Archives for posts with tag: probably racist

Identity politics has come a long way in shaping cultural discourse. Issues have become less relevant, and we now strongly desire only to talk about ourselves. The issues are still there, of course, ravaging as ever, but they have become only tangentially relevant to how we seem to want to world to perceive us: as victims. There are the traditional groups, long sufferers of injustice, who apparently no longer want to alleviate their suffering but would rather whinge about it ineffectually. Intersectionality, a brilliant method of distinguishing compounding injustice, when combined with identity politics seems to build up a personhood solely of deficits. A black trans-woman has more victim points than a black cis-woman, as it were. Prestige rises the more oppressed you are, but this prestige is built on a foundation of negatives. Thus progressive movements become more about the accumulation of oppression rather than addressing the roots of that oppression.

Consider the Black Lives Matter movement. It began after the death of Trayvon Martin, and its mission is to eliminate the disproportional violence that black people face at the hands of a racist system. And it’s true: despite being 13% of the American population, black people make up 25% of fatal police shootings. Now let’s look at another statistic: despite being just under 50% of the American population, men make up about 95% of fatal police shootings. No one claims that the system is misandrist, but the statistics paint a picture that is at least similar in its violent discrimination.

So why isn’t it #BlackMaleLivesMatter, beyond being way too long for a hashtag? The reasoning behind #AllLivesMatter being racist is that it doesn’t acknowledge the fact that Black Lives are the ones that are in danger. The comparison used is that of a burning building. All houses are worth saving, but the attention ought to be paid to the house that is on fire. Like in this comic strip:

Smug cartoons are so awful, especially strawman ones.

So by this same argument, should black male lives not be at the forefront of this discussion? Apparently not, because if you visit the BLM website, they are quite adamant, with no apparent regard for the irony, that all black lives matter. In fact, the Black Lives Matter movement actively tries to distance itself from black men. Their movement is described as going “beyond the narrow nationalism that … [keeps] straight cis Black men in the front of the movement while our sisters, queer and trans and disabled folk take up roles in the background or not at all.” This is a movement that peddles in outrage each time a black male is killed, but refuses to acknowledge which house is actually burning. Men aren’t traditional victims, so that acknowledgement could only distance them from their goal.

Now, the perfect counter argument to #BlackMaleLivesMatter is what about black women? They suffer greater economic disparity than both black men and white women, and also endure a greater degree of violence than their white female counterparts. Those presumably are fires that need to be addressed as well. And yet, there are more black women succeeding in post-secondary education than any other American demographic. Additionally, low-income rural white women are worse off in both physical and mental health, as well as financially, than low-income rural black women. Focusing solely on any one demographic and assuming that they are the worst off ignores the complexity and true intersectionality that hinders and benefits each group in varying ways. Hell, even in regard to police shootings, Native Americans face the largest disproportion in violence, and the mentally ill are 16x more likely to be shot in a police encounter than any other group. Our hashtag to address the house fire of police shootings really ought to be #MentallyIllNativeMaleLivesMatter, with probably some extra thrown in there too that I haven’t come across or considered. However, this group is far too specific for any kind of broad appeal, and only addresses police shootings. BLM obviously wants to address other issues too, so it ignores its own metaphor (the entire basis for its reproach of #AllLives) in order to do so. Figuring out where the fire truly lies is incredibly difficult and alienating to groups who it doesn’t affect, so they prefer to adhere to victim-mentality in the hopes that nobody notices.

The Cult of Victimhood does not only apply to Black Lives Matter and their insistence on mislabeling their struggle strictly for the sake of appearances. Consider the moniker People of Colour (POC) as a differentiation from white people. This title is meant to demarcate the struggle non-white people have in White America. An example is this video, and I’m going to specifically look at the section where a white woman feels uncomfortable because her Asian coworker is making less money than her for the same job. This is making the false assumption that all non-white people suffer equally under white oppression. This example is perfect, because Asian women actually make more money than white women overall. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Asian women aged 16 to 24 have earned a weekly median income higher than white men in the same age range consistently in every quarter for the past ten years. Asian women in other brackets typically do a little worse than white men, but when your racial demarcation is supposed to make you worse off based solely on that racial factor, that seems quite significant. As stated, Asian women fare better than white women in all age brackets as do Asian men over white men.

