Self-proclaimed ‘side eye sorceress’ Luvvie Ajayi, also known as ‘Awesomely Luvvie’, launched into a Facebook rant last Sunday against ‘fauxtivism’.
The internet sensation and NY Times best-selling author of ‘I’m Judging You’, ranted against digital black-identifying activists, arguing that they ‘wear oppression like coats they refuse to take off’ and are just doing it as a way of getting attention.
The problematic post went on to say that they turn everything into a battle and that ‘When you sit in a 24-hour cycle of outrage, it’s easy to become the person who cried “INJUSTICE” wolf’. But surely we should be outraged by injustice 24 hours a day, and we face racial injustice everyday?
This sounds just like those right-wingers who accuse people of playing the race card, or call people ‘special snowflakes’ to minimise genuine issues.
Ajayi then proclaimed that activists who are identify as black ‘trading on white liberal guilt in the oppression olympics’ need to be called out. She also said that they victimize white allies who want to help, but don’t because ‘they’ve been told that the fight is not theirs’.
Oppression is very real, and it’s a huge step backwards to claim that people are competing to be the most oppressed in order to make white people feel guilty. This just provides even more excuses for those people that don’t believe in white privilege or that racism is still rife.
Obviously, making people feel guilty is not the way forward, but people shouldn’t be made to feel like they can’t share their experiences, just in case they make some people feel uncomfortable.
If that isn’t enough, here is the most ridiculous part of Ajayi’s rant:
‘…what’s interesting is, a lot of the most CAPS CAPS CAPSing “activists” out here are of mixed race descent. I just wanna tell them that they can chill. You don’t have to make up for the lack of melanin in your skin by always using your outside voice, even in situations that don’t warrant it. Tuck in your overcompensation. It’s like they’re performing Blackness based on anger, which is insulting.’ Luvvie Ajayi
Not only does Ajayi marginalise mixed people, but she a) decides that she can choose how we self-identify b) promotes the damaging idea that we will never be ‘enough’ of either race to belong to them and c) tries to argue that mixed people do not face discrimination.
On one hand Ajayi is saying that black activists exclude white people who want to join in, but at the same time she belittles mixed people for taking a stand. Contradictory to say the least.
Why should we even feel the need to ‘overcompensate’ for our apparent lack of ‘blackness’? It doesn’t matter how we identify ourselves, if we aren’t white-passing the outside world views us as black, not white. If mixed people weren’t advocating for racial justice, people would complain that we were selling out and forgetting our black heritage.
We are racially discriminated against too, and this status is a prime example. Nobody has the right to tell us who we can and can’t be, we can work that out for ourselves thanks.
Despite the backlash that Ajayi has faced, she has given an unapologetic apology, standing by her original statement and refusing to acknowledge where she was wrong.
That is not to say that there aren’t people out there that try to cash in on activism, but is she forgetting Rachel Dolezal and Pepsi’s awful Kendall Jenner ad? The people who really profit from it are those that will never be affected by it.