A couple of days ago I was at the gym trying to keep the metabolism in check, when my attention was drawn to CNN’s, MSNBC, and other stations’ latest headline news – “Sanders and Clinton compete for Black vote.” For most of CNN’s viewers who remain immersed in a post-racial rhetoric this statement may read as accurate, inoffensive, and harmless. But if we apply a more race critical angle, this statement is loaded and far from being benign. [I can hear some loco out there saying – “there she goes throwing the race card again!”]
It always amazes (and annoys) me how people of color are continuously represented as a monolithic homogenous group. Haven’t white folk and confused people of color learned any better by now? The way the headline reads, “the Black vote,” ASSumes many things. First off, apparently all Blacks will either vote for Sanders or for Clinton with little to no variation or God forbid any outliers in our communities who might even vote for Trump el tonto. I can name at least a few potential of those lost votes off the top of my head. The same ASSumption about the Black vote is applied to Latinos/Hispanics. In fact, this ‘rule’ will be readily applied to any group designated as “other.”
But, notice how not once has the media stated something so erroneous and ridiculous as – “Trump and Cruz fight for the white vote.” Whites are seldom represented as a monolith because in a white supremacist society they are viewed as having individual thought and independence while on the other hand, groups of color are portrayed as a lump sum, as same, supuestamente somos como los borregos y el pan blanco, todos igualitos right? Ugh.
It is routinely ASSumed by media and politicians that we all exhibit the same behaviors, it’s as if we belong to a flock or a herd. We will all vote in the same fashion, right? Wrong! We’re not all the same dammit! How many times do we need to repeat that our groups have as much variation and independent thought as the standard white?
Lesson to learn: Stop clumping us all together. Yes we will share cultural knowledge and some shared philosophies, but we are far from being a monolith. Blacks will not all vote the same. Latinos will not all vote the same. Yes there may be patterns that emerge but this should not be used to diminish the intelligence of a people. So next time you hear the well-intended teacher say, “Oh all my Latino kids work best in groups because they’re social and family oriented,” or you hear some idiot in class say something like, “Blacks are all naturally athletic,” please give them a good verbal slap. Although on the surface generalized statements such as these may read as positive [in the demented mind], they add to the same problematic racialized ideologies that end up upholding stereotypes and inequitable structures.
I’ll clear something up right now, please, I mean please, do not clump and lump me in the same group as that Chicana in denial who self-identifies as Hispanic and feels absolutely no discomfort when checking off the “white” box on any federal form.
We’re not all the same people!
#lablogadora #bernie #clinton #Blackvote #Chicana #ASSumptions #Latinovote