Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Naw Gay Community, Ain't No Forgiving That Oppressive Flag Or What It Reps

Once again we have another example of what non-white TBLGQ community members complain about when we note that being gay is far too often centred in whiteness and white privilege.

And once again we received a reminder of it.

Over the weekend a picture of a Trump supporter surfaced sporting a bumper sticker on their vehicle that combines homophobia and racism.   It shows a Confederate flagged stick figure kicking a rainbow flagged stick figure with the words 'Trump 2016' under it.

That Trump sticker by itself was foul enough, but it resulted in someone coming up with a graphic combating it that is a nonstarter for TBLGQ people of color.

You know, the same people who are part of this community and helped play major roles in jump starting the movement for our human rights success

So what's the problem with this forgiveness graphic at the top of this post?   Plenty

The Confederate flag is not only the banner of white supremacy, it was the battle flag for a failed armed rebellion that fought a treasonous war against the federal government to ensure that people who share my African heritage would stay perpetually enslaved to them.  

That Confederate flag also became during the African American Civil Rights Movement the permanent symbol of resistance to defiant Southerners and white supremacist hate groups opposed to ending Jim Crow segregation.

There is no hugging or forgetting the fact that these white supremacists wish for me and my people to not exist, and me being unapologetically trans also heightens their hatred as the Klan anti-trans recruiting leaflets popping up back in May demonstrates.  

It's also an intersectionality fail in that it cluelessly fails to acknowledge that flag's negative history, and also make the connection that for Black trans, bi and same gender loving people, that flag is as odious to us as the Nazi swastika banner.

 And I ask the obvious question, when did non-white BTLGQ people get erased as being part of this community?  

It is not incumbent upon the people who are being oppressed to forgive their oppressors.  That's where this graphic fails.

8 comments:

Kat Ingersoll said...

Here's the thing: When it comes to forgiveness, you don't do it for them. It not about them. You do it for yourself, so you can move on and heal.

And the hugging graphic speaks to me more than the revenge kick or its Chun Li relative. I have a bunch of relatives that are self-professed rednecks and love to put down the LGBT community. When I finally came out to them, it was with love. I said, "I'm sorry you hate me and people like me, but I'm going to be happy anyway. Whether you want to be happy for me is up to you."

Because if we continue with the anger and resentment, nothing gets resolved. We just keep fighting for the sake of fighting. I can only move forward secure in the knowledge that history is on my side and hope those people that hate me will join me down the road.

Sarah V. said...

Kat, the thing is that hugging someone (literally or metaphorically) is, for many people, not going to be a necessary or helpful part of what forgiveness looks like for them. Forgiveness is a vague and loaded word which can be interpreted in quite a few different ways, and not all of those ways *are* a universally appropriate part of healing. Moving on and leaving resentment behind? Yes, that can be very helpful. Seeing the person as someone you can hug? Horses for courses. If it's what worked for you, then I'm happy for you. It isn't going to be right for everyone, and it isn't going to be something that should be expected of everyone.

Also, all that is if you're in a position to be able to move on and heal in the first place; which presupposes that the person who hurt you is going to let things drop so that you *can* move on. When we're talking about someone who is actively out for your blood... well, moving on and forgiving them and healing may well be things that are not, practically speaking, options, because you still have the very practical reality of how to deal with their ongoing impact on your life.

Tuesday Next said...

I get why the forgiveness graphic is bad. But why is the "Fuck No" one a nonstarter?

Tuesday Next said...

Kat, you're talking about forgiving people who don't have the power to physically hurt you. It's very different when you're asking someone to forgive people who have the power to hurt or kill them and are actively trying to do so. Sometimes anger and fighting are necessary for survival.

Tuesday Next said...

Kat, you're talking about forgiving people who don't have the power to physically hurt you. It's very different when you're asking someone to forgive people who have the power to hurt or kill them and are actively trying to do so. Sometimes anger and fighting are necessary for survival.

Tuesday Next said...

I get why the forgiveness graphic is bad. But why is the "Fuck No" one a nonstarter?

frances said...

Personally, I've not found that forgiving bullies makes me feel any better. Especially when they aren't exactly sorry and asking for forgiveness. Know what helps? Learning how to build a Self and a life where they don't have power over me, so that I never had to think about them again (except to help others do the same).

Sissy Blanco said...

I have the same question as Tuesday Next because I want to understand.