Dear Cis Black Men, calling out your cispatriarchy isn’t victimization.
When we bring people in from the margins, people on the page lose space.
Originally published May 14, 2018 on Twitter @Ajahswrite
Note: I was recently informed of the fact that you can use Twitter threads as writing clips. This is a thread I wrote in response to the trending hashtag #therootarticles. The only changes made to these tweets are minor edits for regular human reading.
I’m really not feeling this #therootarticles thread. I get that cis black men feel silenced and blamed now that the experiences of other types of black people are FINALLY being recognized. But y’all sound like white men.
I support cis black men, trans black men, cis black women, trans black women, gay black men, straight black men, lesbian black women, straight black women… basically #I’mStillRootingforEverybodyBlack.
**Although I didn’t mention it in the original thread, I want to add that I also support nonbinary, queer, and gender fluid black people. Do you, boo!
What I don’t understand is why cis, straight men (both black and white) get so damn defensive about being called out ton their bullshit. Because, let’s face it, this #TheRootArticles thread is not really about @TheRoot at all.
The Root brought us Very Smart Brothas, michaelharriot, @PanamaJackson and @SACrockettJr, to name a few. In the past twenty four hours, they have covered everything from @YoungDolph giving 20K to those baristas to fifteen year old #DamonGrimes’ brutal murder by Michigan State Troopers, to Azealia Banks vs. Cardi B drama. What do all these things have in common? They’re black and (arguably) newsworthy. That’s what a black news outlet is supposed to do. Cover black news.
No news outlet is supposed to protect cis male egos at the expense of the news. Yes, black cis male stories need to be told, but those are not the only stories worth telling.
Black men are criminalized and victimized in a lot of ways. This is not one of them.
Just as white women speaking out about all the ways that cis white men are garbage doesn’t make white men victims, black women addressing all the ways cis black male culture further exploits and victimizes us doesn’t make y’all victims.
Discrimination is intersectional. Privilege belongs to men, the cisgendered, the physically and mentally able, people born into wealth, the college educated, heterosexuals, Christians, white people, western Europeans and the middle aged. If you are any of these things, you have some level of privilege. If you are many of these things, you probably have a lot of privilege.
Yes, black cis men. You too have privilege.
Here’s an example:
Black men getting paid less than white men for doing the same job = white privilege.
Black women getting paid less than black men to do the same job = male privilege.
We don’t make this shit up.
Some of y’all (cis black men) are anti- white privilege and pro- male privilege. You can’t have it both ways. In other words, just because Bill Clinton should be in jail doesn’t mean Bill Cosby shouldn’t be.
Having to deal with racism doesn’t buy you a free pass for sexism, transphobia, xenophobia or ableism. That’s not how this shit works. Black women, black homosexuals, and black transgender people have to deal with racism too.
So instead of deflecting when a straight, cis black man does something problematic, maybe try to listen, learn and not assume it’s a made up issue.
Because white people do enough of that for everybody.