Case Study: You Don’t Speak for Me

Found this handy little “Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves”:


I realize there are white people who will enjoy working their way down that list, brainwashing themselves, as instructed.  (It reminds me of Christians who really enjoy a good, convicting sermon from a toe-stomping preacher. Some white people just love the chance to shout “Ouch and amen!” whenever someone says, “You just don’t understand…let me tell you what to think.”)

But, some of us still have a sense of skepticism when a person we don’t know sets themselves up as an authority and claims they’re going to “educate” us…

If you read the introduction of the “syllabus,” there’s no need to go further. This is the most important part:

“We need to be thinking about how we are thinking about this election. This sense of comfort, of insulation from the horrors of America, is precisely what this syllabus is meant to disrupt. We, white people, clearly weren’t listening hard enough to people of color, to women, to queer people, to immigrants, to Muslims, to anyone who holds a marginalized identity…[when we voted for Trump]”

Hey, how about that?

I’m a woman, so I made the list!

I agree–people should listen to me more!

And, though I didn’t vote for Trump, I’m willing to bet the several million blacks, Hispanics, and queer people who DID pick him over Clinton feel the same way I do.

Anyone who’s interested can click here to read my post “You Don’t Speak For Me”

Then, perhaps, be inspired to tell whoever wrote this syllabus to step off their unearned soapbox and quit pushing the narrative that all members of groups he listed are as fear-wracked and victim-minded as liberals wish…

I’ll go first:

(*clears throat*)

Please take “women” off your list, because not all of us think the same way. To imply we do–and that you’re speaking for the group–is misguided at best. And when you claim it’s important for “white people” to listen to “women” (when we all know you mean only listen to CERTAIN women), it just annoys those of us who aren’t mesmerized by your pretty, Activist buzzwords.

Some of us get the sense we’re being used as tools, so you can feel like a great, compassionate and-totally-not-misogynist Defender of Our Feelings and get likes on Facebook…

But, regardless of your motives, the assumptions you make are harmful, and you don’t speak for me. 

Are there any Conservative People of Color or LGBT folks, who hate identity politics, and want to say the same?

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