The Consequences I Face
Seeking Change Where It Is Desperately Needed
As I rise out of the heavy stupor I have lived under ever since I was assaulted, I have been having conversations with different people about what happened. One word keeps standing out to me during these thoughtful exchanges.
That word is privilege.
I often first turn to a dictionary when a word stubbornly presents itself in my conscious mind, even if I may already have some idea of what it conveys. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word privilege is defined as a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor.
In the case of my recent incident, someone who presents as a white male often has the privilege of expressing anger and rage within American society. Flipping off a bunch of other white men while riding on horseback or beating someone up (because they want to) would be examples of this. To a certain degree, we live in a society that cultivates, expects, and condones this. (One glaring illustration is the violent storming of the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021, by a group of white, mostly male, individuals.)
Alternately, I would never flip off a group of white men under any circumstance because I know that the repercussions for a queer and Brown person like me would be dire. If, for a more extreme example, a Black male expresses anger and rage, it is perceived differently than anyone else in society who does so. The consequences Black males have faced in America from racism and discrimination have often been quite grave. They do not have that privilege.
I understand that any conclusion having to do with race and privilege is a slippery slope. Most situations are unique and nuanced and deserve more than just a blanket statement to define them. But in the case of my assault, white privilege seemed to play a significant role in one way or another.
So now, I do not know what to do with this information. I have been told that it is not my responsibility as a person of color to talk to white people about the far-reaching implications of their privilege, but if this is not for me to do, then whom we can we count on to take up this issue?
I do not know.
All I do know is that someone used their privilege to express a grievance in an unsavory and disrespectful way, and someone else, who happened to be a queer person of color, bore the traumatizing consequences of that act.
Where do I go from there?
Photo by Roqué Marcelo
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While you have my sympathy, I disagree on the 'white privilege' stuff.
A lot of 'white people' are treated like trash, too, and some are probably not as wealthy, as you (I am not, I probably have less "privilege" than you do.) or from as comfortable a background as you, and have to work very hard for the little they have. I have seen privilege from people of all races.
I am of pan-global mixed ethnicity, but I don't carry the 'woe is me' chip-on-the-shoulder, victim-mentality' that some do, even though some of my ancestors were brutally screwed over.
(Honestly, it is beyond time for people to let the Woe Is Me Victim-Mentality go. So what, some of our ancestors may have screwed each other over to varying degrees. It is on them, not us. I was not there, and was not involved. I have my own personal stuff to deal with. Why dwell in the past? I am over it, and so should everyone else be.)
I believe in equality, as all should be equal.
There are assholes in every race, it does not matter to me what race you are, it matters to me how good a personality you are.
To be honest, the person you were with, probably should not have flipped off a bunch of people on horses.
If it were me, I would have kicked him outta the car and let him deal with that drama he created and the whole mess on his own, instead of rolling down my window and allowing that guy into my space.
I would not have engaged with them at all.
You might want to consider carrying a weapon for self-defense, in the future.
I always am armed, wherever I go.
I've been assaulted, too. I've been sexually assaulted by a married man, I have been raped at knifepoint by another, and stoned and badly wounded, and beaten up on many occasions, and assaulted at knifepoint in front of two or three witnesses, and also groped by another married man in front of his family and others in a parking lot. I've been robbed of my life-savings, and had my home literally ransacked and rendered uninhabitable. But, I don't let that beat me down. I move on.
I've been stalked, fairly recently, by four men in a park, so, I make certain I am armed with some sort of weapon, and when possible, I make it visible that I am armed, to deter anyone from considering assaulting me.
Remember, the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of These United States, gives you the Unalienable Right.... (Look that up in legal terms in a Legal Dictionary) to be armed, (and to use your arms to protect yourself from any enemy, foreign and domestic.) and it does not matter what anyone says, as long as you are within the borders, or a Citizen of, these United States, you are under the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Law of the Constitution of these United States.