Asian people are disproportionately less likely to be a victim of crime. They have better overall health than other races, as well as a longer life expectancy. If we go back to our police shooting statistics, Asians represent 2% of all fatal police shootings while they make up about 5% of the population. Even in regard to a lack of movie roles, Asians make up about 5% of characters represented on screen. Now, the quality of those roles and the portrayal of Asian characters is certainly something that needs to be addressed, and an argument can even be made that disproportionately higher visibility is beneficial to society overall, but when the loudest voices on Asian oppression are shouting about a lack of film roles despite the representation being proportional, especially against the backdrop of other racial minorities being gunned down in the streets, it seems more like an attempt to jump on the victim bandwagon since in most major categories of regular oppression, Asians are faring better than even whites.

Now hopefully you’ve been paying attention and are realizing that generalizing is stupid when it comes to measuring how privileged or victimized a group of people might be. For example, the wealth gap between the wealthy Asians and the poor Asians is larger than wealthy whites and poor whites, and Asians are less likely to be homeowners. Additionally, even speaking of “Asians” as a homogeneous group ignores that Chinese-Americans are doing significantly better than say, Vietnamese-Americans or Cambodian-Americans. There are certainly fires to be put out within the treatment of Asians in America, but creating a broad pan-racial minority identity in order to create a clear victim/oppressor binary is still problematic and misleading.

I’ve been picking on the Left, but the Right is just as guilty. I mean, consider the groups that claim that straight, white, males are the most oppressed identity in America. There are genuine fears of white genocide, fears of media targeting white men, etc. Men’s Rights Activists even trot out their own data to prove that men have it worse off than women, campaigning to be perceived as the world’s greatest victims. Even if there is obvious evidence to the contrary, the Right still adopts the same language of the oppressed for the same reasons as the Left. Everyone wants to be a victim.

What you should be asking yourself is, why the fuck do people want to be victims?

Firstly, it is an appeal to the emotions beyond anything else. Remember when Newt Gringrich said that he would rather appeal to how his constituents felt over what the statistics said? You should, because this is what he was referring to. If you can get people to be emotionally riled up, you have a better chance for a political victory. Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that being able to point to a victim will induce empathy, but since quite often both sides have access to their own victims who can be paraded in front of cameras, neither side will give up ground because neither side is looking for a reasonable solution. An example he gives is Black Lives Matter pointing to shooting victims compared to Blue Lives Matter pointing to hardworking cops struggling through a dangerous job with little thanks or appreciation. The tactic to win becomes who can pander to the greatest number of people’s emotions, rather than who has the greatest hold on the truth.

Another reason might be pure laziness. We live in a newly sedentary world driven by social media, so people do not feel obligated to do more than just post about how much of a victim they are in the hopes that the squeaky wheel will somehow get the grease. If you imagine a car accident, the victim is the one who is entitled to the settlement. There isn’t any effort required, since the system owes victims compensation simply for being victims. It gives a moral high ground that allows preachiness since the world owes redress.  Doing something about oppression requires more than a tweet, but victim mentality believes that merely pointing out the intensity of victimhood will miraculously be enough to change it.

I have my own theory in regard to this mentality. Ernest Becker is famous for analyzing how human beings relate to their own mortality. He posits that in order to compensate for the permanency of death and the terrifying finitude of our lives in the face of it, we seek grandeur in order to deal with this mountain of subconscious anxiety. We can either ascribe this grandeur to cultural trends and possibly follow a leader to use their heroic stature to grant us some degree of immortality, we can ascribe it to ourselves to be our own lonely hero, or we can use the grandeur of religious infinity to give us solace in the face of death. I believe that victim mentality plays a part in Becker’s theory. Consider the cultural heroes of today: they are the scrappy underdog facing off against giant, impossible entities; the rebels against the empire. We seek to be victims because it grants our story a greater flare. It might not even be so much victim mentality as an underdog mentality, since any victory under these conditions becomes that much more memorable and worthwhile. But as a friend of mine pointed out when I spoke to him about this, when you’re the underdog you’re always half expecting to lose.

Victim mentality fails because you can always point to a group that is worse off. Even #BlackDyslexicLesbianLivesMatter doesn’t work because you could just consider that same demographic in India or Saudi Arabia. Since privilege means not being able to have a voice, victim mentality inherently negates any kind of progress being made.

