Learning About the Power of Transphobia, Misogyny and White Supremacy from the Language of Revolutionary Struggle


You may have been led to believe that language connects people.  However, in a class-based society–like the one in the United States– language mainly serves the purpose of reinforcing the amount of power each of us has in our class.  Words in capitalist society become weapons of class warfare.  Either our language challenges the existing power structure, or it expresses our class advantage from above, which we use to keep those with less power in check.

As a result, our uses of language will tend to create a reaction, not a connection.  That is, language which threatens the status quo (or the unequal power held within the class categories of race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, religion, wealth, etc.) creates a negative connection: it meets an opposite force which is repulsed by this challenge to its power.

While the idealistic goal of progressive movements is to educate the oppressor about our oppressive behavior, the uses of language by an oppressed community may have the exact opposite effect on us, by creating a reaction of even greater violence than we showed before.  The oppressor isn’t ignorant about the uses of our unequal amount of power, or about the damage inflicted on oppressed communities by us; we– white people– are ignorant about the consequences to us if we don’t stop our violent behavior.  That’s what we need to learn.  But how?

The best lesson that white colonizers in the United States could ever learn about white supremacy is to be killed, and to keep on being killed, until we got off the lands of colonized peoples and went back to Europe.  Of course, that’s not going to happen any time soon, because that’s a lesson colonized people are not willing or not able to teach us right now.  And the population of white colonizers in the United States won’t ever be ready to take that kind of test.  However, that would be the most educational way for us to learn.  It would teach us how to work– how to work and struggle on our own land, developing our own resources, and solving our own problems– rather than trying to fix the problems of the globe by making them worse for everyone else.

The people who have the greatest amount of power in the world– whites in general, but particularly cisgender white men– also have the greatest fear of “tyranny,” and of an attack on their “freedom of speech” by “politically correct” “thought police.”  We might be tempted to say to the cisgender white men who hold these reactionary views (whether libertarian, liberal or conservative): “Don’t be afraid, we just want freedom too, like you have.”  But it’s not freedom that they are trying to protect, it’s power.  It’s not the behavior of the individual who has all this “liberty” that they are defending to the death, but, instead, the class power within democratic capitalism that elevates whites– particularly cisgender whites– at the expense of the global majority.   Those with greater power don’t fear that an “authoritarian” socialist government will tread on their rights, but that it will take away their power, which has stomped on the masses of the world for centuries.

And this is why cisgender whites don’t understand terminology like “transphobia” and “transphobic.”  They are reacting to a perceived threat to their power, and, in turn, they use language to defend the terrain that they have conquered.  Yet this occupied terrain or territory, leading to a war of words, isn’t based on ideology, but on an actual physical space: land.  Indigenous land.  Land belonging to Native peoples.  Without the violent occupation of Native land in North America (and Hawaii), and the violent removal of Africans from their land, and the genocidal extraction of labor, resources and culture from oppressed peoples in order to build up the power and wealth of these settler colonies of Europe, there wouldn’t be any Canada, or any United States, or any U.S. Constitution– and, obviously, there wouldn’t be any “Bill of Rights,” with its individual freedoms needing to be defended to the death by transphobic white men.  The objective or material basis for “freedom of speech” in the United States– or Canada, because these are both settler colonies built on genocide and capitalism– is violence against Africans, and violence against Native peoples and the global majority (so-called people of color).

This colonial violence by the ruling classes of the United States and Canada, as well as all other European nations, benefits the general white population in each territory.  But the imperialist thrust of capitalism is also misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic, ableist, and Islamophobic, in addition to white supremacist– terminology which is practically meaningless to the cisgender white men who benefit the most from capitalism’s arrangement of white supremacy.  What they are paying attention to– as far as this language is concerned– is the perceived threat to their greater power, an imagined threat which is coming from identities who have been historically marginalized under the violent arrangement of capitalism.  And, in a sense, they should be afraid.  Anyone who has an unequal amount of power– because they have stolen it through extreme violence– ought to be afraid of the consequences of their violent behavior.  And the best way to teach them what it means to gain greater power through violence is to move against them with even more violence.

Everyone wants to feel safe.  This is a natural wish on our part because, at the time we were little children, we were entirely helpless on our own, and entirely dependent on the people around us to protect us from our environment and allow us to develop and reach adulthood.  We may have learned what it means to feel secure from our parent(s) and other family members, from teachers in school, and from our neighbors– or we may have learned to be scared of them because they created an environment of hostility, violence, and insecurity.  Either way, we constantly seek to feel some kind of safety.   And so we may ask: how is it that Europeans, or whites, who are living so far from our homelands in Europe, could feel safe and comfortable– at whatever level we feel it– on the North American continent and Hawaii?  And Australia?  And South Africa?  And Israel?

Why would a European settler feel safe anywhere in the world outside Europe?  Because of power.  Not individual power, but the power belonging to the category of class– or our whiteness– within a global system of power: capitalism.

So the problem for whites in “America” (or Canada) is that we feel too safe.  And this smugness on our part leads to ignorance about the consequences of our violent behavior, or the actions of an imperialist nation-state that we support through its process called “democracy”– by “getting out the vote” and “exercising our sacred rights.”  Now we start to talk about “equal rights” for “minorities,” and about including more individuals in the process of democratic capitalism.

And, if we belong to the class category of whiteness, and we are women and/or transgender, we start looking at the sort of comfort, wealth and security that the white cisgender man has, and we say that we want to be like him and enjoy the same benefits that he enjoys.  Except we won’t say that we want to frighten him, and make him less comfortable, or that we want to take his place– we argue that there’s plenty of that good stuff to go around.  But there’s only plenty– for white colonizers, that is– if the present arrangement of power, which benefits cisgender white men the most, remains intact.

