If you are a woman. If you are a Person of Colour. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you’re a person of size, if you’re a person of intelligence, if you’re a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world. And it’s gonna be really hard to find messages of self-love, and support anywhere, especially women’s and gay men’s culture. It’s all about how you have to look a certain way or else you’re worthless. You know when you look in the mirror, and you think, ‘Ugh, I’m so fat, I’m so old, I’m so ugly’, don’t you know that’s not your authentic self, but that is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising, magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself so that you will take your hard-earned money and spend it on some turnaround cream that doesn’t turnaround shit.
When you don’t have self-esteem, you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you really wanna go for. You will hesitate to ask for a raise. You will hesitate to report a rape. You will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote. You will hesitate to dream.
For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution. And our revolution is long-overdue.” —Margaret Cho (via embracewithme)
As a footnote, I need to say that it has been pointed out that cataloging racism is a sight below the standards of this blog. I sort of agree. But over the course of the Obama presidency I have become convinced that no single force exerts a greater pull on his presidency than white racism. Not white resentment. Not white populism. White racism. I don’t know how else to explain a health care denounced as reparations, the rather continuous disrespect, the sense that he is a Kenyan illegitimate or all of the attendant theories. I do not know how else to explain a state like West Virginia, arguably the most racist in the country, where delegates are now refusing to endorse the president.
—Ta-Nehisi Coates, in a blog entry for The Atlantic about right-wing radio host Barbara Espinosa recently saying of Barack Obama, “I call him a monkey. And I don’t believe in calling him the first black president…. I voted for the white guy myself.” (via theatlantic)
There will be more on this in the coming months. I don’t want to scoop myself. But my point is I can only stop talking about racism, when it ceases to be a significant force in our politics. When the mere act of being white gives Obama’s opponent “a home-state advantage nationally,” I can’t stop. It would be deeply wrong to stop.