POC, I'm Ready To Help If You Need It. Even If The Only "Help" You Need Is For Someone To Listen.
Hey, ladies and gents and nonbinary friends.
I know no one wants to hear another whitey's thoughts on race, but these aren't dominant thoughts. These thoughts are submissive, listening thoughts. I mean, yes, technically, I'm talking at you - kind of the point of a blog - but I'm also encouraging you to talk back, via email or in the Comments section. Okay? And if I say something that you consider offensive here, in this post or any upcoming one, please tell me. I may not know the context. And I am aware that ignorance is no excuse, but if I actually do not know something, it's hard to imagine that I said or did the thing maliciously. Okay? Okay.
When you take my white label off, I am a disabled, wheelchair-using, nonbinary queer who looks and acts kind of like a woman. When you put my white label back on, the person you're imagining suddenly has a much better life. And that's accurate. Whiteness makes (almost) everything seem better to other white people. We whiteys (my affectionate name for some of the most callous people out there) have a lot of privilege. That's okay! We just have to use this privilege for good...but most of us don't. I hope I do, but how would I really know, when no one agrees on anything anymore? The least I can do is treat everyone else the way I would like to be treated - and I have some good reasons for that:
I am disabled enough to use a wheelchair. And I'm a woman. I sort of get the whole "I am a minority" feeling. Sort of.
When I say I'm a woman, you think, "What? She's contradicting what she just said a minute ago! Should I even say she?" Relax. By, "I'm a woman," I mean I'm agender/cassgender/genderfluid - in other words, I don't know nor care what my gender is - but I'm proudly feminine. My pronouns are she/her or they/them. I am a woman biologically, and I'll support my sisters. Woman troubles are my troubles. And there's a lot of trouble here in our corner. It actually fills me with rage sometimes, when I think about what women and feminine queer people all over the world go through today and have been going through for years. It seems that there is no end to it. It's all of us, because of something we all are.
I am pretty disabled. I can walk, a bit. Badly. I'm working on it, but it's taking a lot out of me and I use a wheelchair most of the day, every day. I've gotten used to it. So have my friends. But I'll still run into people every now and then who have no idea how to act around me. Are they allowed to laugh at my disabled jokes? These people, however rare, do not talk to me or about me. Because they're nervous. I don't require pity, but I see it everywhere. They're walking on eggshells, acting odd and apprehensive-- and thus, I can never connect with them. And then there are people, even rarer but even louder, that have forgotten I exist until I'm right on top of them. People who try to move my chair - while I'm in it - because I'm "in the way." People who park in disabled parking spots without a placard, or use the stalls without any actually good fuckin' reason. And may I bring up all of architecture before a few years ago? We're ignored either way, whether you're too PC to function or in need of some more PC. It's all of us, because of something we all are.
So yeah. I get it. Not completely, but enough. I get it enough. I get it enough that you should listen when I tell you I'm sorry, and in turn, I'll listen when you tell me sorry won't cut it. Ok. So here goes:
...I'm sorry. But wait. The "sorry" doesn't really help. You know what I would say "sorry" for. There's a lot. But while it's a kind effort to say such words, I just think - Do I want to hear a "sorry?" No, I want to see a solution at work. So I just have to find one. I mean, there's not a lot I can really do. I mean, I'm white - as I've been saying - and therefore, I am automatically part of your problem. This is your fight. Not mine.
But I will help you. I will stand by your side, slightly behind, slightly in your shadow, so you can do your thing without being in mine. I am so darn ready to listen and receive and hug and accept. I love you all. You've fought so hard. And it's likely you want someone to listen, it's likely you want to talk. Not all the time. But when you do want to talk, this is the help I can offer:
I'm gonna spread my privilege around like butter on toast. How, you may ask? Great question! I'm going to introduce a thing called Guest Bloggers! Are you a POC? - and - Do you have thoughts, many thoughts, but no blog of your own? Or do you have a blog, that has even less regular readers than I do (I'll warn you, I have about 10)? Do you like writing, but only, ehhhh, once a year? I can help - with marketing at least! You could just write about your own life, nothing loud or big - unless you want to write loud or big! I'm talking people close to my age (I'm 17, a few years plus or minus should do it!), all different situations, cultures, colors - of hair and skin!
The guest blogger thing would be relatively rare. I want my blog to stay my own, and I don't want it's purpose to change. But I want to keep my voice and help others raise theirs at the same time.
If you want in, send an email with chosen name (pseudonym accepted) and age for publication to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "POC Amplification Time!" and be sure to include a bit about yourself and why you want to be one of my Guest Bloggers.
If you don't want in, that's fine too. Do your thing.
This is your time. (And mine, a bit.)
But you don't need me to tell you that.