“American democracy” only can function through greater and greater levels of imperialist violence and capitalist exploitation against the rest of the world: including more racism, more sexism, more transphobia.  However, the “progressive” white person in the United States and Canada wants to avoid violence at all costs– that is, violence against whiteness.  So we continue to play by the rules of the cisgender white men who established capitalist democracy in North America, and the Constitution and the “Bill of Rights,” and who created universities on occupied lands of First Nations peoples in Canada where a transphobic professor of psychology can feel safe committing more violence.  And what if he feels threatened?  Then the white “LGBTQ community” may believe that we’ve gone too far in our protests against him, not because we value human rights, but because we value the safety of whiteness.

If we really want to be taught a lesson about what it means to value human rights, or just to be a decent human being, the white colonial populations of the United States and Canada– and anywhere else on the globe– should experience the same violence that we’ve been dishing out.  That may sound harsh.  But it’s not the violence itself that’s educational, any more than transphobic language is itself the problem.  It’s how we react to this violence; or how we transcend it, and create revolutionary solutions.

The shape of the struggle to resolve a conflict determines the shape of its solution.  If the only solution– or resolution– to our problems is more capitalist violence, more white supremacy, and more imperialism, then the majority of the world will continue to suffer the worst consequences of these resolutions to white people’s problems as we react to them.  Europeans mainly wish to feel safe and to develop and grow.  And, once we feel threatened by our unstable conditions, we then seek to resolve each crisis of ours by using the means placed before us by global capitalism (the only means backed by any power), as part of a reactionary process which is leading to gentrification, the prison-industrial complex, greater violence against women and girls of color, and yet another murder of a Black trans woman.  And then we fail to make the connections between these types of violence and our own freedom from violence.

Let’s say “the most racist type of white person” does exist in the United States.  If so, we usually point to the white person who exists on the fringes of white society, and goes to rallies for “the alt-right” or belongs to neo-Nazi organizations, and tries to attack Black people (and Muslims, Jews, Latinxs and Indigenous people).  Sometimes, when we’re attempting to describe the most racist type of white in this country, we look at the white person who experiences the greatest amount of capitalist exploitation– a “working class” or “poor” white who is going through “economic anxiety.”  However, this seems backwards.  The most racism isn’t to be found among whites who feel the most threatened by Africans/Black people and so-called people of color.   The most racism is found among whites who feel the least threatened– or the most comfortable on stolen land, the most safe existing off the stolen resources, labor and culture of the world.  That may be why Portland, Oregon is often considered– by people of color– to be one of the most racist cities in “America.”  Which is to say, it’s where so-called people of color feel the least safe, perhaps because the good white (racist) liberal feels the most safe.

But what does this have to do with language and its uses?  When it comes to learning about our racism as white people, or the transphobia of cisgender whites, it’s not a question of “having a conversation,” either about “race” or gender.  The text of these exchanges always has a context, and the context of language about “race” or gender or any other political category in a society where classes hold unequal power is colonialism.  Words exist in this terrain, like individuals, as part of a colonial context.  Therefore, our uses of language become a reaction to threats against our power, coming from below (from colonized Africans and Indigenous communities) or coming from above (the white or European settler population).  The ideas that grow out of this clash of unequal power reflect the antagonistic conditions controlled by a system which requires whites to sit– comfortably or otherwise– on top of the subjugated African community of the globe.  In such an arrangement of power, words do not connect us, except to inflict harm on the most marginalized of society.  There can be no such thing as “freedom of speech” in a society where only one group or class of people is free.  Forget the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of [White] Rights– those words are just garbage, useless.

Whenever cisgender white men are talking about “authoritarian” threats to their “freedom of speech,” they are really talking about not wanting to give up their greater advantage power.  Only one system has the authority to impose this unequal political, economic and social arrangement on the masses of the people: colonial capitalism.  Cisgender white men, who are the minority in this arrangement, feel threatened (or less safe) on account of resistance– not just to language, to words– but to the greater power and unequal advantage on their part.

And all white people (not just cis whites) need to become a whole lot more afraid than we are right now, because this threat to the security of whiteness would be a reflection of material progress.  Any fear of volatility, of massive disruptions and violence against whiteness reflects a measurable change in the balance of power, as the global majority– oppressed Africans everywhere and “people of color”– teach us, through revolutionary struggle, this valuable lesson of what it means to be human … or to live, truly free, and be empowered to develop as a person who is part of a community.

Learning About the Power of Transphobia, Misogyny and White Supremacy from the Language of Revolutionary Struggle

Whites Don’t Want Peace — We Simply Want the Comforts of the Violent “American” Identity


Let’s suppose for a moment that we could have a peaceful revolution.  Most European colonizers (or white people) in the United States would still be against this type of revolution.  But we’re talking here about a socialist revolution: a mass struggle to replace capitalism with socialism.  That is, we’re talking about a revolutionary movement to replace a system where only a few people control the wealth of society (capitalism) with a system where the workers who produce their wealth have power over the means of production (socialism).  If we could have such a revolution, and not be required to inflict any violence, whites would be against it anyway.

Why is this so?  Because whites don’t want to give up the unequal power that we have under the current system.  We enjoy the advantages of capitalist exploitation.  After all, we fought very hard, and spilled a lot of blood, in order to get those advantages.  In fact, this war– the “American Revolution”– is still going on.

The greatest part of a revolution’s work starts after the war for a people’s independence is over.  This is where a free nation begins to build up its institutions and to resolve the various contradictions of the society now under its control.  Now the masses are constantly being organized by this new revolutionary system to defend its arrangement of power, and not just in the military.  The people are educated by the ruling class to defend its laws, its morals, its “way of life.”  And if this arrangement of power is democratic capitalism, and the nation that gained independence is the United States, then the masses under capitalist power will be engaged in a constant struggle to defend the institutions and structures of the United States, because we have been educated to do so.  And this is the ongoing revolution of “We the People”– which is to say, European colonizers (or whites) on occupied Native land.

