Everyone knows how white people colonised the world by pitting neighbours against each other. My own grandparents wouldn’t speak about partition, all my gran would say was that there was a time when Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims lived in the same villages, they were different but they respected those differences; going into the mountains to slaughter meat for food for example, acknowledging that this practice might be offensive to Hindus and Sikhs. The only other thing I recall my gran mentioning was the horrific state in which the trains carrying respective Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus arrived at their destinations, all passengers on board slaughtered by the other side. I can understand why they didn’t want to talk about it. That said I won’t ever forget their belief that the British were to blame.
I’ve always wondered how this manipulative tactic comes so easy to colonisers, even when they aren’t drawing up borders in countries that do not belong to them but in everyday life. I have watched incredulously as the white feminists of Twitter have attempted to do the same to Intersectionality. This movement was started by people of colour, yes but its foray into the mainstream has been enabled by white folk. Black people just don’t have that power. It is white people who will ultimately change racism by educating themselves and their peers, who must learn to accept we are all human. White supremacists don’t listen to black people, they murder them. So it was with great interest and perplexity I watched as various white fems of Twitter lay into our white allies, the few white people that do recognise our humanity. This is the kind of reaction they got.
At the time I thought it was genuine ignorance but now I’m not so sure. I think the white feminists knew that having white allies would make the transition from theory into practical change easier. At first they blamed prominent white intersectionalists like Zoe Stavri for fanning the flames in a bid to further their own agenda, she was somehow brainwashing us into giving her competition a hard time because of those column inches she’s after. This may be how the white fems of Twitter operate, manipulating the truth for self-serving reasons but I know Stavvers irl. We both belong to a diverse friendship group; black, brown, white, queer, trans*, bi, straight, able and disabled. Stavvers doesn’t need to pretend she is an intersectionalist; she lives it every day unlike the very white, very middle class people pointing their fingers at her. When white intersectionalists backed down to examine their praxis, white fems returned to attacking oppressed groups as if they were suddenly the problem.
Taking this all into account I would like to appeal to white intersectionalists to write their blogs on what they are seeing. Get involved; get your own messages out there. White fems may have their big media platforms but we are bigger in numbers and also cover most of the globe. Let’s flood the internet with our own information, let white people critique other white people without accusations of hijacking or misinformation. Here, some of you have bashed back and for that I am grateful, solidarity will get us through this.