That the structures support the dominant group's ability to redefine the experiences of a marginalized group doesn't make whatever narrative they come up with true. It only means that their dominance ensures that they have the mic the most, and they're heard the loudest when they speak.

Is This Thing On?

That the structures support the dominant group's ability to redefine the experiences of a marginalized group doesn't make whatever narrative they come up with true. It only means that their dominance ensures that they have the mic the most, and they're heard the loudest when they speak.

Besides encountering the privileged assumption that all folks are cisgender and heterosexual, I’ve also found that Christianity is often assumed to be the norm in many of the environments I navigate.

Having the ability to speak from places of privilege means that when we speak from those places, we can say things in matter-of-fact kind of ways that are disparaging to people who hold marginalized identities in relation to us.

Because the structures often support and reinforce whatever dominant narrative we’re using, when we speak from those places, we can do so with the expectation that our ideas will go unchallenged. This is true whether it’s intentional or unintentional. Whether we are aware or unaware. Here’s an example in the form of a quote that I came across recently:

“No one is Atheist. We all worship something.”

When I hear this quote and others like it, they’re usually followed by praise and words of affirmation. I cannot say no to ideas like this enough because they invalidate identity.

A key sign of power that dominant groups hold is the ability to redefine the realities of people in groups outside of themselves in ways that are more palatable. That quote and others like it are examples of what Christian privilege looks like.

That the structures support the dominant group’s ability to redefine the experiences of a marginalized group doesn’t make whatever narrative they come up with true. It only means that their dominance ensures that they have the mic the most, and are heard the loudest when they speak.

Ubuntu,

From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones


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I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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