Therefore, whites don’t want another revolution.  We have our hands full with this one.  Even if we experience some exploitation and violence under the system of democratic capitalism in the United States, whites will still try to resolve these contradictions through its existing institutions and structures.  We fear any “outside” threats to “our” institutions and structures: “our” government, family, workplaces, schools, churches.  If we had been occupied by a foreign power, or if we had been violently removed from our lands in Africa, and were forced to build up the wealth of this “free nation,” then it might be a different story today.  But, as things are, this isn’t a question of equal rights, or “liberty and justice for all”– it’s about power.  Otherwise, we might ask ourselves: why didn’t we stay in England, or Germany, or Italy, or any other country in Europe and fight for a just and equal society in those countries, in our homelands?  The answer should be quite obvious: we wanted to enjoy the benefits of the “American” occupation of Native land, even if this meant colonial genocide and capitalist exploitation.  That is, even if this meant violence.

If you love “America,” then you love violence.  There’s no nation in the history of the world that has committed violence on the same scale that the United States has.  And this is the violent revolution you support if you identify as an “American”: the struggle to overthrow the power of the King of England in order to occupy a continent (plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico), and then enjoy most of the benefits of a system of global exploitation.  If you don’t want violence, then get rid of “America” and destroy capitalism.

But, of course, that would require violence– and we’re against that.  So whites try to figure out how to be progressive and nonviolent at the same time.  We think we can have a revolution led by Bernie Sanders, a U.S. Senator.  We want to be like Sweden or some other Scandinavian country and have all that free stuff– healthcare, schools, roads without potholes– which we then call “socialism,” because we’re sticking it to the rich.  But where do these riches that are being distributed among whites come from?  Africa, and Asia and Latin America.  And how do we continue to get this wealth?  Through violence.  Imperialism.  Capitalism.  We can call it “socialism” all we want but it’s still just white supremacy, or the white minority capitalizing on the global advantage of power that was gained through imperialist violence by Europe: through the political power that comes out of the barrel of a gun.

So white people don’t want a peaceful revolution.  Martin Luther King Jr., who was a religious leader and not a political leader, tried to show us the way toward a peaceful society.  He talked about a “revolution of values.”  And then we murdered him.  You might argue that you didn’t murder Dr. King because you weren’t there in Memphis and you personally didn’t pull the trigger.  But that’s not the point.  The point is: Dr. King was leading a movement to redistribute “American” wealth– a Poor People’s Campaign that was going to march again on Washington– and the capitalist system of power in the United States would not allow that to happen.  So it used violence against Dr. King.  And, nearly fifty years later, white people still enjoy the benefits of that violence.  But not just the violence against Dr. King.  We’re talking about a world economic system that must violently protect its interests.  And there isn’t a socialist movement anywhere on the globe (peaceful or otherwise) that capitalism hasn’t violently moved to destroy– backed by the power of the United States, and its Senate full of wealthy white cis men, supported by white voters.

However, whites confuse “peace” with “comfort.”  The destruction of socialist movements around the globe has helped to make the white population of the United States more comfortable, not more peaceful.  So our struggle isn’t about ending violence, or about promoting equality and justice.  If this were the case, then we’d recognize that violence is always needed in order to stop violence.  The U.S. government has shown over and over again that it will use extreme violence to get in the way of any movements to redistribute wealth and power.  A greater threat of violence is required to stop this violence.

And the threat of violence is violence itself.  This is why there isn’t a cop on every street corner.  More importantly, this is why so-called people of color put up with white individuals and our toxic behavior on a daily basis.  The threat of greater systemic violence is backing up our individual white behavior.  In fact, if you don’t like all the “divisiveness” and bad “race relations” in this society, then get rid of the unequal advantage of power held by whites– by getting rid of the white supremacist system.

But we won’t do that, because– when push comes to shove– white people want this unequal advantage of power.  It means comfort, security, the “American” lifestyle.  When whites talk about freedom of speech, individual rights, and all those good things in a colonial and capitalist society, we’re talking about white supremacy.  What’s freedom anyway unless it applies to everyone, and is a ruling principle that is enforced– through violence when necessary?

If whites truly wanted freedom, peace, equality and human rights– which means these would apply to everyone in the world– then we would be required to create a greater threat of violence than the violence of the system that is getting in the way of this progress.  Yet the contradiction is this: by showing a far greater threat of violence, we may not need to use it.  Because, in order to escape our violence, or survive under its power, the ruling class (racist, sexist, transphobic, capitalist) may simply give up its control.  After all, that’s why the oppressed peoples of the world gave up their control in Africa, Asia, the “Americas”– on account of the greater threat of violence by Europe and its system of power, capitalism.  It’s not because capitalism has promoted human rights or any other progressive values.  It’s because whites have held the advantage of power.  And, as European colonizers, we don’t wield this power out of the goodness in our hearts, because we’re “decent, kind hardworking Americans.”  We just want to describe (at times) our violence with nice, gentle words in order soften the language of colonial genocide, and the harsh reality of our crimes against humanity.  At other times, we vote for Trump.

So, let’s say we could have a peaceful revolution.  First, it would have to be a very uncomfortable revolution for white colonizers, otherwise we don’t really want peace.  Second, we’d have to show the threat of extreme violence against the ruling class: Wall Street, the government at all its levels, every institution of capitalism.  Yes, we could talk about a peaceful solution … as long as there was the alternative of extreme violence.

