When you side with someone who says quite literally that I can never be a real ‘New Zealander’ you help to create this radical. When you dismiss the many small and large hurts I suffer as over-reactions or claim that someone didn’t mean it ‘that way’ you help to create this radical. When you act as though marginalisation and discrimination is my fault for not trying hard enough to ‘assimilate’ or ‘integrate’ you create this radical.
I am angry. It is not a flash in the pan anger that burns itself out quickly. My anger is a slow burning molten rage that cannot be extinguished. It exists because of all the little things people do, even those closest to me – my friends my family, that re-create in microcosm the society and institutions that deem me unworthy, underserving and unattractive. People who talk about ‘jungle fever’ when they find themselves attracted to a person of colour – as though it is a form of illness. Those who wonder how anyone could ever date a bisexual person because – they would never feel like they were enough for that person – as though bisexual people are greedy and disgusting. Those who make snide remarks about people not practicing monogamy – as though these people are deviant and disgusting – as though it is any of their business. The lack of thought that around accessibility and the claim that it is too much effort as though disabled people are undeserving of the basic accommodations that they require to engage with the world and live comfortable Those who happily engage in fat phobia regarding their own bodies and other peoples never once thinking about how their comments affect those around them. These casual remarks, said with the assumption that what they say is appropriate and acceptable. Said without any clear evaluation of privilege.
These types of casual comments and many others are the kindling for my rage. This is all it takes to create a radical. One who is tired of trying to engage with the system which has no time for me, that doesn’t really give a shit about me or people like me. That uses us only as a way of scoring political points, or a way of seeming edgy and cool. So when you are tired of my anger, when you get annoyed with my tone, when you feel as though I ruin everything by turning it into a ‘big issue’. Remember that you created me. Remember this is how I feel every day, minute, second of my life as I am bombarded with all the shit that cuts me to the core that I am not meant to care about.
Maybe then you can shut the fuck up and listen.