Have had multiple left-leaning activists try to silence me, since it seems it will continue and I have more important things to do, I’d thought I’d make some general statements so that you all will step your game up and at least make it interesting for me.
The following are pretty representative of the kind of messages I get on the regular.
“I’m not trying to shut you up but I don’t understand why you harping about class so much, aren’t there more important things?”
“Aren’t you engaged in class warfare?”
“I think poor white people should just stop whining”
“We understand you are emotional right now, should you be writing this stuff?”
“Most people already understand this stuff, do you need to keep talking about it?”
Here is my response:
1) I’m not just trying to reach the people you think are worthy of speaking to, and that construction is so elitist, I suggest you reflect on it for a while.
3) If you REALLY cared about bringing socialism to the people you’d spend your time doing what I do, which is trying to help poor whites understand that they are ALSO oppressed and need to work with their families and neighbors to challenge the power structure. The fact that you self identify as a leftist but don’t get why that matters suggests to me that maybe you should be spending some more time learning from me and reading and a little less time gaslighting me and wasting my time. And I will add that NONE of you has been a more successful activist than me, so I’m not sure why so many people assume they have the right to tell me what to do. I don’t try to go around bragging about my accomplishments because it wasn’t how I was raised, but I challenge you to find someone our age on the left that has done more work to successfully challenge the power structure. Maybe instead of lecturing the person who made it possible to talk about class on elite campuses, and the person who demonstrated the ability to close the achievement gap with culturally relevant pedagogy, and the one person that came from the poor that also has the research and analytical abilities to lay this all out, you should try to learn from me. You know why I’m not a household name? I was so surgical with stuff at Stanford that no one even knew what I did until they started researching my work years later. If you graduated any time after 2006, and you are first generation or low income at an elite institution, there is one direct line you can trace back to the supports you have now. And like all the roads in Rome they lead to one bad bitch. The reason you don’t know this is because I do my work to empower others and get stuff done, not to be cool on social media. Still don’t believe me? Go say my maiden name on the Stanford campus to any administrator that was there between 2006-210. My actual students will happily vouch for the rest. So please stop telling me what to do, unless you are, I dunno, Pope Francis or something.
4) I’m a big girl and I’ll decide what is worth my time, if the left doesn’t like it I guess they can try a little harder to silence me, because these bullshit little messages that attempt to guilt me aren’t working. You want to actually help the poor? Then maybe you should be doing something worth your time, and actually help us when we speak instead of telling me how to talk.
5) I’m talking about this because the media narrative matters and it matters that we have evidence. For many years, rich people have heard what I said and denied it with the words, “but you don’t have evidence.” Considering that we are talking about the death and disenfranchisement of people, I’d say that’s a pretty distasteful response. Now I have the evidence and they can’t deny it on empirical grounds so what do they do instead. They gaslight me and then try to co-opt me by turning my focus elsewhere. One wonders what could possibly be more important than getting to vote and not dying, but let’s talk about what a dick Trevor Noah is instead.
6) I’m glad you have finally come to understand my value in solving other problems, perhaps if you had made such an offer sooner and had offered me math and science classes in high school that co-option strategy might have worked. Unfortunately, we are far past that point and I’ll write about whatever I want. Because the day that Trump got elected on your watch was the day a new sheriff came to town and she is a harpy cunt who doesn’t care what you think.
In the efforts to gaslight me, some have asked if I am stressed. OF COURSE I’m stressed, I’m a human being and not a robot. You’d be stressed too if you were trying to do all this stuff with what is going on in the world. But let me tell you something else, I’ve always been stressed. The last nine months were the first time I experienced life that wasn’t stressful. So I’ve been stressed the whole time and you know what? I’ve managed to accomplish quite a lot in that time.
You don’t think I was stressed when my 3 grandparents died my senior year and I still managed to get FLIP off the ground, put on a theatrical production, graduate with a high GPA and speak at a pro-immigration rally? That was pretty stressful. Going to school hungry as a kid after having not slept so I could protect my body was pretty stressful too. Closing the achievement gap and teaching anti-racist pedagogy at a title one school while my body literally fell apart was also stressful. I’ve been stressed and I’ve still managed to do lots of things very successfully. So if you are really concerned about my stress you will fight with me to change those things because no one should ever have to be under the stress I’m under and then have to contend with the feelings of the people who supposed to helping her on top of it.
I posted this knowing there would be social costs for a reason. One, I wanted you all to finally see the kinds of messages I receive on a near daily basis. The left has gotten away with doing these things because I have taken their bullshit for the team, but it has become quite clear to me that they don’t care about the team at all and that they don’t deserve to be in charge. I kept silent about the voting suppression that happened in the primaries during the general election at the request of other leftists. I’ve been quiet about class because other leftists told me I was racist otherwise. I have kept my mouth shut about the sexual harassment and abuse that left leaning partners and classmates have done to me over the years to help keep the team together. I’m not doing it anymore, I’m not backing down and I’m not shutting up.
Someone complained that I don’t provide actionable solutions, so I’d like to take the time to re-state some possible solutions that are a better use of your time than telling me how to talk.
1) Feeding the homeless
2) Learning from the homeless, from the poor, from women, from Black people, first nations, and queer people
3) Elevating those voices by promoting them where and when you can and that includes social media but also at the dinner table
4) Spreading and shouting the truth and learning to be open to criticism
7) Reading to illiterate adults and kids
8) Calling the women in your life to telling them you value and love them and will fight Trump’s assault on them
9) Supporting progressive businesses with your money
10) Helping to organize unions
11) Helping to organize the working classes and giving them the opportunity to be read and heard.
12) Getting involved in local civic organizations
13) Learning about local politics and becoming engaged in them
14) Talking to vets and listening to them, then lobbying your politicians to meet their needs
15) Organizing or participating in boycotts
16) Focusing on raising your kids to be better people and to be strong enough people to make the world better than the one we are giving them
17) Volunteer in classrooms, help teachers with the grunt work of teaching, advocate for higher pay
18) Demanding affordable housing
19) Fighting for paid leave for all
20) Working to change male culture so that we have healthy masculinity and men worthy of the title “American.”
You don’t get to kill and exploit us and then tell us when we can talk about it. My friends don’t treat me this way and I don’t care about your opinion. If you want to be down for the struggle ahead and you aren’t already on the team or poor, you are going to have to do A LOT of work to prove yourself to me and my people. I don’t trust you and I don’t know why you think you deserve it. You’ve been drunk at the wheel for years and I learned that you can’t trust delusional alcoholics to act like adults. I suggest that you recognize how effective it is for you to keep talking and shut up until you are ready to help us.