But whites in the U.S. do not have a Malcolm X among us as a counterweight to a Martin Luther King, because we don’t have a Dr. King among us either.  Whites lack any conscience, or any religious or spiritual weight of morality, that hasn’t been taught to us by a white supremacist system.  Whites have the conscience of the white colonizer, because that’s our training, that’s how conditions under a white supremacist system have shaped us to think.  And no white colonizer is going to lead a “revolution of values.”  Certainly no wealthy, cisgender white man in the U.S. Senate.  So we can forget Bernie Sanders and his fake revolution.

In fact, the only socialist revolution for white colonizers in the United States is the African and Indigenous revolution– the organized struggles of Black and Brown people for power.  If colonized peoples don’t get power, on their terms, it isn’t really socialism.  It’s just capitalism with another name.  Why?  Because anything white workers produce is still due to a global system of theft.  There’s no such thing as a “locally grown” product on stolen land, when the wealth of an entire society is based on the violent subjugation of African and Indigenous peoples.  And even the whites in Europe– on their own land– could not survive, or at least enjoy their lifestyle in the “developed” nations of Europe, if this development hadn’t come at the expense of violently exploited Africa and the so-called Third World.

This means, the question for progressive whites ought to be: are we for a system that promotes equality, justice and human rights, or are we against it?  If we’re for it, then we need to show a greater force of violence than what the current system is showing.  Maybe we won’t have to use this violence.  But why should “America” stop being violent only because “progressives” don’t like its behavior?  Why would heterosexual cisgender men stop their misogynistic violence while they still have the advantage of power, while a system built on patriarchy (as well as white supremacy) is empowering their dangerous behavior?  And most of the work of undoing racist, patriarchal violence can’t even begin until oppressed people win power for themselves, and gain control over their own institutions.  We haven’t even started to deal with patriarchy and white supremacy because anti-patriarchal and anti-racist institutions are still under the control of capitalism, which is dominated by the white population in general, and particularly by wealthy, white cisgender men (whom white women, cis and trans, allow to remain in power).

If we want a peaceful revolution then we will have to work extra hard for it because it will take millions of more people to create this extra threat of violence, at such a level that violent action won’t become necessary.  And this means rejecting the “American” identity and all the transphobic, misogynistic and white supremacist ideologies that “America” represents, so that we can build something new.

In fact, if we start to build something of our own, something that is apart from transphobia, misogyny and white supremacy, we won’t have to worry about being violent against the capitalists.  Because, as soon as they see we have any power separate from the existing system, they will attack us– then we will be forced to defend this new thing that we’ve worked so hard to build.

But my guess is that the white masses won’t start to build and organize for a kind of power which is separate from the “American” identity, and is compatible with Black Power– power for the African masses of the world.  Whites don’t want peace.  We’ve been thoroughly trained to hold this mediocre and politically unconscious acceptance of white supremacy, and only to believe in progressive movements which can be no threat to white supremacy (or “America”) and the violent system of global capitalism.

Whites Don’t Want Peace — We Simply Want the Comforts of the Violent “American” Identity

Why European Colonizers in the U.S. Won’t Be Demanding That the Police Eliminate (Kill) White Supremacists Anytime Soon …


The police have killed at least 1,040 people in the United States so far in 2017.  What happens, then, if we place our focus on the groups of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Klansmen and members of the alt-right, rather than on the organized violence of the capitalist and imperialist State?  We might begin to believe that the police are there to protect us from the white supremacists, and that racism is mostly about an individual viewpoint held by a relatively small number of whites.

And even if we were to recognize that all whites are racist– because we all enjoy the benefits of a racist system– we might still be confused about the material basis for white supremacy’s power.  By focusing on the racist ideas in each white person’s head, we might start to think of white supremacy as some abstract force which exists on an invisible scale or chart, ranging from “extremely racist” to “just a little racist.”  Once we describe racism in these terms, the difficulty arises about how to determine what exactly is in each white person’s mind: how racist are they anyway?  Then we look at the groups of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and so forth, and say, “Well, they are the most racist, which means they are the biggest problem.  We will have to address their racism first.”

Now we have placed white supremacy on some imaginary line, moving from the worst behavior to the least dangerous behavior.  But we could ask ourselves: just who are these whites who are supposedly engaging in behavior that must be the least harmful to Black people/Africans and “people of color” (the global majority)?  This seemingly nonthreatening great weight or mass of white people consists of Europeans who occupy the territories of the United States, enjoying the benefits of colonial, neocolonial and imperialist exploitation by the world economic system of capitalism, but who do not attend white supremacist rallies wearing swastikas and using racial slurs against “people of color” and other marginalized identities.  In fact, we oppose such outward displays of white supremacy.   We say we’re against “hate” and “bigotry.”  At the same time, this mass force of whites believes in “American” democracy, thinks the police are there to protect us, and– as a global minority– lives on a pedestal of wealth violently extracted from the majority of the world’s population: Africans/Black people, Indigenous/Native peoples, and everyone outside Europe.  We support the overall power of a racist system, but white colonizers in the United States oppose certain expressions of this power– mainly those coming from individual white racists or smaller organizations of white supremacists (compared to the highly organized violence of the U.S. government and Wall Street).

So this support, accompanied by this opposition, has turned into a disconnect in the mass political (un)consciousness of white people.  We are conscious that white supremacist groups are on the rise in the United States today.  We are not conscious– as European colonizers occupying Indigenous lands and living off the stolen resources, labor, and culture of Africa and the world– that the United States is itself a white supremacist organization, a project of genocidal empire.

