"I am color-blind."
To say I am color/gender/class/able/neurotypical
However, I wish I knew the vectors
of my privilege,
(those assumed birthrights that are more important than you-)
I worry that my lack of college education left me mentally gap-toothed on grammar at the intersectionality of minority and oppression.
I worry about white male privilege
not because I am a white male,
(I am not)
but because my son is two-thirds White, one-third Ojibwe,
raised by three women:
one grandma (Saulteaux Ojibwe/Cree, but raised by her adoptive Jewish family thanks
to 1950’s forced assimilation policies)
another (a sister to adopted Asian brothers)
who is a White woman in a lesbian marriage
and me, one Ojibwe/White queer mom with cerebral palsy, dyscalculia,
and mental illness,
in that same lesbian marriage.
It feels wrong to worry about my son and white male privilege,
about ableism, ageism, cisgenderism, classism,
neurotypicalism, racism, sexism,
and whatever others isms I am yet unaware of.
It feels wrong to mentally fractionate my child like some ethnic recipe
to determine what privilege he has and what oppression he will face
(like when people see him at the pow wow, in full regalia, and think he’s too pale to belong there)
He is my child,
just as you are someone else’s child
He’s three and a half years old,
I try to raise him to treat other people well,
to respect diversity of humanity,
to go beyond lip-service and instead to do what’s right,
I worry for him because I do not know
enough to teach him everything he should know
about the vectors and sub-niches of privilege and oppression
I don’t see color,
a controversial, perhaps ignorant thing to say,
What I mean is,
I don’t see a
I see a person, who has every right to every freedom,
self-identity, dignity and respect that I have
At the same I judge that person on what he says and what he does.
‘I don’t see color,” as a statement
is, if I grasp it properly, erasure.
To deny that color (different culture) exists and that different cultures matter
because it’s not really the hue of your skin
inasmuch as it erasure of the history, the identity, and the sense of self
that such a statement (“I don’t see color”) commits.
There’s a whole other ball of melted wax in the wires
Biological, exclusionist tribalism,
both social and physiological-evolutionary,
is how I see Othering,
but there again too,
I am blind.