The bigots are winning.

The Racists, the classists, the sexists, the homophobes, the gender binarists, they’re all winning. And here we are letting them. Over the last few news cycles we’ve had the standard abuse of black bodies (yes, at this point it is a standard), the debut of Caitlyn Jenner, a couple of high school graduations gone wrong because people were the “wrong” race or sexuality, some stuff about politics, and a little basketball. (My guess, and it’s just that, is Warriors in 6). My timeline is filled with people all angry about one or multiple of these issues. But, thanks to a little chest beating, the bigots are winning.

I know you’re thinking that doesn’t make any sense, but here is the thing. Every time someone says something like “we shouldn’t be focused on Caitlyn Jenner… look at all these other issues,” we all lose. It must be really nice to be a middle-aged, heterosexual, cisgender, middle/upper class, Christian, and able bodied White man. (Ie, the founding father’s vision of America…) No one ever looks at you and says “you don’t matter because you’re the wrong demographic. Except you know, affirmative action which takes sooooooo much from, wait. That’s right. it doesn’t.

The bigots are winning. And all because we keep forgetting how much it matters that we all be oppressed together. The people with the power (the oppressors) don’t change. For them, black is the same as gay which might as well be poor, which is obviously the same as trans. For them, it’s about maintaining power, and it doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the boot as long as they hear the satisfying sound of maintaining the status quo. And here we are, arms flailing, out from underneath a boot we’ve never had a chance to own screaming about how much more we matter than the person next to us. Because black (male) lives are more valuable than black (female) lives which are more valuable than black (trans) lives which are more valuable than all Latinx lives or any other POC for that matter. and that’s just race/and with a little gender identity intersectionality.

There are far too many marginalized populations screaming out from underneath the boot. Instead of arguing about who should get to come out from under the weight of years of oppression, how about we work together to lift the boot. Stop saying we should be focused on this issue or that because it’s more important. To you, maybe. But in the grand scheme of the world, we all have the right to matter.

My challenge to you is to try and find out something about a demographic you don’t belong to. Take a look at the list of identifiers at the top of the blog. Choose one and do a little research. My guess is that you’ll find that we aren’t all that different.

As always, feel free to send me things, questions, comments, thoughts, concerns, articles, hog calls, interpretive dances, or whatever fits your fancy.

I would love to start a dictionary of words for activists, so at any time you get to a word or phrase you find yourself looking up or you want to know what the correct term/phrase is, let me know and we can learn together!

Yours in activism,

Karli Janay

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