Ferguson Link Round-Up, or Intersectionality, You’re Doing It Right

Let’s get this out of the way. Racial bias in the prison-industrial complex we call the criminal justice system is real; the story is written in the statistics. Legislation is not and never has been enough to achieve true and lasting equality. Martin Luther King Jr. was not some hippie who sat quietly and never raised his voice; neither did he magically end racism nor ignore classism and structural issues.

What’s going on Ferguson is awful. I can’t view coverage of it without my throat tightening in sympathetic fear and grief while my fists ball in rage. It’s the same feeling I got when I attended a vigil for Trayvon Martin, the same feeling I got when I wept with every other member of the audience as I watched Fruitvale Station. I’m not sure what I can directly to help other than to continue to raise awareness and fight misconceptions.

In that light, it has really been heartening to see sites that aren’t primarily focused on racial issues — or, in once case, even news — covering what’s been going on. Feminism hardly has a history of inclusivity on matters affecting people who aren’t white middle class cis women. Intersectionality sounds like a buzzword, and people use it as an identity, but it’s really an approach to thinking and acting that helps to improve feminist thought. The following four feminist-ish sites, in the past few days, have been demonstrating what intersectionality in action means. I’m ordering them from most to least generally problematic.

Jezebel

Noodly Lord help me, I’m so torn on the Jez. It’s not a feminist site (self-description, not me being judgmental) yet it’s the closest thing to one that many of the denizens of the Internet will read. There is so much awesome  (LINDY WEST) and so much terrible (Hugo Schwyzer, among other issues). I used to read it every day, once upon a time, and then boycotted it for a while, before settling on not reading it unless it’s a Lindy post or I see a very tempting link — and the Jezebel links on Ferguson have been tempting indeed.

xoJane

As with Jezebel, there are a lot of great voices here along with problematic aspects. The fact that both of its pieces on Ferguson were written by women of color is really commendable: I Don’t Know How to Talk to White People About Ferguson and Ferguson Proves Every Black Person in America Is a Target.

Autostraddle & The Toast

Why am I lumping the two together? The latter is helmed by a queer lady and the former is a site dedicated to queer ladyness. Both are incredibly trans friendly and feature excellent writing and perspectives. I consider them both in the category of “I can recommend this without caveat.” Even if you don’t consider the fact that The Toast isn’t a news site (for the most part, The Toast is dorky feminists writing about things that aren’t feminism), its coverage is excellent. Autostraddle featured queer people of color’s voices on the murder of Mike Brown as well as a factual breakdown of what is going on and what people can do about it.

As for me? As I commented during the Trayvon Martin issue, my positioning in American society carries none of the dangers of that of a young black man. I can, however, raise my voice against such treatment.

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Ferguson Link Round-Up, or Intersectionality, You’re Doing It Right
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3 thoughts on “Ferguson Link Round-Up, or Intersectionality, You’re Doing It Right

  1. 1

    I see no one else has commented, so it’s up to me to say this: I really appreciate this sort of approach to link collections – mentioning the problems so I don’t have to go there and be shocked with badness. Too many people are willing to throw up a bunch of links without making clear they don’t endorse the sources unreservedly. <ugh Couldn't think of a better way to phrase that on the fly.

    Anyhow, I've been stung in the past. I'm recalling a list that was posted on a few different sites of feminism links, and the second item was a crappy "feminist" webcomic that included extensive body shaming and homophobia. And a weird weight gain subplot that looked suspiciously like somebody's fetish. Eek.

  2. 2

    I’ve only read the “I don’t know how to…” link so far but that was fantastic. Thanks for sharing. It’s a bit of a mindfuck for me to even attempt to contemplate the difference between the way I (a white male) am treated from minorities by both society and the state. Ferguson has been extremely upsetting to me as a human but it’s nowhere near the “personal” level of the way that I’m sure it effects people who live their lives only guilty of being not-white.

    PS- belated “welcome” to FTB.

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