Friday, June 22, 2007

The Race Enters With Me As Well

Trans Griot Note: photo-Anna Julia Cooper

One of the things I'm most cognizant of, whether I'm writing my column, posting on this blog, or speaking in front of various groups, that whether I like it or not I represent not only myself and the transgender community, but the entire African-American community as well.

I was reminded of this yet again when I was a recent guest on Tranny Wreck radio back on May 2.

The show was discussing the topic 'Is Everyone Racist?' and as anyone who's ever read this blog or listened to my archived shows on Ethan St. Pierre's TransFM will tell you, I'm blunt, authoritative and passionate about the things I talk about, especially when it comes to my people.

Well, one person posted a comment in the remarks about that Tranny Wreck show that I pissed him off.


The reason Rebecca invited me on the show in the first place was to inject a different viewpoint on race and racism in the wake of the Don Imus comments. Being that I am unabashedly a proud African-American transwoman I have seen and experienced things in my lifetime that give me a perspective on racism that is far different than one a white, Latino or Asian person would have.

This person also insinuated that I spoke for the entire African-American race in their haste to criticize me. I'm not overly sensitive to criticism, that's part of the territory as a columnist and an activist. I accept the fact that some peeps aren't going to agree 100% with everything I have to say, even within the African-American community.

The problem is that because we are rarely called upon in either the mainstream or the GLBT community to add our commentary in the media to things that happen in society at large, anyone who does get that shot has it in the back of their minds the famous quote of Anna Julia Cooper.

When and where I enter, then and there the entire race enters with me.

That's why when I'm commenting on various issues, I have to be on point with my commentary. I'm not just braying my opinions like an Ann Coulter or a Rush Limbaugh does. I don't have that luxury. My commentary has to be backed up with facts, logic and reason since we African-Americans are automatically assumed by American society to be less intelligent.

So when some peeps in the mainstream community run across African-Americans who are intelligent, smart, and can string multisyllabic words together in a sentence some of them have a major problem with that.

That's your failing, not mine. I'm not going to apologize for my God-given intelligence or being a Phenomenal Transwoman.

If you can't deal with that, too bad.

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