Man, if I was a white person, I’m sure that I’d struggle with race issues too. I’d have to accept that I’m part of the problem, and shut up when it’s time to listen. That doesn’t come naturally for most people, it’s a learned behavior.
But oh, ho ho. I shut up and make space for trans* people. I’m cis, therefore part of the problem. I shut up and make space for differently abled people. (I’m part of the problem) I shut the fuck up when it comes to the experiences of other people of color. (Me? STILL PART OF THE PROBLEM) I don’t know their experiences, and can’t speak for y’all, nor do I have any desire to.
I can just repeat what y’all want me to say as an ally, and not make shit up. I especially don’t make the struggle of other people about me, because that’d be dumb.
I don’t even know what the struggle of a poor white person is like. I know what it’s like to be poor, but I sure as hell don’t know what it’s like being white and poor.
My struggle is about me. Our struggle as people living in an inherently oppressive system is to be about us, and work out our inequities together.
Sure, we all have some similar experiences (we are born, we die etc, lol), but I’ll never know someone else’s daily struggle.
It’s like dealing with the death of a loved one. I lost my mom recently, so I know what that’s like for me. But I don’t know what it’s like to lose a parent as a teenager, or what it’s like to lose two parents at once. I don’t know what it’s like to lose a sister, or a child.
My experience is mine, and even people who have also lost a mom around my age have different circumstances and personal views.
This is the same as black people who have different experiences than I do. Black men have a different experience than I will ever have as a lady. I identify as bisexual, so I damn sure don’t know what it’s like to be a gay black dude, do I?
Whole kettle of nope.
But eventually you have to realize that we are all struggling. And the point of all this is to recognize that within our individual struggles, we can identify that we are each human. We share this experience of living on earth, and know that we all feel something different about how we explore this earth.