I am very consistently accused of being too sensitive, of being easily offended, and for calling things ‘racist’ too often. I’ve have been confronted by several people who want me to “lighten up” and stop “defending everything” because it’s annoying.
As you can imagine, this irritates me exceedingly.
Let me explain why I always tell them, no.
Back in college it was a requirement to have a course that qualified as a “diversity” credit. I chose a gender and inequality class that met once a week at our remote campus. It was about a 45 minute drive that turned out to be the most important thing I did every week. Because during my drive home I was able to let the wracking sobs consume me as I processed all I had learned.
I remember the first time Professor Kimberly Thomas-Pollei really pushed my belief system. She simply said,
“This is a white man’s world.”
I was completely aghast! How could she say that. How rude! How inappropriate! I was embarrassed. I was uncomfortable. I was so nervous for how the non-white students would take this statement. How could she?!
And then a black student in the back of the class thanked her. Thanked her! This man raised his hand just to thank her for “Saying what white people are always trying to deny.”
And that was the beginning of the reeducation of Savannah.
I learned a valuable thing that day. Just because you don’t want it to be so, doesn’t mean it is. And it’s up to the people who CAN do something, TO do something.
Throughout the semester I learned valuable lessons about how racism isn’t even close to extinction; that feminism isn’t the horrible man-hating philosophy I had been taught to fear; that homosexual acceptance is easy and right; and above all I learned that those in the majority have to stick up for the minority.
A minority, by definition, doesn’t have the power to improve their status. It is up to those in the majority speaking up for them and make that change happen.
So you bet your ass I’m going to call someone racist when they are being so, and sexist, and homophobic, and unjust, and ignorant. Because I have to make Kimberly proud of me. I have to make me proud of me.
I have to do what’s right.
So maybe I’m sensitive, or easily offended, but that’s a hell of a lot better than being whatever it was the person who called me those things was being.
As a woman I may be limited in my ability to advance gender equality but as a white, heterosexual, woman I sure as shit am going to speak up for everyone else that I can.
And if that makes me annoying to be around. That’s fine by me.