intra poc relations

I’m sorry but even for us POC, there is no such thing as a free pass on things like wearing Native American headdresses (if we aren’t native), dressing up as “geishas,” etc. as costumes. The history isn’t as deep and damning as it is with the cultural appropriations of white people (who obviously can’t do this shit), but it is still wrong and shits on the cultures, religions and identities of other POC.

Weaponizing Blackness in POC discussions

Addendum: My use of the phrase “weaponizing blackness,” was not only inaccurate, but damaging, harmful and wrong as well. I sincerely apologize for my use of that phrase and to the people who were hurt by how I flippantly threw out and continued to use that offensive and off-base terminology. One cannot “weaponize” their lived experience of oppression in any context, and saying as much reifies white supremacy, invalidates the lived experiences of oppression of black folks and is harmful, period. A much more accurate phrase would simply be “invalidating” the experiences of other POC and playing into “oppression olympics”. I apologize without reservation and retract the use of that specific phrase, but stand by the body of my critique on the invalidation of non-black POC experiences. 

There are loses when we engage in oppression olympics. Loses which cut, burn and sear. Loses which degrade and dehumanize. Loses which make us overlook that which binds us together in favor of mud-slinging that simply denigrates everyone involved. 

A fight for the bottom. A fight to know that our suffering was real and has meaning… as long as it is worse than that of another.

Validating ourselves and our experiences by finding the face of another to spit upon.

When we engage in these paradoxical struggles for the bottom of the heap, there is a loss of dignity that hurts all involved and does nothing to move the needle forward toward affecting the status quo and restoring that lost dignity. We all lose, and the damage it does is bitingly real and lasting.

As a black person, it’s disturbing watching popular black bloggers on here systematically weaponize our suffering as a people to denigrate and trivialize the suffering of others. You can make valid points about the unique struggles we face as a people without drawing completely inappropriate parallels to the oppression and suffering of other peoples. Issues arise when you make these completely inappropriate contrasts, because it is a minimization of the experiences of those peoples. And beneath all of your rhetoric and paragraphs of waxing large and poetic about just how much we have suffered (very important points in and of themselves), what you are effectively saying when you frame it around a minimizing contrast to the experience of another people is:

“We black people are the only ones who know true suffering, shut up.”

We can have a voice as a people without trampling on the lives and experiences of others. We can have a voice as a people on this platform without feeling the need to elevate our experience of oppression over the equally valid and real ones of others. We can have a voice without trying to weaponize our experience to denigrate others and reinforce the oppressive systems that hurt us all. 

Because at the end of the day when we weaponize our suffering to hurt others, not only do we affect the dignity of the peoples in question, but we lose some of our own dignity as a people as well; and that is something that we must all always keep in mind before making the mind-boggling, catastrophic and disgusting leap down into the black hole of oppression olympics.