Critical race theory amongst other modalities of marginalized peoples have fostered indispensable, insightful discussions about privilege and positionality. For me, they have also provoked reconsiderations of reparations and reservations; which spurred my support and service to groups in grassroots, advocacy, and aid.
And, I’ve decided to ease off—if not, completely disengage with most of them. The years have taught me that social justice collectives are themselves communities; and like every community, their pillars and populisms predominate their praxes. The earnest efforts envisioned are seldom enacted; and when they are, they are attributed to proxies. Spokespeople overshadow the ‘little people.’ Compared to them, I noted how I was treated; and whose stories were amplified while mine were muted or otherwise obscured. This conflicted with the principles that people cited, the principles that I was taught. We were supposed to cultivate comradery. We were supposed to collectivize and carry the weight of our causes to ensure that none of us bore heavier loads. We were supposed to make and stick to resolutions. There was supposed to be a mutual merit in what we did, stood for, and espoused; and that merit would manifest for us all.
Not just a select few or those most visible.
The irony of the social justice spaces I have occupied is that the very morale that inspires me to persevere is the same that vindicates my disdain for the selective solidarity these spaces enable. I resent radicals whom are ratified by the mainstream; many of whom are supported by classmates, colleagues, and comrades. I find it not only unfair, but absurd that celebrities spur ardent sympathies from my contacts; whereas for me, they can only muster meagre condolences. It is hypocritical how these people ‘gently’ dissuade me from pursuing my own justice while assuming the charge of another.
There are a number of cases that have circulated rather widely within my locality regarding inequality, doxing, and the censure of social justice activists. They are all warranted and I sincerely hope the superiors involved will be held accountable, if not curbed or culled. However, I cannot help but note the absence of action, if outrage surrounding my own similar—and sometimes, more severe—experiences institutionally; and the more I have disclosed, the more I condemn my confidantes. The same people whom listened intently as I detailed my cases within the academe and the judicial system amidst other injurious social contexts are the same people whom urged me to “let things go,” accept the injustice, and move on to better things; yet these same people have taken it upon themselves to advocate for more visible victims; the same people whom swear every little bit counts, but are more inclined to acknowledge and aid the hubris of headliners.
Earlier this summer, I relocated to dissuade the cause of my own pursuer whose puissance has yet to waver. I try not to dwell on the reality of this necessity. My survival is starkly succinct, contingent on my mobility and vigilance.
Because, my agency and anxiety are augmented as well as admonished by the artifice of my allies.
This has shown me that there are truly good people. I am grateful to engage with them, and I make active efforts to reciprocate. They have offered substantive feedback, aid, and resources; intermittently as well as immediately. And, they also understand the inconsistent imperatives within communities whose constituents are driven to delude or dally with dignitaries sooner than they would support their own.
Pay it forward. Just don’t go broke, beloved.