Men aren’t allowed to speak or think about gender. They must submit to the voices of REAL victims and parrot those opinions if this whole “feminist” thing is going to work.

So really, our Black Lesbian Dyslexics ought not to speak about issues they may believe are important, they must take the space they have in North America to speak first and foremost about the plight of those who are worse off than them. The pyramid of intersectional victimhood has no bottom. In a less extreme example, Emma Watson’s speech at the UN on her #HeForShe campaign was criticized for conforming to the gender binary since wanting men to take part in feminist conversations ignores the fraction of the population who do not believe that “men” exist as such. Including them is far more important than including men, after all.

What’s the solution? Well, abandoning identity politics is a good start. The next step would be to identify the causes of whichever fires you’re trying to put out. I’ll use fatal police shootings as my example to keep up the trend. What causes police shootings? Victim mentality says that it’s because black people are oppressed and cops are racist; a distinct victim/oppressor binary that has been entirely unhelpful. Racism probably does play a part, but what about the increased contact that police have with minority communities? Police frequently use mathematical algorithms to determine where to send officers, and they use data based on specific crimes in order to do so. What do they put in their algorithm? It turns out that the crimes that they search for are disproportionately linked to poorer neighbourhoods, and so more police are sent to these neighbourhoods. With more police, more crime is discovered, and so there is a cycle of increasing crime in poorer (notably racialized) ghettos because an algorithm was programmed to send them there. If the algorithm was programmed to search for white collar crimes, which neighbourhoods would have more police officers? Given that white people consume more illegal drugs than blacks, it is likely that an increased police presence would discover a similar increase in crime. Or take the racial disparity in drug crime based on the type of drug: the cheaper crack cocaine that is more prevalent in black communities receives significantly lengthier jail sentences than its powdered counterpart which is more popular among whites. It’s also likely that poverty is simply creating more criminals, making black men more likely to follow that path due to their battered economic condition.

When I worked in a group home, the company policy was that when a child made an allegation against an employee, the company would generally trust the employee over the youth. Employees have all had criminal record checks, various education requirements completed, and a bunch of other hoops that they had to jump through in order to get this position. Youth under the care of the State frequently need to be manipulative to survive, and are often anti-authoritarian to an extreme degree. Given this reality, it makes sense to demand a higher burden of proof on accusers who could simply be trying to get the employee fired because of some perceived slight. Is it the perfect system? No. Does abuse happen? Yes. But my point is, before we start a crusade against the police, blindly calling for their defunding, we have to figure out exactly what is going on, and what the best steps are for addressing that.

What are the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement? Are they to bring police violence down to a proportional level, eliminate violence against only black people, or eliminate unchecked police violence entirely, regardless of who the victim might be? Would the shooting of unarmed black men be okay if it matched the same proportion of unarmed white men?

SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals are important. Consider the outcome of the protest against Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban compared to the outcome of the Woman’s March. One was demanding something specific, the other wasn’t demanding anything at all. The ban was overturned, and the nothing that the Woman’s March set out to achieve was obtained as well. What if the huge force of Black Lives Matter demanded comprehensive drug law reform? And when they got that, they demanded an increase in integrated social housing? Then a diversification of social programs to reduce poverty? There are plenty of great options out there to reduce police violence, and demanding only to “Matter” isn’t going to achieve any of them.

Setting realistic goals prevents most obnoxious refutations too. If someone says women are victims and men are oppressors, and someone else comes along and says, well then how come women are earning more degrees than men, then the argument has floundered. If someone says 85% of victims of domestic violence are women, here’s why I think this is, and here’s what I think we should do about it, the best someone can do is offer a counterargument to the cause or solution. The issue is set in statistical stone.

There is also Empowerment Theory, which suggests that rather than focus on what’s wrong with a community, we focus on their strengths and their abilities to form their own exodus from oppression. Identities built on deficiencies cannot do for themselves, and must, as the squeaky wheel, simply wait for another, more capable person to apply the grease. This mentality can become internalized, which means that progressive movements that are built on victimizing their population are doing so at the risk of making impotent the same people they are trying to help; the underdog half expecting to lose. Instead, Empowerment focuses on the skills, resources, networks, and stories of communities as the methods with which they better themselves. What would feminism be like if the #YesAllWomen campaign implied that all women were capable of making changes in their own lives rather than implying that all women are helpless victims? There are pockets that exist, such as Good Black News which is devoted to telling only strengths-based stories of black people and Pride campaigns that are telling LGBT children that not only is it okay to be gay, but it is absolutely amazing. However, there needs to be more.

