Welcome to Crazytown, USA.
We live in interesting times, as the Chinese proverb says. Maybe too interesting, if you ask me. Some strange, strange stuff going on. I blame Facebook. Why not? They’re a perfect target. Anyone with an account can vomit up their thoughts and like upchuck, it ain’t pretty.
A most astonishing thing is to see white women accusing other white women they don’t know of being racist. That they can’t help but be racist. They must be racist because they are white. And privileged.
Then I saw some white women humbly falling on their swords, apologizing for their privilege and the racism they didn’t know they had. It felt like a communist cell meeting where members had to publicly own their sins against the state. Oh, what Atwood or Orwell could do with this.
White feminists are accused of not being feminist enough, especially if they are straight. Of not being “intersectional.” Early on I can’t tell you how often I researched that term because it made no sense. To me, a feminist is a feminist. It wasn’t necessary to qualify it. And yet, we have women railing against other women like schoolmarms at a time where we need to stick together.
It’s ridiculous. But it’s where we’re at, here in Crazytown, USA.
No one owns a word
I was temporarily in one particular group formed to help women that used the term “aunties” in a generic sense. Almost immediately white women rose up to say it was cultural appropriation, that the term was owned by the Black community. Seriously? What about the Asian community, who has also uses the term? Or my community, which uses the Italian word for it, zia?
The idea that any one group owns a term is laughable. And an unbelievable amount of energy and nastiness went into arguing that single issue, while the main purpose of the group, which was a good one, was on hold. Crazytown, USA.
But here’s the real problem: when people are divisive instead of inclusive, we lose elections. When we focus on our differences and not the common goal, we lose elections. When we focus on these side issues instead of acquiring power, we lose elections.
We could lose this next election. We may well. And this would be one major reason why.
What true inclusiveness looks like
A while ago I attended a spiritual gathering put on by non-Caucasian indigenous people. Real indigenous people. From a variety of indigenous cultures. I was invited by a mystic I know. He is white. He was initiated into his role by one of the indigenous holy men. He did not have to be from the culture to be initiated. That just wasn’t important.
The invited group was also largely white. These mystics and shamans of both genders shared their sacred ceremonies with us and invited us to carry them forward into our worlds. Inclusively.
That’s right. They invited us white people to take their ceremonies and use them. Share them. Because they don’t believe they own them. They don’t believe they have to clutch them closely to their chests. The idea of cultural appropriation would confuse them.
So I left that FB group of misguided women as soon as I saw the conversation devolve. I will be carrying forward the ceremonies the indigenous holy people shared with us.
It’s painful to watch these divisive side paths take us away from what we need to be doing to save this country.
As we say, SMH. (shaking my head) Love to know your thoughts.