Hi Joseph,

Thanks so much for your response. I do appreciate that you aren’t attacking, and I’m glad for the dialogue.

I quite agree that it isn’t useful to compare levels of oppression, and I also agree with you wholeheartedly that racism isn’t anything like close to being over in the United States or other places.

I don’t even know if we’re at the beginning of the end yet.

Living in Detroit for years, until very recently, I witnessed the toxic effects of systematic racism every day of my life.

I don’t wish to diminish that in the least.

In fact, I want to talk about it, though my comment here on Medium was awkward and not really on point.

Intersection interests me.

I think that many people can agree that oppression, suspicion, and mistreatment of minorities stems from a dark place in the common human experience, a place of fear and suspicion wired into us in the days that we lived in small bands killing strangers and defending our territories.

We’ve come a long way with our social structures. We’ve developed culture to check some of our instinctual fears and hostilities.

But it’s still part of our basic human nature to fear the Other.

Black people have been Other in our culture now for a very long time. Queer people are Other.

All of us know what it feels like to be the goat, though of course in different ways. Nobody’s journey is the same.

When I awkwardly used the N word, I was attempting not to diminish or compare, but to proclaim Otherness.

I’ve just discovered that my own refusal to quietly accept being Other has real personal consequences, and I feel very raw about it. Bereft, even.

I’ve been rejected by a community of progressive people because I refuse to be Other.

That’s why in my profile here on Medium, I describe myself as an uppity faggot.

I don’t know if I’m making any sense. I do apologize for any offense or whiplash I caused.

If you can help me edit what I wrote to make it better mean what I was trying to say, I would be grateful.

By the way, I don’t know if you’ve read my piece on Medium about racism. Here’s a link if you’re interested.


Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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