The “there isn’t an issue, you’re all just over-exaggerating” excuse – you know, the complaints about all this talk about worthless things like inclusiveness, gender roles, race, and broken systems – these weird conversations, attempting to address systems that exclude and kill, that are clearly an overreaction. I have heard it all too often, through various platforms and perspectives, and I’m certain you have too.
While I am all about validating perspectives and stated truths, I have some serious issues with this one – because here is the thing: almost every one of these complaints come from people who have never in their life had to experience the pain and difficulty that results from living a life that is anything other than white, American, and Christian. These statements about the unnecessary waste of time that conversations regarding the broken systems and perspectives around sex, race, class, gender, orientation, religion…etc are coming from those who don’t ever have to step an inch outside of their safe, oh so comfy positions – and using the ignorance grown from that comfort as an excuse to not care.
For far too long, this has been the majority perspective. It is one that slammed the door on anything considered even remotely different, plugging ears and closing eyes so that cries for justice, cries for accessibility, cries for respect and equal opportunity could go unheard and unseen. This perspective whispered words of “we don’t act, talk, think, look like that so you don’t either” and muttering shameful groans and dirty looks to anyone who didn’t fit the “norm”.
I get it. Trust me, I get it; it is hard to care when you don’t have to, and it is easy to believe everything is ok when you’re not the ones being oppressed. But that cannot stand as any sort of excuse for inaction, and certainly cannot stand as a written or spoken complaint against any attempt to cause action.
Conversations are happening, change occurring below our feet and all around us; to stand in the way of it with the words “there isn’t an issue, you’re all just over-exaggerating” is to deny the rights and dignity of so many. It is no longer a viable excuse (and let’s be honest, never really was), change is here so wake up and take a look around, step an inch outside of your context; to choose anything else is ignorant and inexcusable.