The thing about oppression many of its most vocal critics fail to grasp is that it can only really be called by the people experiencing it. White people cannot say what is and isn’t racist, cis people cannot define transphobia for trans people. This should go without saying but it is a fact that the more privileged in society feel their enhanced status permits them to discuss the lives of others with far less as their right, because they are so much smarter than you.
Being oppressed for one reason however, doesn’t give you the right to shine the light on other social justice movements in a bid to highlight a perception you might have of the privileges of those others. We’ve all seen and perhaps used this reasoning ourselves in the past but allowing for personal growth, there really is no excuse for making an example out of another group unless you are being directly oppressed by them.
You can’t say “if it happened to black people there’d be uproar”. This is a thing white people usually say. You cannot bring Jewish people into the equation either. It’d be like a cis heteronormative person whining about straight rights. To make an example of another group of established victims of western societies is actually underlining your belief that someone else is being favoured over you. If you’re white you need to stop right there before you make a fool of yourself further. The colour white forgives many sins, and it’s a mockery of intersectionality to use it only for your own ends. Yes LGBTQ rights are always under threat, believe me, as a queer I have some understanding of the issues that shape our lives but my life chances are also significantly affected by the colour of my skin and the structure of my face and the many perceived notions of my gender performativity or lack of gender identity based on who’s looking at me at the time.
I fear not only the people who object to my existence because they’re whiter brighter and more ruthless but the ones who brought me into being because I’m not very much like them either (and I mean my immediate people, not the whole goddamn race). If it happened to black people.. What? What would happen? Diddly squat if we’re to look around us and pay attention, and make the choice to be honest and not a complete arsehole. If it happened to Jewish people.. What do you mean if it happened to Jewish people? It’s STILL happening to Jewish people. This line of questioning is so detached from the reality of existence it smells like white privilege to me. In fact it’s still happening to LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities and beliefs different from our own. It’s time to stop punching down (and sideways), surely?
The point is that we should stop doing this/saying this about anyone. There is nothing well-meaning about a witch hunt that seeks to destroy anyone who is different. We cannot say the word white without a backlash yet the contents of our pants or the validity of the abuse we suffer is open to scrutiny or ridicule. I’ve been saying it for years but it’s somehow more valid when it comes from a posh white man; Britain is home to the world’s best hypocrites.