Whether “America” is on the rise or on the decline is another question altogether.  We could argue that “America” is in decline– the resistance of colonized peoples is making it harder for its racist, capitalist system to deliver “the goods” to a white population that continually demands an upwardly mobile lifestyle.  The white supremacists recognize this reality and are unambiguous about the resolution that they demand to the present crisis: more genocide against Africans, Latinxs, Arabs, and so-called people of color, as well as Jews, Muslims, and transgender people.  In other words, a relatively small but vocal group of white supremacists, within the overall population of European colonizers, is demanding more of the type of violence which has allowed us to occupy this continent (and Hawaii) in the first place.  The demands of the white supremacists are about the quantity of “American” violence, not the quality.  They aren’t arguing for any treatment of “minorities” that is qualitatively different from the way these communities became “minorities” to begin with: because the capitalist power of “America” is already carrying out this violence, only it’s in the “official” capacity of institutions supported by the vast majority of whites.

And what is the reaction of this larger group of whites to the violence, and to the racist imagery and language, coming from the neo-Nazis, the alt-right, and other overtly racist organizations?   We don’t equate their violence with capitalism, with “America” itself.  In fact, we separate it.  This is convenient for us to do.  Because whites benefit from the far greater force of legalized violence by the capitalist state.  We couldn’t exist on this continent without it.  There wouldn’t be any wealth or any power in “America”– there wouldn’t be any “America”– unless the general population of European colonizers supported (not just as individuals, but as a mass political force) the greater violence of its capitalist system.  And it is this system of capitalism which has created the white identity itself, as a passport to the benefits of racist imperialism.

But the masses of white colonizers won’t condemn or move against this greater force of violence because we think we can isolate its racism and its other forms of oppression in two categories.  One category belongs to the “impolite” and uncomfortable sort of racism of the white supremacist groups; and the other category isn’t called racism at all, because it’s just business-as-usual in the United States.  This type of systemic racism is so deeply embedded in our daily behavior and attitudes, white colonizers simply ignore that it’s connected to the more overt forms of racist language and action expressed by white supremacist groups.

And how do we know that these types of racism– while disconnected in the mass (un)consciousness of white colonizers– are connected at the level of systemic power?  We know because the reaction of the capitalist state– its government and all its institutions– is not to move against the white supremacists, employing the same amount of force that it has employed against Indigenous peoples and Africans (through slavery, Jim Crow, COINTELPRO, the War on Drugs, etc.), and against “enemies” abroad and the countless perceived enemies of “freedom and democracy.”

The “American” system of power could wipe out these white supremacist groups practically overnight.  But first it would have to recognize that they are the enemy.

J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI had no difficulty recognizing and defining Black and New Afrikan revolutionaries as the enemy of the “American” government in the late-1960s and early-1970s, as they moved to destroy the movements for African liberation from the United States.  President Eisenhower and the U.S. government quickly moved against Patrice Lumumba and Congolese revolutionaries.  More recently, President Obama and the U.S. government targeted Gaddafi and Libya.  They used the power of the system (and its “legitimate” violence) to promote certain aims– aims largely supported by the white population.

What’s power for if it’s not used to enforce the principles and interests held by the masses who support this power and thus expect to benefit from it?  A rational person would have to argue that the reason the United States government– at all its levels– does not move against white supremacist groups, treating them as the enemy, is that they are, in fact, both on the same side.  So this should make both of them our enemy too.  And, if it doesn’t, one could rationally reach the conclusion that we are in alignment with the same enemy: those who belong to the white identity, and are loyal to “America,” must be the enemy too, otherwise we would demand that the system which we support move to destroy our enemy.

Obviously, the police in the U.S. have no problem killing hundreds of people.  So if they spare the lives of white supremacists, and don’t open fire on their rallies, such behavior is an exception to their usual behavior.  Obviously, whites support a system of violence– otherwise we wouldn’t have voted for Trump, or Hillary, or Bernie, or Obama, who stated no plans to dismantle the police, the military, prisons, the detention centers and all the other violent institutions of capitalism.  So we can’t say we’re against violence in all cases.  And this is the disconnect in our class consciousness (the one belonging to the category of white settlers in “America”): we allow the violent capitalist system to remain in place, because we couldn’t exist without its stolen wealth and power, and then we condemn a relatively small segment of the white population, while, at the same time, refusing to moving against their violence.  And this makes us complicit in white supremacy, regardless of our thoughts or feelings on the matter.  In fact, the more indifferent we are in our actions, the more we are content to go along with white supremacy’s own course of action, whether it’s led by a neo-Nazi group or by “America” itself.

Why European Colonizers in the U.S. Won’t Be Demanding That the Police Eliminate (Kill) White Supremacists Anytime Soon …

Whites Ought to Celebrate Being the “Last,” Not the “First”


White people in “America” have no right to celebrate “historic firsts” by marginalized identities who become part of the institutions of capitalism– especially whites who are cisgender or heterosexual “Christian” men with power and wealth.  Of course, in one sense, they (or we, as in the general white population) do have the right to celebrate– it’s a “free country.”  But what about that “free country”?  This type of “freedom” and all these “rights” have been built on the genocidal colonization of Indigenous territories, and the stolen labor, resources, culture and lives of Indigenous peoples, Africans, and so-called people of color.  And most of the benefits from this colonial and capitalist oppression have gone to cis white men in the United States.  So if you occupy a space and commit centuries of violence against people of certain identities, and then you gradually “let” a few people come back into this space– on your terms– then that’s hardly cause for celebration by any of the people who are aware that they have contributed to this violence.

It’s a different story for the communities who have struggled to survive and thrive in spite of this systemic violence of “America” that has historically moved against them.  Whether they celebrate or not is their business.  Obviously, anything achieved by an individual from this group of people is the product of mass struggle.  If an African or Black trans woman is elected to office in one of capitalism’s oppressive institutions, and her community celebrates her individual achievement, it’s on account of the many years of struggle by Black trans women and the African/Black community.