Victim mentality in progressive movements does not ask for anything outside of acknowledgement. A successful white person is one who retweets a BLM hashtag. A successful man is one who identifies as a feminist. No commitment is required beyond this because that is all the cult of victimhood is demanding. There is also a suspicious lack of class consciousness, given that the privileged group is always straight, white men with no mention of wealth at all, and this is likely due to what Zizek would call the unexamined ideology of capitalism infused within western liberalism, but that’s a blog for another day. To sum up, real issues must be identified, real causes must be determined, and real solutions must be applied. Anything else is just a self-righteous waste of time.

Post-script: All of this data is American, but shockwaves of its effects are felt in Canada, given our own Black Lives Matter movement. If you were wondering, in comparison to America’s black 13% of the population representing 40% of its prison population, in Canada, First Nations people make up 4% of the population and 12% of the prison population, Métis represent 1.4% of the population and 5% of the prison population, and blacks, at 2.5% of the population, make up 6% of the prison population. There are also more Aboriginal children in government “care” today than there was during the height of the Residential School era, which would be like if slavery in the United States was still on-going. If the burning house metaphor is applied, then the Canadian fires are burning down the houses of Aboriginals. If we’re choosing not to stand in solidarity, but prefer to fight each other all the way to the bottom to see who gets the honour of being the biggest victim, then BLM Canada really ought to concede defeat.

I’ve been having a hard time with the recent Dallas shooting of 12 police officers, almost entirely because the progressive people who I have on my Facebook friends list, who make a point of acknowledging that the terrorists attacks in Turkey or Sudan are just as worthy of sympathy as the ones in France or Belgium, are noticeably silent about it. My guess is because they interpret Martin Luther King’s quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” as applicable only to the dominant group. Of course, there are far more victims of police shootings than officers being shot, but when violence is carried out in the name of a progressive movement, and to be clear that is exactly what happened, then a good, hard look is required.

Our first look needs to be this. This is a photo of a Dallas police officer who made it home:

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This image is equally necessary to all the images of the black victims of police shootings to create the full context of that discussion.

There are five families who didn’t get to have this moment. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Yet I am conflicted. One of the things I did soon after the shooting was reread a previous blog I had written about violence as a response to oppression. I was not unambiguously against it, and was clear in reminding people that violence is often a reflection of the extent of oppression being committed against that populace. Black people face disproportionate violence from police officers, that is incontestable. Is the extent of that oppression creating this violent response? Are we just living in a time of revolution, and learning the humbling tragedy that revolution inflicts on everybody?

Malcolm X is famous for fighting for the rights of black people “by any means necessary.” He believed that without a violent response, “whites would not have to worry about a revengeful response to their brutality.” His unflinching rhetoric made no distinction between enemies and allies in the white race, and he made claims like all whites are responsible for “urban black ghetto[s] where drugs, poverty, crime, unemployment, and bad housing are its defining characteristics.”

Malcolm’s success was in the creation of a proud black identity. He advocated that “black people wherever possible, however possible, patronize their own kind … and start to build up the black race’s ability to do for itself.” He believed that black people had the ability to be exceptional, and he fought for those beliefs. One article that I desperately searched for but could not find suggested that without Martin Luther King, black people would not have the vote, but without Malcolm X, black people would not have their identity.

Now, Malcolm had interesting goals. He believed in creating a nation within the United States where black people could live autonomously outside of the rest of white America. He actually conferred with white supremacists, who were quite happy to kick black folk out of their towns, toward the achievement of this goal. To Malcolm, “segregation is that which is forced upon inferiors by superiors. But separation is that which is done voluntarily by two equals – for the good of both.” Now one could simply look at India and Pakistan to see how effective that would be in practice, but those were his views.

Most importantly, Malcolm’s actions and rhetoric reflected his plans. He could promote violence against white people because they did not have a place in his society. He could make blanket statements about white people because they were irrelevant to his goals. Malcolm has often been criticized for his open hatred of white people, but when his goals are considered, his hatred is reasonable toward their achievement.

