When you are more than one minority, you play this game with yourself. It’s sort of like a guessing game. When you feel slighted, discriminated against, dismissed in some capacity; you guess which one of your minorities caused it. From time to time I’ll wonder: “Did they speak to me in a condescending way because I’m a woman or because I’m Black? Hmm…” Depending on the circumstances it can be a humorous game. But when the guessing game stops you’re left with nothing but the raw and unfiltered truth — that the majority of your experiences in which you were discriminated against were because of your race, not your gender. Nothing made that point more abundantly clear than the nationwide response to Donald Trump’s “grab her by the pussy” remark. I couldn’t help but express myself:
I wasn’t done playing the guessing game. I wasn’t prepared to be enlightened anytime soon. I was content with assuming that each of my minorities were created equal. However, when I know that a wage gap still exists between me and white women and that I get more support for going to a women’s march than a Black Lives Matter march, it’s difficult to cower under the ‘ignorance is bliss’ blanket.
So when asked/told to not let my race define me or to realize I’m more than just my race or gender, I say, simply and profoundly —
I know exactly what and who I am. A Black Woman. If you don’t want me to define myself by my race, stop throwing it in my face.
Photo: "Luci Four" by Russ Mills. http://www.byroglyphics.co.uk/