so, i am a heterosexual, cisgendered, white male. i am, in america at least, the dominant gender. i’m everywhere, getting up in everyone’s shit, and getting mad when you try to take away my free speech because free speech is the only thing that can really be taken away from me, if you catch my meaning. i’m in your senate seats, i’m on your city council committees, i’m vice-president of your homeowners associations. i’m the lawyer you call when you’re discriminated against. i’m everywhere, as homogeneous as white bread. meanwhile there’s a lot of civil rights shit going down, a lot of feminist shit going down, a lot of disenfranchised people with words, words directed largely at me, because i still claim all these years later that i own this shit.
now, a lot of other white men like me, and a lot of women, white women, we’re taking this disenfranchisement to heart. we’re with you. we sympathize. we hold your hand and ask you how we can help. but at the same time, we lobby in your stead. we don’t give you a voice, we pretend to be your voice. and that’s gotta stop. the best thing white people like me can do is not advocate for you. stay with me here. the best thing we can do is give you the platform. give you the microphone. give you the high profile stage where your message can be heard, where it will be heard. it’s like, it’s like when marlon brando won that oscar in the 70s and he had a native american girl accept the award. he gave her his podium, in front of millions of viewers. he forced people to watch her, in a way. now, he could have just come up there himself and said, “we have committed atrocities against the native american population,” but then he’d come off as a smug white asshole. and he was kind of a smug white asshole, but that’s beside the point. the point is, we wouldn’t listen, because he’s a white guy, and all we hear are white guys. he shocked people by letting her speak. he shocked them into clarity. let the disenfranchised speak. give them the spotlight. give them the freedom to speak their mind without fear of retribution. that’s what the “safe space” means, it means listening, reacting, finding emotional connections between people, not making people “too sensitive.” that’s what this is all about. you know?
really, this movement is not about us whatsoever, us white people i mean. except as listeners. i can’t tell any disenfranchised person what to do, nor should i. all i can do is step aside and gesture to the stage, to the limelight. just gesture and mouth, “go for it.” it’s your time now, and it will be for a long time to come. take it, enjoy it. don’t let it go to your head.