What about the Black Lives Matter movement? They practice non-violence, so they must be more akin to Martin than Malcolm, right? I mean sure, there are fringe groups chanting for dead cops, but the vast majority choose non-violent methods. Martin said, “We can’t solve this problem through retaliatory violence… We must meet violence with nonviolence… Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you. We must love our white brothers… no matter what they do to us.” Surely a movement that hearkens to Martin’s methodology would mirror his rhetoric, but that does not seem to be the case.

Advocates against racism today frequently use generalized language, directing their messages toward ‘white people’. Examples here, here, here, here, here… I’m not arguing that the information that’s being given is incorrect, but the way that it’s being presented paints the clear villains as ‘white people’. A feature length film was even created called Dear White People that examines this phenomenon. The systemic racism in North America is still being attributed to ‘white people’, and that sounds a lot more like Malcolm than Martin. Memes such as this:

BlackLivesvsWhiteFeelingscr

literally put black people and white people on opposing sides, as if there is a necessary conflict between the two. This article calls the Dallas shooting unsurprising considering the state of American affairs on racial inequality. The author uses a cake metaphor to illustrate this lack of surprise, whereas Malcolm simply said about the national tragedy of his day, “The chickens were coming home to roost.” Even the fight for the exclusion of police officers from the Toronto Pride festival is reminiscent of Malcolm’s aim of separation.

So what did Martin say? Well, he said in his I Have A Dream speech that, “The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.” His dream was “that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” He dreamed that one day the “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” He acknowledges all the troubles of black people, but his rhetoric is firmly entrenched in an alliance with white people. Memes like this:

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People in glass houses…

illustrate the ignorance people have of Martin’s beliefs because his dream, if you listen to the recording, was a lot closer to the message of #AllLivesMatter than anything else. He was very purposeful and clear about his inclusion of whites, and going by the themes of his speech, he would likely have said that “white lives are inextricably bound to black lives.” Martin believed in the supremacy of unity. He wasn’t about anger, but hope. It was this oration of hope and unity that got him the ear of two presidents to fix the systemic problems of his time, whereas Malcolm only raged in the streets.

Even Malcolm rescinded a lot of his rhetoric after his pilgrimage to Mecca, and afterward he said, “I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such, I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” He also cites regret at having dismissed a potential white ally on the steps of a college in his fight for the black race:

Well, I’ve lived to regret that incident. In many parts of the African continent I saw white students helping Black people. Something like this kills a lot of argument. I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I’m sorry for now. I was a zombie then — like all [Black] Muslims — I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march. Well, I guess a man’s entitled to make a fool of himself if he’s ready to pay the cost. It cost me twelve years.

When the grandfather of anger-based identity politics likens that approach to being a mindless zombie, that is a harsh indictment.

Yet I do not believe that Martin could have succeeded without Malcolm. In my blog I refer to a yin yang approach, and Malcolm even addressed this when he said, “If white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King.” It’s the good cop/bad cop routine, but with racial politics.

Today though, the only rhetoric allowed is that of Malcolm. Identity politics rules. People are angry, and rightfully so, of course, but we’re missing our Martin. The methodology is meaningless if it does not match the rhetoric or the goals. Are people screaming to love the police, no matter what atrocities they commit? No, they’re banning them from progressive events. The most prominent criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement is the #AllLivesMatter campaign, which is typically dismissed as white ignorance, when really it’s a question about the role the rest of society has within the movement. A Martin today would address that question rather than pass it over with disdain as Malcolm would.

I really don’t know if this is the result of a lack of clear progressive leadership, or the degradation of political movements over time, but Black Lives Matter really needs to analyse its goals to see if they truly match its rhetoric and actions. Is the goal separation or unity? Hatred or love? Identity politics or actual politics? Violence against police officers and racial divisions can only increase given the current discourse because, as it stands right now, the dream is dead.

Post-script: all quotations, unless otherwise cited, have come from here.

There has been an enormous backlash against Rachel Dolezal ever since she came out and identified as a black woman. Both as a condemnation towards her for having the audacity to don a modern day blackface in order to appropriate black culture, as well as a harsh denial that identifying as a different race is the same as identifying as a different gender.

