Do you remember a past post about how I was raised on folk music, some of which is either straight out racist or stolen from other ethnicities, and how there are times when I enjoy the songs, and other times they make me cringe?
Well, it’s not just music.
If you pay attention, you can find many things about the overall American culture that are cringe-worthy to the average modern American. And not just racism, sexism, size-ism or anything else I rant about, they are simply things that used to be acceptable but are no longer.
Admittedly, some of them are a matter of political correctness gone wild. Things like the belief that men cannot EVER be feminists, because they have a penis and are therefore responsible for all the evils of society. Things like being offended on the behalf of a so-called “minority” (because, face it people, other ethnicities make up more than half of the American population – just like the Irish and Italian ethnicities did….and at one time both the Irish and the Italian were ALSO considered a “dirty, evil, lazy minority.”) without actually attempting to learn about the sub-culture1 they are supposedly protecting.
You want to protect the rights of the Native Americans, the Latinos, the African-Americans and the Asian Americans or any other group like those with disabilities or even something like sizeism (being too fat OR too thin)? Well, that’s a start at least. HOWEVER, if you really do want to do that, you had damned well go to someone of that group, and shut up. Let them talk. Let them educate you about their heritage, their particular culture and traditions, their life and limitations and what THEY want you to do to help them. Don’t just go swan in like some obese, bearded fairy godmother and expect slavish devotion because you deigned to grace them with your presence. Don’t interrupt, and offer your own supposed “unbiased opinion,” because it is rarely unbiased, and often crudely ignorant based on whatever stereotypes you were raised believing in. And yes, this is a white, fat woman saying this. I try not to make judgements about what people should do to protect people of color without contacting either or both of my beloved African American elders. I try to keep an eye on what they are doing both inside their community, and outside of it to educate others. For example, one of them (Amoke Kubat) wrote and starred in ANGRY BLACK WOMAN and Well Intentioned White Girl and actually touches on some of these issues.