But, again, that’s their business, whether to celebrate these “firsts” or not.  If white people want to celebrate the “first” Black person to be elected to this or hired to that, it seems we ought to make sure that we’re the last generation of colonizers to be complicit in the brutal oppression of their community, or the sort of violence that has made their individual accomplishment so impressive to begin with … because one of their people finally beat the odds against our uncivilized and inhumane violence.

If we look at the situation in this light, it tends to put us in a far less celebratory mood.  The white population has messed up the planet, and has put up tremendous obstacles for Africans, Indigenous peoples and the global majority to overcome; then, if one person from their community has struggled to make it over these obstacles, according to the unjust rules we’ve created for our own advantage, then how in the world are we going to celebrate now?

Furthermore, gaining the approval of whites isn’t the greatest accomplishment one could hope to achieve.  And that’s usually what is required to be the “first” this or the “first” that, because European colonizers have an unequal amount of power.  That’s our big accomplishment– holding up the world at gunpoint so we could rob it.  Of course, we give pretty names to our theft– “democracy,” “freedom,” “civil rights”– because this systematized theft needs people to be loyal to the class of thieves (the racist capitalists), and not only whites but so-called people of color.  Once the wealthy capitalists get our loyalty, then we’ll be working to make it in their system.

But the main reason anybody would want to gain the approval of white, cisgender heterosexual men with money is the last item on that list: money.  They control the wealth.  And that’s the main thing whites have going for us.  Do we truly believe that Africans/Black people, Indigenous peoples and Latinxs want access to the institutions under the control of rich whites because of our original culture and language, or our wonderful humanity?  The great artistic contribution of white colonizers to global civilization is a Walmart commercial shown over and over again during the holiday season.

So white people– regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, or whatever– should strive to celebrate, and to be, not the first, but the last.  One reason to make this our goal is that we’re not particularly good at “firsts”– remember Columbus?  We tend to think that we were the first to do this or to do that, but there was usually an African or a “person of color” who did it long before we did.  Nevertheless, we start to believe in this whole “white supremacy” thing, which only makes us better in one area: better at behaving like thieves.  If you want to be the first thief or the best thief to occupy Native land, or to steal a Black music style, or get sunburned on some colonized beach, then maybe whiteness has some bragging rights.  Otherwise, maybe we ought to focus on being the last.

For example, we could be the last of the whites to walk right into (and through) Black people in Walmart, or the mall, or anywhere else … as if they aren’t even there.  Or we could be the last white people to make excuses not to pay reparations.  Instead of saying, “Well, I don’t own slaves!  And what about the Irish?!” we could just pay up.  We could be the last white people to support a capitalist system built on imperialist genocide against Indigenous peoples and Africans.  Imagine being the last white to get on the boat going back to Europe.  That’s a long shot, to be sure– but isn’t that why we celebrate “firsts”?  “Firsts” are things that are hard, almost impossible– practically unthinkable.

We’re always celebrating when a Black person succeeds in a rotten system designed to destroy them, which is particularly destructive and violent if they are a Black woman, a Black transgender woman.  Well, if their community wants to celebrate, that’s understandable.  But what might be more enjoyable for the people who benefit the most from this violent system is for us to destroy the system itself.  We could be the last white trans women to take up space in a nonprofit organization, or the last white trans women to equate our struggles with those of Black trans women.  We could be the last white trans women to make it sound like our individual empowerment– in the oppressive institutions of capitalism– does any f-ing thing to center and uplift the interests, lives and well-being of Black trans women and trans women of color.  The impossibilities are endless.

However, it’s not quite impossible to be the last, in this regard.  We can do this, if we organize for it and move as a unified mass force of resistance.  If you can elect a white trans woman in the transphobic, misogynistic, and violently inhumane capitalist system of the United States, you can make sure she is the last, and all of us are the last, to enjoy the benefits from this oppressive system (even as we experience some of its exploitation).

Nobody in this country has ever won an election, or got a job, or earned a degree in college, all on their own.  Everything has required struggle by a class, a people: struggle to create that institution in the government, that institution in the workplace, that institution in education.  Each person who achieved success in these institutions has been the product of years of struggle, since the time they were a young child: the collective effort to feed them, teach them, provide safety for them and the ability to grow and develop.  In fact, this mass struggle goes back long before they were even born.  And all the institutions and structures in the United States who perform these functions have one thing in common: they are built for the benefit of whites, at the expense of oppressed communities.

So, yes, whites who are poor, who are women, who are queer, who are trans, or all the above, have had to experience discrimination and violence in the family, in school, in workplaces, and in government at all its levels.  But whites in these groups must engage in constant struggle just to make it in this system, and, at the end of the day, what have we done?  What’s our grand accomplishment?  We’ve just made it in a system that impoverishes people, that exists off global violence; a system that is misogynistic, transphobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, and every horrible thing we can think of, and more.  And now the system that has power– on account of this oppression– can tell us we are special because we struggled so hard to overcome the obstacles that it put in our way.  Capitalism will probably even try to convince us that we accomplished all these things on our own, as individuals, because it doesn’t want us to recognize that we could have struggled just as hard to bring this system down– as part of a mass force moving against its institutions in order to weaken their power, not strengthen it.

So, if we wanted to, white colonizers could put in just as much effort to be the last benefactors of capitalism’s violence as we put into being the first to do this or the first to do that inside this system.  And, even if we didn’t succeed in being the last in this generation, perhaps a future generation of whites could be the last to perpetuate a system of racism, misogyny, transphobia and other forms of capitalist violence.

