Just like our celebrities and ourselves, the movements we champion are also problematic. Our feminism is racist, classist and transphobic. Our anti-racism is sexist. Our LGBT rights movement is racist and classist. They are all ableist. Acknowledging this isn’t divisive: ignoring it is.
We are not our intentions. Our intentions don’t mean squat. We are our deeds. Everything we do, good and bad, makes us who we are. Our honesty and integrity are what matter. Being anti-racist doesn’t mean that you are never racist, it means that you recognize and battle racism in yourself as hard as you battle it in others.
You’ve made a misogynistic joke, you’ve had a classist response to a homeless person, you’ve felt unjustified fear of a black man, or you used to say “That’s so gay” as an insult. You did these things, and they were shitty things to do. I don’t care about your motives, I don’t care how long ago it was. You did them, and in that moment, you were sexist, classist, racist, homophobic, ableist, whatever. You have hurt people, even if you didn’t mean to. And if you are a grownup truly committed to your values, you have admitted it and done your best to learn from it. But chances are, if you can’t handle facing it in a celebrity you don’t even know, you haven’t been able to face it in yourself.