I heard about a high-school girl who will not be allowed to attend her prom and got kicked off her athletic teams because she refuses to cut off her braid extensions. They’re nice, neat braids that no one would give a second thought to if you saw her at the mall, but the school says her hair is in dress code violation, as would be wearing nail polish. I reached out on twitter to offer support for the young lady, and to agree it sure looked like discrimination. Another twitter person promptly told me that white women got no skin in this game, we’re not allowed to say what’s discriminatory against blacks. Only black people can do that. Well. That sure gave me something to think about. Maybe that’s true, but I think what she really wanted was to shut down my white voice on a black situation.
Well hey, I guess that takes me off the hook now! I don’t have to think or say or do anything for anybody–EVER– unless it relates to being a white female, gravid-1. All right! Think of all the conversations I will never have to participate in because I can’t relate to the others. All the books and music I won’t have to listen to or read because they weren’t written by white females who have birthed at least once. Rock-n-roll!
I’ll never have to be concerned with or feel the need to learn more about or certainly not develop an opinion and take a stand for men’s issues, criminal justice, female genital mutilation, holocaust denial, bullfighting, white nationalism, poverty, homelessness, discrimination, police brutality, drug addiction. Nope, never happened to me, can’t be part of the conversation, and certainly in no place to level an opinion.
You know what? Fuck you. I will speak when and where I please, and if it pisses you off that I’m speaking to a subject I can’t possibly relate to because my ancestors were the slaveholders instead of the enslaved, or that I can’t possibly speak against animal cruelty because it’s not my culture, or FGM because that’s not my culture either, if I can’t speak up for people (ALL people) when they’re being discriminated against, abused, and overlooked because of my age, sex, skin color, or creed, then I got no time for you. Can you imagine me saying, “Sorry Mr. Castillo, your death is a black, male, registered gun owner problem, it would be inappropriate for me to have an opinion about it or stand up for human rights. C-ya.”
Last I looked we were all Americans, and we need to talk to each other and HEAR each other now more than ever. Keep turning away voices that want to lend support, you’re gonna find yourselves alone. The civil wars will return and this time it’ll be men v women, race v race, religious v non. What a heartbreaking scenario. The poison will overtake the body with such stealth that everyone will wonder how it happened at all.
addendum: I’ve never been a fan of dress codes because I hated wearing my school uniform. I know the codes are in place to help “prevent” bullying, gang identity, and so forth, but not letting a girl wear her hair in braids just crosses a public school line for me.