We may not destroy capitalism in our lifetime, or be the last whites to enjoy its benefits at the expense of the oppressed communities of the world, but our contributions today would still count as part of the historical process.  Then, at some point in these stages of higher and higher political consciousness, there eventually could be the last person to identify as “American” or as “white.”  We can struggle toward that goal, or we can keep heading in the current reactionary direction of upholding whiteness, capitalism, patriarchy and the “American” identity.  But if we don’t work to make sure we’re the last, hopefully the oppressed communities of the world will make sure we are.


Whites Ought to Celebrate Being the “Last,” Not the “First”

Cisgender People Are Too Violent to Deserve “Openly Transgender” Women


The language of “openly transgender”– which is all over the internet today– reminds me of a question made to myself back when Matt Damon first rose to stardom in the movies: is this really going to become a thing?  Really?!

I had no desire, in the years before and after Matt Damon’s curious ascent, to be “openly transgender” … that is, until Janet Mock, through her writings and her show So POPular on MSNBC-Shift, taught me to embrace my transness.  But, if my (sometimes faulty) memory serves me correctly, Janet Mock also hasn’t focused on this terminology of being “openly transgender.”  In fact, she taught me that a trans person, like a queer person, has a right to their own agency, or control of their own narrative, and it’s their choice whether to “come out” or not, and whether to “pass” as cis or not.

In a society which hadn’t been stratified by class, where some identities (white, cis, rich) hadn’t been placed on top of others (or the Other), and where this unequal power was not then exploited by the few for profit, the question of living as “openly transgender” might have been only about the individual and their personal choice.

But in the global economic system of capitalism, and in the capitalist democracy of the United States (a white nationalist settler colony of Europe), who we say we are, on an individual level, is governed by a violent hierarchy of power which elevates some classes at the expense of others.

And who supports this violent hierarchy of capitalist power in the United States?  The white population does: the class of European colonizers, the majority of whom are cisgender.  But, within the white settler population of the U.S., even those who are transgender still try to identify with institutions and structures controlled by wealthy, white cisgender people.  Whether we support this system of oppressive power or we do not, it still supports us: regardless of our gender, sexuality, religion, or any other class categories of exploitation and oppression.  It is white people who benefit from the capitalist oppression of Africans/Black people and so-called people of color, because– as a class, not merely as individuals– the resources of the world economy flow in our direction, through its imperialist violence.

So being “openly transgender” or “out” as white trans women– just speaking as a colonizer who is a woman– is not simply a matter of personal choice; it’s a question of leveraging an unequal amount of power in a system (a cis-stem) created by whites and for whites.

What does it really indicate then to be “out” as a trans woman in a society that treats each person as a means to some other end (greater profits), rather than encouraging a person’s development to their highest potential, both for themselves and as a member of a community?  What it indicates, in part, is that– while we are focused on our personal growth– the capitalist system is focused on increasing its own power, which is the power to oppress communities whose labor, resources, land, culture and lives are the basis for all the power and riches of this system.

In other words, capitalism– a world economic system built for the benefit of the white minority– has its own contradictions which it needs to resolve, on its terms, by reforming itself from within.  Historically, capitalist democracy in “America” has meant access to wealth and power, as well as “liberty and justice for all”– for all white cisgender men who have property or money.  However, over the decades, more and more whites are making it clear we want to have what the rich white cis men have.  So we create pressure on the system– through political force or mass energy– which then threatens to pull this system apart.  The very thing that is keeping the capitalist system intact– which is its violence against “people of color,” or the global majority– is also dividing it: this means that white women (cis and trans), white gays, poor whites and other groups who benefit from the political category of whiteness also experience discrimination and marginalization within the colonial population.  That is, we experience discrimination and exploitation by capitalism, but we still enjoy the protections of whiteness, whether we’re poor, middle-class, wealthy, cisgender, transgender, “straight,” gay, or whatever.  So the struggle of marginalized whites, within the white identity, is to gain access to some of the same benefits of colonial violence as enjoyed by the wealthy, white cisgender men who founded this nation-state for their own empowerment.

This fissure in our individual experience– whether to “live a lie” or to live “openly” and express our truth– is a reflection of a contradiction that exists at the class level of the colonial society:

Transgender women are white, so we enjoy the power of whiteness.  However, we’re transgender and we’re women, so we’re also exploited by a system that is transphobic and misogynistic.  Therefore, in order to resolve this contradiction, transgender white women leverage the unequal power we have as whites and try to gain access to the benefits of a system whose power (that we are now taking advantage of) is based on colonial violence against Africans, Indigenous peoples– and, specifically, against Black trans women and trans women of color.  If we can’t gain access to these benefits of capitalist oppression, we might choose to struggle on the side of the oppressed and move to overthrow the whole system.  So, capitalism– in order to avoid a revolution which threatens to tear apart its foundation of colonial violence– moves to reform (to re-form) these unstable contradictory elements, and (for this reason) it empowers white women, and specifically white trans women, to be “out” or “open.”

On the individual level, this choice to be “openly transgender” (when it is a choice), can be an inspiration, a feelgood story for the ages.  Capitalism needs feelgood stories because it continues to inflict an enormous amount of damage and suffering all around the globe.  The United States must promote itself as a country that supports freedom, justice, democracy– progressive ideals.  But if you gain power and wealth as an “openly transgender” white woman, in a system whose power and wealth comes through violence against the world, then your power to rise has been built on the increased oppression of transgender women outside the white identity.  We may believe it is our own choice to live as “openly transgender,” but we’re still playing by the rules of a system of power that is transphobic, misogynistic, white supremacist and capitalist.

And who, exactly, are we “open” to anyway?  Racist, transphobic, and sexist white employers.  Racist, transphobic, and sexist whites in government, Wall Street, media, and our neighborhoods, churches, families– all the institutions and structures controlled by cisgender whites.  So it’s not just a feelgood story.  It’s about a violent capitalist system that is moving to resolve any threats to the power of its racist ruling class by promoting some ideal of visibility and acceptance that mainly benefits whites who already have money; or, even if we don’t, we are still identified as “white,” enjoying the colonial privileges carved out for us by bourgeois society.

