Common sense just tells a person that if you have to deal with an “ism” such as classism which a whole host of our black and brown population does, it is going to be at least twice as hard when you add in racism on top of that. This seems to be a fact huge swaths of the country cannot acknowledge.
Yes! Exactly this. And, it’s frustrating that “huge swaths of the country” cannot acknowledge it. The only conclusion I’ve made as to why they can’t acknowledge it is because white folks, whether liberal or conservative (or neither) tend to conflate “white privilege” with “being an inherently bad person, a tiki torch-carrying racist.” So they separate themselves from the terms. Though, I doubt they really know how to accurately define white privilege in the first place, or fully grasp how systemic racism is the fabric holding up today’s American society.
As for the convergence of all the “isms,” you’re spot on. When we have (for example) a transgender woman who is also black, that often equals a death sentence. The stats consistently reveal that violence disproportionately affects trans women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia all conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other basic needs, which are all barriers that continue leaving them vulnerable.
Thank you so much for this insightful piece, and for telling Susan’s story. I hate the world has been deprived of her — clearly a person who led an exemplary life yet was failed by the system.