Self-Serving Activism


An issue I have noticed in the leftbook groups I am in, and from the accounts I see retweeted largely, is that the activism being displayed is self-serving. Here, you find a bunch of people, usually straight white women at police brutality marches and straight white men at feminist marches, who are being paraded around and praised for their “work,” which is 9/10 regurgitated information learned from black women who said it better but didn’t have the privilege to elevate their own voice. Here, you find people faking embarrassment over being praised. “I’m just doing my part,” they’ll say. “It’s the right thing to do.”

In private, however, it’s a different story. I’ve witnessed a lot of white women who are present in ~social justice~ spaces willingly, repeatedly, and unapologetically speak over people who actually live the life where these injustices occur. If they’re not silencing them, they’re harboring some super harmful and resentful feelings towards these people, typically, black women.

I’ve experienced that in my own circle as of late, that there are women who like to masquerade that they walk the feminist walk, laced with ~intersectionality~, but it falls flat because they still very much see me as an angry black woman. I’m “too aggressive,” or, “too focused on the race factor.” Like I said on Tuesday, race is something I speak about because it is who I am. To separate me from that is violent and irresponsible.

Self-serving activism causes the actual act of activism to become draining and heavy, when it should be neither. If it’s selfless and coming from a place of love, free of ego, it should be fulfilling and effective. It should cease to prioritize one’s own feelings over the cause. It requires introspectiveness, honesty, and humbleness.

We can all do better.

Xo, Cydney

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