Today’s lesson in hypocrisy comes from this lovely lady, Leda Fisher, a woke AF student from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.
Leda recently wrote an op-ed in her school’s newspaper, “The Dickinsonian” entitled “Should White Boys Still Be Allowed to Talk?”. Oh, to be in college again. What an incendiary title. So evocative. Someone’s womens/black/BLT-123 studies professor is probably beaming with pride. It would be bold, if it wasn’t the norm right now. Instead, unfortunately, it’s just bland and contrived. Sorry, Leda.
But relax. I’m not going to overly critique your work. I’m not going to call my readers to action against you, and I don’t want to see you censored or silenced. What I am going to do, is I’m going to bite your work, but just for a moment, Leda. But just to prove a point, I’ll link your original at the end. I promise, my edits will be minor, albeit the effect may not be.
White Boys Black Girls Still Be Allowed to Talk?
A slightly edited work by
Leda Fisher Bristol Turtlechick
“When you ask a question at a lecture, is it secretly just your opinion ending with the phrase “do you agree?” If so, your name is something like LaKeisha, or Rashanda, or Diamond, and you were taught that your voice is the most important in every room. Somewhere along your academic journey, you decided your search for intellectual validation was more important than the actual exchange of information. Now how do you expect to actually learn anything?
American society tells women, but especially black women, that their opinions have merit and that their voice is valuable, but after four years of listening to black girls in college, I am not so convinced. In my time at Dickinson I have listened to probably hundreds of black girls talk. It feels incessant. From classes and lectures, to the news and politics, there is an endless line of black girls waiting to share their opinions on the state of feminism in America, whether the LGBTQ+ population finally has enough rights, the merits of capitalism, etc. The list of what black girls think they are qualified to talk about is endless. Something very few of them seem to understand is that their (ill-informed, uncritical) opinions do not constitute truth. In fact, most often their opinions aren’t even original. Black girls spout the narrative of dominant ideologies and pretend they’re hot takes instead of the same misleading garbage shoved down our throats by American institutions from birth.
I am so g****mned tired of listening to black girls. I cannot describe to you how frustrating it is to be forced to listen to a black girl explain her take on the white experience in the Obama-era. Hey Rochelle, I’m an actual white man alive right now with a brain. In what world would your understanding of my life carry more weight than my understanding? Unfortunately, it is this world, where black women debate the pain of other people for fun and then take away their rights. The second thing most black girls seem not to understand is that they do not exist separate from the rest of the world. You do not speak alone, you speak with the weight of every other black woman who has spoken over a woman, erased the contributions of average people from history, or denigrated “intact English” as unintelligent.You speak with the weight of policies and laws meant to forever define intelligence by how it measures up to the intersectional feminists of America.
So, should black girls still be allowed to share their “opinions”? Should we be forced to listen? In spite of Black History Month, I’m gonna go with a hell no. Go find someone whose perspective has been buried or ignored and listen to them, raise up their voice. To all the Ashantis, Rochelles, Myas, and LaTishas out there, I encourage you to critically examine where your viewpoints come from, read a text that challenges you without looking for reasons to dismiss it, and maybe try listening from now on.”
I’m sure you are outraged by the few words I’ve changed, because I would assume my edits carry a lot of weight. This isn’t an issue of me wanting to elevate the cisgendered white men of the world to a level they do not collectively or individually deserve – this my lesson to you on true equality. You see, Leda, the cold hard truth of the world is your voice does not becoming stronger by smiting another’s. Speaking in such vast and definitive generalizations are the seeds from which true bigotry and racism are sewn – and it doesn’t matter which color you code it. You didn’t write a discussion piece, nor did I edit it into one. When you write, “Somewhere along your academic journey, you decided your search for intellectual validation was more important than the actual exchange of information. Now how do you expect to actually learn anything?” You illustrate how oblivious you are to your own message, and your preceding paragraphs preach the stifling of another group’s speech. My edits were small, but resounding – and turn your piece into something somehow even more universally distasteful. Attempting to undermine or marginalize an entire group based on a perceived, or even real, slight does not equate to empowerment. It simply keeps the wheels of division turning. These white boys you lambaste may have a perspective of some value to you, and vise versa. By demanding they be silent to allow only your voice to be heard is the ultimate hypocrisy, to no one’s benefit – least of all your own. I don’t say this as a white woman to a young black girl – but as an older, somewhat wiser woman to a younger counterpart. You are entitled to your opinion, and I am to mine, and I don’t want your voice silenced, although I do hope that you don’t stay so shut off that your perspective is stunted to these narrow and hate-filled words written at such a young point in your life. Please, instead of the knee jerk reaction so typical of your generation, stop for a minute, and think about what that means.
You can read Leda Fisher’s original op-ed here.
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