Change does not come by further demonizing a group of people. We can’t expect change to come without working together with those who would otherwise be our oppressors.
I am a member of the BadChristian Facebook group, a community open only to members who contribute financially. In December, I was involved in a “Twitter war.” I felt like my community (BadChristian) was being misrepresented, that the individuals on the other side of the argument weren’t being true to the passions they claim, and that their white privilege was being used for personal gain. I still strongly feel this way.
Recently, a blog published screenshots from inside the group which had been shared without the consent of anyone whose comments were shown. Things that I had said were included in this blog which resulted in harassment of me personally. There was huge lack of personal responsibility demonstrated by the publishing of the blog. Which was an action of doxxing. The author has stated they don’t believe in protecting people whom they believe to be guilty. By publishing the names of the accused and not the name of the source, the author knew exactly what was at stake. They knew the risk that exists when a person’s information is posted in a damning manner. However, the author chose to publish those names.
The author of the blog is able to get away with behaving irresponsibly because of the protection provided by her white privilege. I am a black woman. I personally identify as queer. To the outside world, I’m just a black woman. I love my BadChristian community. I love the family, the love, and the hope it’s given me. This group understands and accepts me, and I them. The white and black men that were villainized in this blog were responding to an extreme form of feminism in our culture that demonizes white men and men in general. If we wish to change the minds and hearts of men, we can’t continue to demonize everything they do and say. We can’t continue to treat any man this way based on some erroneous belief that they are inherently damned with character flaws. The way that they feel when words and phrases like “cishet”, “straight white male/Christian male” and “cisheteropatriarchy” are flung at them in a pejorative manner matters. How they feel matters. It’s valid. It’s real. It has influence over their response to new ideas and personal growth.
The white privilege of this author is also protecting her from the responsibility of throwing two people of color under the bus in order to hurt white men. That’s not okay. That is a dangerous consequence of white feminism. You can’t continue to sacrifice the lives of people of color to further the agenda set by white feminism. It is an example of the type of behavior that got Emmett Till killed, and the town of Rosewood burned to the ground. It’s irresponsible. It’s racist. If your desire for justice results in the harm of people you agree with, that’s not justice. You’re cashing in your privilege for personal gain.
We as humans can’t be so thin-skinned. We can’t write hit pieces on people who call our friends “bitches” on the internet. We can’t be so sensitive that a word we can’t pronounce makes us so mad we call someone a “cunt” on the internet. We can’t be so blind in our pursuit of justice that we hurt those we seek to defend.
We can’t exist in Christian circles and communities and forget that Jesus tells us to treat our enemies better than our friends whom we love.
When someone disagrees with us on the internet, that isn’t the end of our civility. Everything that we know about character, integrity, honesty, and grace should drive our responses and attitude toward others.
I’ve tossed around in my head plans of how to move forward. To be completely honest, I don’t know. My BadChristian community is the only community outside of close friends and exes that I’ve come out to completely. It’s the only place I’ve been able to be who I am, as I am. Growing up, I’ve always felt not black enough, not feminine enough, not skinny enough,and not Christian enough. In college, I was too white for the black people and too black for the white people. Now it feels like I’m not queer enough or “feminist” enough. Even as an adult fully in love with every part of my blackness, I feel like it’s still not enough for people. I feel as though I am not enough of who I wasn’t created to be.
I feel like the freedom I have in my community to process and work through all the shit of life has been taken away from me. I don’t have anywhere else to go. I don’t know another group who will love me the same. Listen the same. Encourage the same. My friends reach out to check in on me, and the conversations are hard to have without tears. I look forward to the spurts of hope that happen throughout the week that allow me to be real and honest. It quickly fades, and the fear of being vulnerable again takes over.
I don’t know how to move forward. I don’t personally have a plan. I have a lot of work to do to heal from this, and I’m taking it one day at a time. I don’t have a desire to someday see these two “sides” involved come together; however, I do desire to see people be understood and heard. I refuse to give up on the idea that people can change. Change, just like equality, is for every person.
The original blog can be found at: https://www.fundamentallyfreeblog.com/read/2018/1/11/w0h6kkzpml8ike7f0kpyhucpe9cno4