I love political discussion, and one of things that frustrates me the most is when people hoping to reach a shared goal can’t find ways to work together to achieve it. I do a lot of writing on a blog dedicated to interracial relations. I enjoy the people and the majority of the topics, much of the discussions are usually pleasant and informative, but as soon as a topic touches on anything involving social structure, its guaranteed that all Hell will break lose.
This separation in opinion often stems from the realities of life being markedly different from one another. Depending on who your talking to, these variations stem from the race, gender, or cultural background from where each person bases his or her life experience. This isn’t unique to online dialogue, nor is it a new occurrence in social problem solving, however, the fact remains that well meaning people find it difficult to move forward as a collective when the desired solution only satisfy a portion of the interested parties.
Social media has changed the ways in which we approach political problems. I took a course in undergrad called “Cyber Politics” and since this was early in the days of the internet, the book left us all wondering what the impact of free, simple mass communication would be on politics and government. This would be well before president Obama used social media to win his first election in 2009. Since that time, the internet has become a tool with unlimited potential to change the ways we do nearly everything in our lives.
When it comes to privilege, it’s a well known fact that women have struggled and continue to struggle with creating an existence that is equal to the potential and capacity of that afforded to males. Women have been speaking on their own behalf for as long as they’ve been allowed to do so. It took the voice and power of many women, and men to achieve the gender strides that we have at this day and age. However, in the midst of the pursuit of gender equality comes a new set of challenges.
When noise is made, the solutions formulated to improve gender inequality, only the seek to improve life for the counterpart of male patriarchy, namely, White women.
Upon further inspection one realizes that Black women are not on par with the subset of society best positioned to take advantage of good intentioned ‘progress’ since solutions, and those who identify and formulate what is and is not important to women do not necessarily take into consideration those women unlike themselves.
Luckily, there are plenty of brilliant Black and women of color bloggers, social scientists and other educated, aware and dedicated bloggers willing to tackle the issues that affect our demographic. Unless you’ve been under a huge rock on another planet, you should be familiar with the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen, and if you aren’t, please feel free to familiarize yourself with the online conversation.
The originator of this hashtag (and subsequent conversation) is blogger, Mikki Kendall, who is the creator of the blog The Angry Black Woman. Kendall’s writing is well known and quite needed, allowing a more realistic view of the subject matter involving race, gender, equality and other civil-isms. Because of her work, and other women bloggers who push the cause, we now have the opportunity to create our own opportunity.
Mainstream media is slowly beginning to turn their heads towards our version of what’s wrong in America, and for that I’m very glad.
I have a love/hate relationship with political discussion since politics are one of those ‘things’ where people take everything personal and get angry instead of getting active.
I have also been criticized for writing my political pieces in the mode of grammar best understood by those who need the message most. I’ve no interest in discussion of pressing issues with academics, or scholars. We study and know what the problems are and most of the causes to what harms us as a demographic. Having an simplified, and sometimes more genuine conversation with the very people whose lives are impacted by elite decision may do more good for them than using their circumstance as textbook fodder.
With that being said, I’m greatly anticipating the point in time where Black women, like other capable and concerned women, will take their own cause seriously and continue to take the opportunity to bring one home for our team.
The world is listening, solutions have been created to accomplish similar goals and there is a need for change. If feminists of color feel that Whites people miss the mark when it comes to issues involving us specifically then I’m in the hopes that Black women will step to the mic now.
Its our turn to speak up on behalf of ourselves and the least among us, that is, if we can only just settle down the noise enough to hear each other speak.