Don’t Gaslight My Humanity

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Over-explaining can be a trauma response to being gaslit in childhood. When I figured that out, I worked to stop doing so. If I already told the truth and was clear, there is nothing else to say and over-explaining leads to distortion. Off of that nonsense.

– Tweet by @viriyaakarunaa

I love this quote. And, I’d add this addition: over-explaining can also be a trauma response to being gaslit about racism (although this is also true when thinking intersectionally as well. Consider being gaslit about ableism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, colonialism, nationalism, etc.).

A few years ago a meme went viral saying something (and this is not a direct quote) basically like y’all believe Trump about XYZ but Black people need the blood of a dove, the voice of 3 angels and the piety of a Pope before you believe us about racism.

I think we have to talk about how – in particular – liberals and Christians both weaponize academia in order to refute racism despite the fact that many reknown historical scholars are/were racists, and refuse to investigate how the very educational institutions and Christian organizations they ascribe to systematically upheld (and many still uphold) segregation, discrimination, and racism. 

BIPOC people have been telling the truth about racism, colonization, genocide, and apartheid for centuries. 

People in the LGBTQ+ Community have been telling the truth about the deadly violence of homophobia and transphobia for centuries. 

Refugees and immigrants have been telling the truth about global inequities, sexism, racism, religious persecution, and violence for centuries. 

Who is listening? Who is weaponizing? Who and what systems hold power?

An itchy question I have been thinking about stemmed from a tweet I saw from a decolonizing therapy group I follow. The tweet asked something like – if we know Black people carry generational trauma from slavery than what can we infer that people carry who are the offspring of generations that were the overseers and masters of enslaved persons (or as I like to call them – people that were intentionally, actively, and willfully upholding the evil and racist torture, rape, and genocide of other people). 

What systems are upheld when we gaslight those speaking up about racism? 

What norms are perpetuated? 

Upward & Onward Together

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