on it, you know what I do, I apologize and then thank them.
The sad part is, this person was also a member of the LGBTQ community. I see it so often, we are so willing to eat our own. It is not just us though, it is everyone. Everyone wants their oppression recognized but no one wants to acknowledge that sometimes they are the oppressor. I sometimes despair for humanity because of this, and desperately need some proof that I am wrong to do so.
Update: The person in question has apologized for not thinking. Perhaps the world is not an irredeemably bad place.