"If you think about it," O’Reilly continued, "it’s kind of self-centered to be offended by racism unless you’ve done something to deserve it. Take me for example: Lots of people hate me, but I’ve earned it. I don’t take it personal."
The Color Run™ robs me of that chance because now everyone who participates gets a diluted (and completely wrong) version of Desi culture—with this Holi knockoff they lose the culture and the tradition, but they keep our colors.
As a person of privilege, I can never fully understand the ways in which oppressive acts or language impact those around me. What I surely can do is listen and work to change my behavior. Because what we need to understand is that making the conversation about intent is inherently a privileged action. If the impact of our actions is the furthering of oppression, then that’s all that matters.
I don’t like beauty pageants. I don’t like the parading on a runway, I do not like the gawking at women, I do not like it the body image issues it perpetuates. But while I may dislike beauty pageants, I hate racism and bigotry even more.
Last night, Nina Davuluri, was crowned Miss America 2014. Not just a beauty queen, Nina “was on the dean’s list and earned the Michigan Merit Award and National Honor Society nods while studying at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science.” She’ll also serve as a spokesperson for STEM working with the Department of Education.
Not only was she the first Indian Miss New York, but she is now also the first Indian Miss America. All cause for celebration. The people of the United States of America have finally overcome racial prejudice, we finally see women of color as beautiful, and we value brains as well as beauty. We have a person whose family immigrated to the US just 30 years ago win one of the most coveted crowns and a $50,000 scholarship. YES!
Before Nina even had the opportunity to feel the weight of all those jewels on her head, Twitter was ablaze with ignorant remarks calling her a terrorist, connecting her to Al-Qaeda, saying the pageant needs background checks. All behind the shield of a Twitter account.
I really want to scream “you are ignorant” to every foul mouth that has tweeted these bigoted statements, sort of in the “you get a car” voice of Oprah. However, let me digress and let’s talk about this.
"You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?"
Really Fox, really!?
Still, there was an onslaught of white responses to this acquittal that, while often framed as the writing of allies, in fact reinforced much of the oppression that intersectional analyses of mainstream feminism call out on a regular basis. I felt angry.