Respectability & Elitism
A study in shut the fuck up.
It’s no secret, at least I hope not. Education is a privilege. This goes back to slavery, when slaves were not allowed to read or write, how even now, in some countries women are not allowed to attend schools. Is it even any wonder then how we use the education system to routinely dismiss the words, the lives, and struggles of those less educated than ourselves? How the price of our education, the amount of worth that is assigned to each of us directly correlates with the impact of our words? I think not. Elitism is defined as the attitude or behavior of a person or group who regard themselves as belonging to an elite. The elite in this case being those who can easily afford what is unironically called “higher education” or college. Now, it’s important to note that I’m not downing those who choose, or able to afford college, I am however questioning your choice(and judging) when you choose to engage in this form of gate keeping, especially for those who talk about and are interested in social justice.
Which brings me to my next point, how we are being conditioned into practicing respectability to succeed in this White centered patriarchal system. How we must talk and act a certain way as benchmark for success. No, really, I do get it. You’ve dropped a couple grand on schooling and now the best way to show that it wasn’t a waste of money is to drop $1,000 dollars words. Well, not the best way, the best way would probably be using your status to dismantle some of the hurdles you’ve overcome. Instead, we end feeding into the system by reinforcing those hurdles. We become gate keepers. There was a time when science said that black people don’t feel pain the same way white people do, in fact some people still believe that. So when we refer to gender, or use terms like “biological male/female” in reference to transgender individuals how are we not perpetuating the same science that oppressed us and continues to do so? Or when employers discriminate against “ghetto” names, and we have other “educated” black people advocating for assimilation into, as opposed to liberation from these systems. In what’s becoming a common phrase of mine, that’s bullshit.
While needlessly pretentious, and wordy think pieces populate the internet I’m forced to wonder, if we are simply going to talk down to those less educated, those who are more “ghetto”, the people whose very survival depends on liberation, why the fuck are we writing and for who? Are we writing to impress those with higher social standing? Or are we writing to incite ideas, to verbalize the thoughts of, if not directly say to those people the ones who are immediately affected, “you are not alone, this is for you too.” If the people who most need to read our words are prevented from doing so, due to what? Some asshole who wants to impress his academic friends? Fuck that. If liberation is for everyone, and the way we convey those ideas of liberation are through words, why engage in gate keeping by using words not everyone can understand. If liberation is for everyone, then our words must be for everyone as well. I read a status on facebook that said something the effect of, “No one wants to read an article that they need a dictionary to decipher every other word.” and that’s completely valid. We’re talking about people who had to drop out of high school so they could hustle to help feed their family, no one wants to work a job so they can just survive to come home and read an article using $2,000 dollar words, they can’t relate to or understand. Take that $2,000 word and make change. Break it down so someone with a 8th grade education could understand it and pass that shit on.
If that’s too hard, if you can’t understand that. Maybe it’s time you take a another course…a study in shutting the fuck up.