I’m going to be using the adopted “transracial” term throughout this blog post because despite its original meaning of crossing racial boundaries, it’s really the best we’ve got. Plus, it gives me a good opportunity to address the first critique of Rachel Dolezal’s identifying as a black woman: people claim that because there is no word for “transracial”, Rachel Dolezal must be lying. This of course would mean that before the early 1970s when transgender was added to the English lexicon, it was impossible for people to identify as a different gender. Not having an English word for something does not automatically discard it as impossible.

Rachel Dolezal must also be lying because you can’t feel a race, whereas you can feel a gender. Those who are transgendered typically are aware of the ‘wrongness’ of their body in relation to their identity as early as childhood. What does it mean to feel a gender though? It seems just as ludicrous as feeling a race. As a cis-man, I feel I should be adequately qualified to say what it feels like to be a man, and I am 100% certain that a trans-male would not feel their gender the same as I do. I am told, time and again, that there is no way for me to understand what it’s like to be trans, and that is fair, there’s not. I don’t claim to. But that lack of understanding works both ways. Being a man is not just the hormonal urges and biological make-up; chromosomes dictate gender just as much as genetics dictate race, and both have physiological effects on our selves, but any transgendered person will tell you there’s more to gender identity than your chromosomes. Why can’t it be the same with genetics? Yes, there’s also the social conditioning and cultural attitudes that affect gender as well, and this is precisely why gender is considered a social construct, much like, hey you guessed it, race!

Which leads me to my next point: Rachel Dolezal is merely a white woman appropriating black culture because that’s what white people do. White people wear Native American tribal feathers like party hats, and are shocked when they learn that trivializing sacred traditions for the sake of looking exotic at a rave is considered offensive. But by all accounts, Rachel Dolezal was not trivializing black culture, but was embracing it, thriving within it, and helping progress it. If becoming an embodiment of a member of a culture is by definition appropriation, why is it not appropriation when a man becomes a woman or vice versa? There are gender cultures. We each have our separate hairstyles and modes of dress; we have our own belief sets (for example with regards to sexuality); we have our own rituals, etc. Yes, not all men and women fall into those cultural boundaries, just as not all black and white people fit into their own respective cultural stereotypes. I say again, THEY ARE BOTH EQUALLY SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS. If Rachel Dolezal was indeed trivializing black culture, rather than fully immersing herself into it, then it would be appropriation. However, since she clearly is not, then there is no more appropriating than when someone identifies as a separate gender.

But of course, black culture has a long, sordid history of oppression by white people, so that makes it worse. Black people weren’t given the vote in America until 1965, and the Jim Crow One-Drop law forced even those with the most minute of black ancestry to face terrible oppression. The argument is that when black people are treated like white people, then white people can identify as black. But women only got the vote 45 years earlier in 1920, and if I want to get catty about it, women weren’t allowed to wear pants in school until 1972, and now men want to wear skirts? Women still receive a fraction of the pay that men make for the same amount of work, and there are still disturbing amounts of incidents of violence against women. So if we have to wait until black people have equality for a white person to be able to identify as one, why was gender allowed to jump the gun?

My favourite argument that I’ve come across thus far was that Rachel Dolezal was seeking to gain socially by becoming a black woman. Which is hilarious to me because since when has a BLACK WOMAN been the top of the social totem pole? White privilege and male privilege are no longer the accepted norm? Black women have taken the top spot? Please. And even if Rachel Dolezal benefited from identifying as a black woman, this trans-man wrote an entire article about how sweet being recognized as a dude is, and no one is asking him to hand back his penis card:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/05/male-privilege-trans-men/

Speaking of privilege, Rachel Dolezal is also condemned because she can just remove her shoe polish or whatever and do her hair like a proper white woman whenever she gets tired of playing dress up, and she can reclaim her white privilege; no harm, no foul. Just like a trans-woman could take off her dress and wig any time she wanted to get back that sweet male privilege, right?

A lot of transgendered people have been interviewed, as well as black people, as well as trans-black people, who all claim that Rachel Dolezal can’t be associated with them for a variety of reasons. So she must be lying, because intersectional identity politics teaches us that those from one group get to dictate how those from another group identify themselves. That was sarcasm. If you don’t get it, look up intersectionality. It’ll be good for you. I’m sure being transracial is quite different from being transgendered, or cisracial, but that doesn’t mean those groups have the right to denounce her identity just because it’s different from their own.

