“Why is there only a gay pride parade? Where’s my heterosexual pride parade?”
“Why is there a black history month, but not a white history month?”
“I’m a size 8. Why doesn’t the body acceptance movement talk about people like me?”
“Why do you say Black Lives Matter? Don’t *all* lives matter?”
I have heard all of these statements, from people saying them seriously. You know what they really boil down to?
“Why are there things in the world that aren’t about me?”
And my reaction is, “My god, are you an infant?”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: gay people, black people, fat people? They’d all be much happier if there wasn’t a need for their causes. If they could all just live their lives without prejudice and fear and hatred, if they didn’t feel a need for solidarity because no one shouted obscenities at them, or beat them, or killed them? If their experience wasn’t ignored or denigrated?
If they got to go through life with the same kind of acceptance and safety as the average skinny white heterosexual?
Hell, they wouldn’t need parades, either.
But they don’t. We don’t. So we have to take a stand and say, “Hey, I’m a person, and my experience is valid and important!”
That isn’t saying that the experience of the skinny white heterosexual isn’t valid. It’s asking to be allowed the same experience.
Shouldn’t we celebrate white history? We do. We have a special name for it. It’s calledhistory.
Shouldn’t we celebrate smaller body sizes? We do. It’s called all the fashion magazines and every department store, where the clothes will fit you.
Shouldn’t we celebrate heterosexuals? WE DO. It’s called every institution of family and business and society.
Shouldn’t we celebrate white all lives? We. Freaking. Do. It’s called watching your children walk out the door in the morning without the sick fear that a mistake will leave them lying dead in the gutter while the whole world assumes it’s the child’s fault.
When you protest that anyone’s struggle for dignity and fair treatment isn’t paying attention to you, the greed and arrogance that displays is not just stupid. It’s evil. It’s determined to not only keep your fair share of the good in the world; it’s seeking to keep everyone else away from that goodness.
Black Lives Matter has no implicit “only”–what’s implicit is the “also.” If you don’t see that, you’re either stupid, or you’re pretending not to see it so that you can hold onto your superiority in society. You genuinely believe that people who aren’t like you are inherently inferior. And that is an ugly and evil thing to believe.