Truth and Power: Vocal Intersectionality Is The Foundation of Equality
May 10, 2017
Like most reasonable people, I believe in the value of discourse with opposing views. There is always a gain when a person’s own ideas, his or her thesis, meets an anti-thesis. The resulting synthesis brings with it more nuanced positions. It’s not a stretch to say that my positions align closely with that of late 20th century black radicals. Like many of them I was raised on a diet of “government cheese” and governmental oppression. Like Ab-Soul and many other Africans in America, I’ve, “never seen a crop circle but I’ve seen cops circle the block.”
Any good egalitarian worldview must take into account the importance of equity. Everyone does not start at the same position so blanket fixes do not work; intersectionality is how we address societal issues in a socially relevant way. In all discussions of the issues that affect us, intersectionality and equity have to take the forefront.
With higher levels of privilege comes disproportionate representation. A country founded on rebellion against leadership that did not allocate its subjects proper representation should understand this fact. The idea that, “The conversation is fundamentally incomplete if a significant swath of the population is rejected” is a correct one, but those who have been omitted from the conversation are not the privileged, but the marginalized. Those without wealth, the wrong amount of melanin, the wrong sex, the wrong orientation, are those who have been excluded from the conversation. We are just now on the cusp of promoting voices that are not primarily white, wealthy and/or male.
The fight for Black self-determination has to be an inclusive one. Any Pro-Black ideology must take into account the intersectionality of factors that Black Americans face if it’s to be equitable. To be Pro-Black, one must have respect for the diverse lives of Black people. What is not Pro-Black is coming to the defense of known white nationalists.
It would be anti-intellectual to suggest that a Black person of middle class standing or above cannot ever gain an in-depth, functional understanding of the issues that face poor Africans in America. For too long though, poor Black people have been talked over and talked down to by our wealthier siblings. While no Black American is responsible for the oppression that affects all of us, in many cases, wealthy Black people have at times been complicit in our bondage. In the interest of more nuance and intellectual honesty the voices of those in poor Black America have to be proportionate, first, and final when it comes to our issues.
And hey, there’s no shame in rightly admitting when you ain’t qualified to speak.
S is a disgruntled aspiring Warrior-Poet.