Okay. There’s something that has been bothering me for a long time and today I’m gonna try to articulate it. Here I go:
If you are white, you do not get to distance yourself from your whiteness by saying “white people suck” to a person of color. Believe me, they know.
If you are straight, you do not get to distance yourself from your straightness by saying “straight people suck” to a non-straight person. Believe me, we know.
If you are cis, you do not get to distance yourself from your cis-ness by saying “cis people suck” to a trans and/or nonbinary person. Believe me, they know.
I’m white and I caught myself doing this shit the other day while I was working on a race theory essay. I was writing about how white people try to infantilize black people in ads and media and I wrote “they” instead of “we” to refer to white people. Once I’d realized what I’d done—how I’d subconsciously tried to other myself from an oppressive group simply because I was criticizing it—I corrected it to “we.” Because, as a white person, I know that I am part of the problem.
You don’t get to decide that you are one of the “good ones” just because you think racism/homophobia/transphobia/etc. is bad. You’re still a member of the oppressive majority. You still perpetuate racism/homophobia/transphobia/etc.… regardless of whether you’re aware of it or not.
TL; DR:Please spend more time actually listening to minorities and less time assuring them that you’re not like those other bad white/straight/cis people.
dear white people: talks about inherent institutionalised racism, shows actual examples of racism that poc have to live through, shows the dangers and insecurity of living life as a poc, shows colorism in poc
some of y'all: you can’t call ALL white ppl racist tho :///
abusers are afraid of the world where they’re not able to abuse to freely, they’re afraid of the world where their abuse will be called out and condemned, where there will be consequences for their actions, where others will see what they’re doing and stand on the victim’s side, where they’re considered weak, disgusting, hateful and a burden on society they know they are.
that’s why they’re trying to normalize abuse, trying to convince everyone victims deserved it for being “weak” or a list of other bullshit reasons. they’re scared of being recognized for who they are. they’re scared of being discovered. they’re scared of having to look themselves in the mirror and admit to what they’ve done. they’re scared of what they have to pay.
This is Rick at his most exposed. It’s all he could ever give of himself to another person to pick over the deepest wound that the zombie apocalypse has inflicted on him. The third season – the conclusion of all the Shane and Lori drama, the birth of Judith, the loss of his wife – is Rick’s absolute undoing. In After, it’s played as the ultimate dig when Carl mentions Shane in the midst of his anger. For Rick himself to willingly bring the whole thing back in an effort to open himself up to Michonne is huge. It’s raw and painful and beautiful. You can tell how much it means for him to say, “Judith isn’t mine” by the way he breathes out afterwards – like it’s a breath he’s been holding in since the day she was born.
Rick’s reveal here should also be considered within a broader pattern that’s forming, too. Since these two became official, we’ve seen him much more emotionally open and direct than ever. His response to Michonne shutting down in her grief is to reach out (see also: Say Yes). And while this confession shows her the sacrifices he’s made to serve his argument, an inadvertent consequence – whether conscious or not – is that Michonne’s role as a parent becomes even more legitimized. Rick’s claiming of Judith is as legitimate or illegitimate as Michonne’s of both of their children. If Rick sees Judith as his, he sees Carl as Michonne’s.
Andy: It’s one of those watershed moments that happens between the two lovers, between Michonne and Rick, that brings them together.
Danai: It’s heartbreaking and it’s astounding and it’s painful, because on the one hand she loves him and sees more of the beauty in him, but he has been holding this inside. That he made the decision that he did is what makes him a beautiful leader. He sacrifices and he gets out of the way of his own feelings to do what’s right for others. That’s what’s beautiful about him to her. That’s why she trusts him and that’s why she’s been loyal to him, and part of why she fell in love with him. […] She would never have dreamt that he wasn’t Judith’s father from the way he treats this little girl.
Traumatized kids know how it is to go thru life alone. They were on their own since the start. They learned young that their world will turn against them, for any reason, and nobody will stand on their side. They were taught to silence their pain because crying out and getting humiliated and harmed for it hurts worse. They learned to appreciate isolation and neglect as if it was a gift, because it could be worse. They learned that their pain doesn’t matter. They learned that being weak isn’t an option, needing attention isn’t an option, wanting to be acknowledged and accepted was nothing short of asking for pain. They tried to earn it but that too only brought more pain, nothing they did was deemed good enough.
They learned to be strong. They know they’ll have nobody to call for help when things go wrong. They learned to face trials and dangers of life alone. They had no choice. Will you go to parents you’re scared of when your best friend betrays you? Will you be able to stand hearing “that’s what you deserved!” while drowning in grief? Will you talk to them when you get hurt and bullied, wounded and cornered by the world? Only to get spat on because they consider it all your fault, and you should know it’s your fault, struggling is your fault, trusting in someone is your fault, messing up in harsh world you were forced into without experience or guidance or advice or protection, it’s all your fault. You should have known better. You should have known it’s your own fault when someone hurts you. You should have known you deserved even worse.
You learn to hide your wounds so they can’t be cut in deeper. You learn to tell yourself all the harsh and cruel words you know you’d hear if you open your mouth, because you don’t want to deserve hearing it more. You already know. You hate yourself because you’re told that all you’re going thru is happening because of who you are, because you are not good, not lovable, not able of deserving anything, not important enough to matter. And that’s never going to change, tricking people into thinking you’re human is best you can hope for, but they will eventually figure it out.
How are you supposed to figure it out it wasn’t you, without anyone on your side and the world ready to blame you? How are you supposed to shift focus on what others are doing and hold them responsible? How are you supposed to realize your worth? How are you supposed to handle when others betray and abandon you like you’re nothing, when your parents voices in your head start screaming they were right about you?
Carrying the burden of guilt, shame, anxiety and fear that you’re being seen by everyone the same way your parents saw you, that everyone will eventually treat you as badly as your parents did, and that you deserved it, that’s what it means to walk thru the world wounded and alone. Doubting your memories, reactions, instincts, feelings, berating yourself for not being “normal” enough, for being seen as a nuisance and a burden, never feeling like you have the right to ask for what you want and need. Never knowing that get to own your life and use it freely for yourself. That is the heavy, painful life child abusers set up for their children. That’s what their parents wanted them to live thru.
There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.