Before I start, I want to state very clearly that I'm mostly being hyperbolic, and I do not mean to offend. This is probably a very touchy subject for a lot of people so I will understand if someone gets angry, but I'm not going to tolerate abuse. I'm mostly posing this as a hypothetical to prove a point. Please don't stone me. Or do, I guess, but I'll dismiss you. Let's all use our inside angry voices.
Now that I've been sufficiently cryptic, let me tell you what I'm going on about! No one like the Oppression Olympics, but just for today, because this Ani Difranco thing has me so annoyed, I'm going to play. Here is my controversial opinion:
I think that Black people have it worse than Jewish people.
There. I said it. Note also, that I say, "have" and not "had" because I'm not really trying to compare historical tragedies, but rather the current attitudes that the two racial groups deal with.
But NinjaCate, why mention Jews and the Holocaust? They didn't do anything to you! This is true. But the reason I make the comparison is because in talking about Ani Difranco's retreat on various forums over the last few days, whenever the grotesqueness of the situation is compared to hypothetically doing the same at a concentration camp, the response is almost always "but no, that would be disrespectful. It's the Holocaust."
OH MY BAD I TOTES FORGOT THAT SLAVERY WAS FINE AND DANDY.
This is kind of what I mean. There is that meme that turns up on facebook every now and again (I couldn't find it repost here) where there are pictures of Pearl Harbour, 9/11, the Holocaust and Slavery juxtaposed against each other, and on the first three, it says "Never Forget" while over slavery, it says "Get Over It." I'm sure you know the one. Obviously, no one in GT thinks like that, (and if you do we can't be friends) but I tend to find that that's the prevailing attitude when discussions like this happen. Then of course things get super racist and someone mentions how the Jews got rich even after the Holocaust and why can't the blacks just be about them bootstraps?
It really blows my mind that anyone in Ani DiFranco's camp had to have it explained to them that luxuriating for a weekend at a site where mass murder and forced incarceration took place for centuries IS A BAD FUCKING IDEA. And I know this will seem like a stretch, (but I promise it's not) I genuinely believe that this kind of attitude is directly related to the prevailing world-wide idea of anti-blackness. The Jewish people are seen as the victims of a horrible human rights breach, and rightfully so. What happened during the Holocaust is a blight on humanity's history. BUT SO WAS SLAVERY. And yet, when we start connecting the social ills of today to the horrors of slavery, we're dwelling in the past and not taking personal responsibility.
Look bitch..... *rolls eyes*
Anyway, as I work through writing this I realize it's actually not even about the Jewish people or the Holocaust, but rather the way in which white supremacy interacts with the Holocaust versus the way it interacts with the history of slavery. So... yeah. I'm not mad at Jewish people, in case that was unclear.
I just.... *pauses thoughtfully* it seems that every day something happens to indicate that people genuinely don't take the suffering of black people (past and present) seriously. The atrocities that our ancestors endured are whitewashed and sanitized to paint slave owners in a better light, and any connection to the ills we face now are decontexualised and divorced from our history. Any day now I expect to hear someone say "Well we freed your black asses, what more do you want?"
Anyway, I've realized I'm rambling, so in summation: people are very quick to dismiss the suffering of black people and it makes me want to murder people. Which I can't do, because STEREOTYPE THREAT! Bummer. When I say that I think black people have it worse than Jewish people, I mean that their tragedies are respected (minus the nutcase deniers, because WTF? How is that even a thing?) while ours continue to be... diminished.
So yeah...don't stone me.