As much as millennials complain about being patronized by older generations, I’m amazed on a regular basis at the smug condescension that liberals my age (and younger than me) address me with. The only thing worse than the outright accusations of stupidity is the arrogant pity. They assume that I’ve been brainwashed to think the way that I do, and suggest that I educate myself. They’re “embarrassed for me.” As if they have any shortage of lunatics on their own side of the line to be embarrassed of.
You know what I find embarrassing? For people so obsessed with misogyny and racism, very few of them have the self awareness to recognize the blatant disregard for my intelligence and agency as a black woman because I don’t agree with them. Because I disagree with them, they have no problem assuming that I don’t have the mental capacity to think critically and independently on my own behalf. Because I disagree with them, it’s completely appropriate to dismiss my opinions with “internalized racism” and “internalized misogyny.”
News flash, liberals. If you’re going to claim to care about the voices of those you perceive as marginalized, you can’t just listen to the voices that say what you want to hear.
The thing is, I used to be as liberal as they come. My first vote in a presidential election was for Barry. Both of my parents are registered democrats, and I’m a college student in Massachusetts, aka one of the most liberal environments that one could imagine. Not to mention that my school is so liberal that there’s literally an entire three credit course titled “how privileged are you.” And despite every aspect of my life predisposing me to be a salon reading socialist, I’m a conservative republican. And frankly, if there’s anyone who’s been brainwashed, it’s not me, or anyone like me. My beliefs are the result of years of reflection and analysis, not indoctrination by Hollywood or my professors.
Challenge me. Argue with me. Question me. But don’t degrade me by disregarding opinions that I’ve developed for years based on research and experience because of my gender or the color of my skin.
I don’t need any validation from patriarchy smashing Bernie Sanders supporters, but I won’t be disrespected or belittled by them either.