The final argument is, of course, she’s just lying. There’s no such thing as being transracial, so she can’t be one. She’s a big fat liar. Except, there’s kinda precedent. Given the fact that race is a social construct, it shouldn’t be that difficult to identify as a race separate from the one you were born with. We actually have names for those kinds of people, and given the seemingly natural transphobic nature of most people, they’re all slurs: Wiggers, for instance, or an Uncle Tom for the opposite. We have Bananas, and those white guys who are super into Japanese culture. I don’t know if they have a name, but most people just call them creeps. In Asia, there is that whole eye-widening craze. Hell, the one instance that I’m surprised NOBODY has mentioned in this clusterfuck of a media shitstorm is Michael God damn Jackson. You could argue that he had his skin disease and that’s why he bleached his skin, but his skin disease didn’t cause him to get facial reconstruction surgery to thin out his nose and lips, or straighten his hair, effectively erasing any remaining “blackness” he once possessed. Michael Jackson never openly identified as being white, but it is not a far stretch of the imagination to envision it as a distinct possibility.

It is possible Rachel Dolezal is lying. Sure. But people are arguing so vehemently about the strictest impossibility of anything similar ever even taking place that you have to question why transracial is different from transgender. Why is a white person identifying as being black so offensive while a man identifying as a woman is accepted (among progressives, anyway)?

My first guess was that white people are simply greater villains than men, but I don’t think that’s true. Slavery, the biggest divide between whites and blacks, didn’t occur just in America. Africa had its own share of slavery, and when white slavers came to the African continent to buy slaves, it was African tribesmen who sold them. I’m not trying to justify or condone anything, but I would like to point out that I can assume with almost 100% certainty that both individuals in every instance of those slave exchanges, for both races, were men. White people have done terrible things, but so have black people, so has every single race in existence, and again, in almost every instance, it was likely being perpetrated by a man.

Simone de Beauvoir in her book The Second Sex points out that it is much more difficult for woman to combat against men because gender pervades all the other divisions. Whites and blacks have a clear distinction, as do the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Most combative groups have distinct dividing lines between them. Men and women, however, permeate all those groups. It is almost impossible for men and women to strictly work against one another because of this, and also because quite frequently men and women love each other deeply. The biological connection that men and women share makes it much more difficult for us to hate one another, whereas there is no such courtesy among any other groups.

It’s also possible that people identify more with their race than they do with their gender, and that is why people are getting more anxious over someone identifying as transracial than transgender.

For the group that claims to be the critical thinkers of the modern world, I really feel like progressives have dropped the ball. If you want to argue with me that transracial isn’t a thing, go for it. I’m not married to the idea. I just need to see a better argument that can’t just be put up against transgendered people with just a few words switched out, like I’m going to do here with this Huffington Post article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/12/rachel-dolezal-caitlyn-jenner_n_7569160.html

Gender divisions may ultimately be a construct, Moore notes, but “sex is determined by your chromosomes.” And it’s secondary sex characteristics that primarily determines gender privilege, and the way others in the world interact with your gender identity.

Transgender identity is a concept that allows men to indulge in femininity as a commodity, without having to actually engage with every facet of what being a woman entails — discrimination, marginalization, oppression, and so on. It plays into gender stereotypes, and perpetuates the false idea that it is possible to “feel” a gender. As a man, Jenner retains his privilege; he can take off the wig and the nylons and navigate the world without the stigma tied to actually being a woman. His connection to gender oppression is something he has complete control over, a costume he can put on — and take off — as he pleases.

It’s unclear what Jenner believes his authentic gender identity to be — he has yet to comment publicly, and actively dodged the question when a reporter asked him what genitals he had under his skirt on June 10. “I don’t understand the question,” he answered, ending the interview abruptly.

Jenner’s delusion and commitment to living as a woman is profound. And it’s inherently wrong. The implications of a man, donning femininity and then using that femininity in order to navigate women’s washrooms is offensive. 

I won’t do the whole article because a lot of it is too specific to Dolezal’s case, and frankly it’s annoying to bold all those words, but you get the idea. If you want to call me transphobic for making the comparison between transgender and transracial, then I will call you transphobic for automatically assuming that someone who identifies as something they weren’t born as is a liar and a pretender, or worse, mentally ill.