Note: These are not all things exclusive to or entirely related to Fat Acceptance but come from 31 years on the planet and a lot of interaction with my fellow humans.
Declarations of color blindness in terms of racial issues, might be a lovely idea in theory but has no place in my existence. the fact is that every time i hear someone extolling their virtuous color blindedness here is what i feel. If racial issues are brought up and you respond with vehement declarations of how little color matters to you, clearly you are for whatever reason uncomfortable.
Or that your perception of how important racial issues affect people is off, you don't care or you don't care to know. I hear that you don't know and don't care to hear where I am coming from.
On a deeper level when this is tossed around I as a person of color feel slighted and invisible. If we are supposed to feel some measure of solidarity how can I when a huge part of what I bring to the table you are blind to?
I do not now nor have I ever had the privilege to ignore the color of my skin. Whether that's because I might be the only black face in a crowd, or because I am being harassed in a store, or cruised by the police while I'm waiting for a bus in a very white neighborhood.
I live daily with these things and it doesn't matter to you? You reject that the color of my skin could have an impact on the experience I am bringing? Is it safe to assume that if you do claim to be color blind at some level you disbelieve that the color of my skin or your own skin for that matter has had a wallop of an impact in how you've been able to live your life?
Next, and I really hate to be saying this again but, if you are not a person of color you probably don't get it. Telling me that an experience isn't a valid thing to talk about because you've never experienced it is a fucked up thing. Quite honestly, chances are that no matter how liberal, sensitive and civilized you might claim to be, you don't get it. And as a number of people have said time and again, the best course of action is to acknowledge and own that you don't get it.
Then the hard part.
Don't waste your time defending yourself. Don't try to convince me that your ignorance isn't really your fault and that I am a big ole meanyhead for pointing out your ignorance, etc etc.
Just shut up and listen.
listen knowing that as I mentioned, you will probably not get it. That's not to say empathy isn't welcome.
Further, I don't want an apology unless you perpetrated an actual wrong. If you said something fucked up, feel free to apologize. Other than that skip it.
Other things I'd appreciate people giving some thought.
Being the only or one of few people of color in any situation is a hard thing. It can be frustrating, painful, and tiring. There is a fine line you have to walk because on one hand you want to present yourself well but on the other you just want to be who you are.
And that my fine feathered friends is a shitload of pressure.
Not to mention irritating to have to remind people that you are not the Empress/Emperor of all (insert minority here) and no you can't speak to a monolith of experience because that's not how it works.
Any movement that seeks diversity is in peril of ignoring and ultimately marginalizing the people who make up that diverse group. But it can be avoided.
Be mindful that your experience and the things that have created you are going to be different than mine or another persons. This difference is not something to feel guilty about, apologize for, fear or try to suppress because it might make you nervous.
It just is what it is.
Like so many other things in life, it might be easier to want to lump in one group of people together under a monolithic flag because they might share some superficial commonalities. However it does a disservice to you and the people you might be trying to speak to.
These things aren't easy to digest and aren't easy but it is necessary if you want to foster a diverse group of people getting together for a common cause.
That's it for today.
My head still really hurts and I don't feel good. My hour and fifty five minute commute did me no good.