By Liz Brazile
On today’s episode of “What You Won’t Do”, I’d like to discuss an issue that is near and dear to my heart: people disrespecting black women and in the same breath, biting our language and style. I have particularly noticed this behavior from non-black queer men– who, for all of their habitual emulation of black women, tend to be some of the biggest offenders when it comes to spewing misogynoir. And no, this is not an attack on anyone’s sexual orientation. Personally, I identify as cis-hetero most days of the week but I’m flexible.
Now that that’s out of the way, let me say this: openly queer men of every race do indeed experience oppression in the form of homophobia. But there are levels to this shit and I see gay white men aligning themselves with their oppressors—straight white men—everyday in their social ideology and behavior towards women and people of color. Being gay does not eliminate a man’s ability to be sexist or racist, and the privilege of being white and male is still present. And if you need an example of what I’m speaking to here, look no further than Milo Yiannopoulos and all of his tomfoolery.
I’m tired of seeing these men have their entire personas, vocabularies, and senses of humor rooted in the appropriation of culture created by black women, only to insult us every time the opportunity presents itself. I recently called one such individual out for mischaracterizing a local black female politician’s responses during a debate. She was accused of having an “attitude problem” and to throw an ableist cherry on top, her mental health was gratuitously called into question. All because she dished out what her white male opponent and his supporters have been slinging at her for months on end. And predictably, when I addressed this man’s racial micro-aggression, I was promptly told to “have a seat”. Shortly thereafter, I was accused of trying to start a “race war”—because we all know that calling out racism when we see it is far worse than actually perpetuating it.
Pause, sir. What you won’t do is launch a blatant assault on a black woman’s character for doing what white men in politics do everyday, and then attempt to weaponize our jargon against us once we correct you; that’s not how any of this works. Next time you reach into your arsenal of sassy clap-backs to defend your misogynoir, make sure none of them were born from the mouth of a black woman.