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lovedread

lovedread

Tyra Banks screaming “LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS.”
Jan 2, 2020
189
First—I want to acknowledge the violence of our initial interaction. You were forced to strenuously explain the depravity of my mindset while I deflected and minimized what I had said. I exposed myself to you as an utterly selfish person who had little to no disregard for the lives of people more marginalized than myself. I thought "oh, well these systems I want to participate and advance in (genocidal, antiblack and ableist Ivy League education and the transphobic, antiblack and ableist beauty hierarchy) are systems that harm me too" as if that would somehow mitigate the harm of me legitimizing and contributing to these genocidal, antiblack and deadly systems. The truth is that in that moment I did not want to see beyond self and fully examine how my vain and vapid participation in those systems would ultimately have a violent effect on the trans and disabled people around me. I deflected to bringing up my own trauma and insecurities to justify this participation…as if any of that actually fucking mattered. The reality is that this world traumatizes trans people, visibly disabled people, and many other people more marginalized in a far more invasive and violent way—and that is never used as an excuse for abandoning one's politics. Even hypothetically. My deflection and useless sidetracking was an obvious example of cis fragility. A word I learned from Zachariah Graydon Oaster. Which is something I used to think I was so above. In my revealing that I still crave to participate in the fascistic "normalcy" or our genocidal society, I showed you that I was not only careless and lacking in meaningful empathy towards people other than myself, but that I was coward, who valued her own protection and validation over the liberation of other people. It is proof that I was undeserving of ever being in community with you, or accepting your friendship and support. In my head I think I brushed off my want to gain social capital by thinking "oh…everyone wants to get more social capital." Which just…isn't true.



Next, I want acknowledge the violence of our next two interactions, where I continued to respond out of emotion, shock, and an impaired ability to fully take accountability for what I did. I violated your boundaries and made you feel uncomfortable by trying to force a response from you, despite previously saying I would "respect" your cutting me off. I didn't. And like you said, I did not fully unpack what you had said to me because I still couldn't see it from your perspective and understand why you were so taken aback. I was more focused on the fact that you dumped me than anything else.



It was as if I a white person, to a black person, had casually said "Oh—btw, I know Asbury Park is currently being violently gentrified. I know how gentrification works and how violent it is for it's victims, but I still just want and will one day buy a house there. Because I really need to be close to the ocean for my mental health—and I never owned a home before. We were so poor growing up…"



Like bitch wtf? Who cares that you were poor. Boohoo. How can you be aware of the fact that the beauty industry thrives off of antiblackness, misogyny, fat phobia, ableism and transphobia but still want to participate and monetarily promote it? It's disingenuous, inherently. The participation is violent, inherently, and no amount of knowledge or trauma negates that. Not participating in that system and speaking about the harm it causes is the only human response to that. There is no room for justification, especially during a time where multiple genocides are happening at once and the money used to prop up that violent industry could be put towards crowdfunding and mutual aid. Having your priorities as "being pretty" and "fitting in" is non-human and reveals a disconnect in my actions and beliefs.



The same thing applies to my want to participate in the violence that Ivy League schools perpetuate and encourage. And why trying to defend participating in those institutions in any capacity will always be violent. Their legitimization will always be harmful, no matter who does it. There are absolutely no exceptions to the rule. None. And I should have known better.



Moving forward, I will not be putting my money into supporting the beauty industry or beauty products. It's true that just last week I was putting bullshit in my cart to buy once I got my first paycheck. I will not defend participating in it. I will not put my money or time or energy into applying to ivy or ivy-adjacent schools, nor will I defend participating in that ableist system either. Although I cannot change my perceptions overnight, I will be challenging my internal value placed on makeup/ being'beautiful', and ivy league degrees in general. I will choose to scroll past beauty routine/tutorials or other bs i see. I will direct my excess money towards the actually urgent needs of people around me.



I don't know how to coherently explain this but even as I felt this growing appetite to just "fit in" and assimilate I still didn't see myself as an assimilationist. I just saw it as me "coping" and doing what was expected of me, and I didn't think to examine why I felt that pressure to assimilate in those ways.



I can now understand better, after 3 failed shitty not well thought out apologies why I had to be removed from your life. I apologize for the repeated harm and pain I caused you, and the amount of time you wasted on someone who wasn't deserving or willing to do the bare minimum to match her actions to her beliefs. For the first time I realized that I was no different from the in-patient nurses at mental institutions, who witness the effects of the ableist hellhole that is psych wards and still clock in everyday. I realized that I am the same exact white person that Ive wanted to kill. I realized that I had no real claim to my self-righteous view of the world



  • again in, no "sorry" can fix my breaking of your boundaries and the emotional labor you were forced to pour into me because of my ignorance. But I am sorry.


I saw it as a form of self harm before anything else, and even though I was your friend I still did not sense that urgency to get rid of my want to further cushion my own positionality and continue participating in these industries. I thought I could wait to abandon those power structures in some not too distant future where I had a better sense of self…no. You gave me everything; all the validation and kind words in the world—but because I never did the thorough work of changing my definitions of beauty and success, I still felt insecure. I never felt that I fit those definitions and it really made loving myself painful. I didn't realize how accepting how white people defined beauty and success would turn me into a white person too, who had the same end goals as them. I treated assimilating and becoming palatable to my oppressors as more urgent and pressing than killing them.


I watched that conversation between Nikki Giovanni and James Baldwin the other day. I understand now why you really wanted me to watch it. I started listening to the audiobook of Giovannis Room. I was turning into David. Thank you for exposing me to myself
 
  • Hugs
Reactions: soulkitty and Suicidebydeath

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