And who benefits the most from some of us being “openly transgender”?  Cisgender whites with unequal power and unequal wealth who can pat themselves on the back for acting so decently– so “progressive”– in their acceptance of transgender women, even as they (like the white population in general) won’t recognize the humanity of Black people, because we support systemic violence on a daily basis against Black women– specifically, against Black trans women.

The ideal of being “openly transgender” actually puts up walls and gates around transness, and closes off who gets to be recognized as fully human, because this racist arrangement of power, and the people who benefit the most from its violence (whites), aren’t ready to view Black people (of all genders) as human.  If we were ready, whites (trans and cis) wouldn’t support a world economic system built on violence against Africans, wherever they live on the globe.  How can you say you embrace people for being “openly transgender” when this system of racist genocide in the U.S.– that you won’t move against– is gunning them down day after day just for being “openly” Black and African?

Cis people– cis whites in particular– aren’t struggling to be less violent by allowing a few “openly transgender” women gain power within their institutions.  Cis whites are just moving to resolve the contradictions of a system built on violence, so they can enjoy greater wealth and greater power for themselves.  If we want each individual to live openly and freely as a person who is recognized by society as fully human– not in spite of their differences, but because of their differences– then we must organize to bring down a system of power that categorizes some identities as more exploitable and (therefore) more profitable than others.  Otherwise, white trans women are just leveraging the power of our class category of whiteness, and banking on cisgender whites to treat us as human (whether they truly believe it or not), while this same system promotes, then absorbs, the benefits of our personal struggles, so it can then go and inflict more violence on Black trans women.

Black trans women deserve to thrive (and not just get by) in a world that’s better than this– far better.  And cisgender people– as well as white trans people– don’t deserve “openly transgender” women, not unless we can move as a society to uplift, respect and recognize the inherent value of humanity in a world where it is safe to be yourself … a world free from European capitalist domination.


Cisgender People Are Too Violent to Deserve “Openly Transgender” Women

Oppressive Power, Not Preference: How the Behavior of Cis/Het Men and Cis Lesbians Who Say They Won’t Date Trans Women Is STILL Transphobic


English is more or less the “official” language of capitalism and imperialism.  This means if you only want to sell a six pack of beer, or a “legal” prescription drug, or a movie starring Matt Damon, then the English language will probably suit your purposes just fine.  But if you want to talk about the systematized violence or inequality or injustice that is necessary for capitalism and imperialism to operate, you may find that English is an inadequate language.  What’s more, the fact that the English language has been imposed on the globe by white people means the very people whose oppression allows this system of power to function (through their stolen labor, land, lives, resources and culture) may not even have the words to describe their experiences of oppression in a manner that is adequate.

And this takes us to the word “transphobia.”  The social construct of gender, like the social construct of “race,” has been imposed on the people outside Europe (including “people of color” in the United States) by Europeans (that is, by whites), on account of the power of imperialist capitalism.  And, yes, there are Black/African transgender people, just like there are Black/African women (cisgender and transgender).  This means the systematized violence of transphobia, like white supremacy and like misogyny, is mainly directed at Black trans women, as well as trans Latinas, Indigenous trans women and trans women of color.  So capitalism has not only imposed this system of violence on the colonized peoples of the globe, but it also imposes the language used to communicate their experiences of oppression.

However, since this backward system of power educates whites– and specifically cisgender whites– to think in such backward ways, you might have been told: “I’m not transphobic.  I don’t fear transgender women.  I just don’t want to date them.  That’s not transphobia, that’s just my preference.”  If you are a cis person who accepts the inadequate language of this global economic system (which is inherently oppressive), and you have taken capitalism’s definitions literally, then you will end up having a limited understanding of your transphobia.  But if you truly want to understand the meaning behind this language, then you’ll take the terminology of “transphobia” or “transphobic” with a grain of salt (another nice homely phrase from my English forefathers).

If transphobia is literally about “fear,” it’s not about a cis person’s fear of trans people (and specifically trans women)– it’s their fear of themselves.  Capitalism causes you to fear parts of who you are and then it opportunistically leverages these contradictions– it capitalizes on them– so that cisgender people will behave in reactionary and violent ways.  But capitalism doesn’t do this just to be mean or hateful.

The capitalist system of power incentivizes transphobic behavior because any effort to establish true equality among the genders (there are more than two) would cut into its profits.  As someone once said, you can’t serve God and the devil at the same time.  So a society has to make a choice: either it promotes a system of equality, or it promotes a system in which those who have an historical advantage as a class or political category (white, cisgender, heterosexual) then exploit their unequal level of power in order to create greater profits.

The capitalist system of power may reform itself in reaction to pressures from below, whenever its forms of violence have stretched society to the point where these forms have become less profitable, but capitalism cannot resolve the primary contradiction within its basic structure: the few who are wealthy and powerful only possess this wealth and power on account of the violent exploitation of the many, who are made powerless.  The only resolution to this fundamental contradiction of capitalism is socialist revolution, led by the many classes or communities of people under the control of the racist, sexist, transphobic ruling class of this imperialist system.

Therefore, capitalism– since it cannot resolve the basic contradiction at its core– works on the contradictions of each individual inside each class, so that they will attempt to resolve their own contradictions on terms which are favorable to the ruling class.  Thus, if we are talking specifically about transphobia, it’s not just about the fear or even the hatred of transgender people– of trans women.  That terminology is inadequate.  In fact, some day we may not even be “transgender” at all.  We may call ourselves something else because the conditions which have shaped our identities will have evolved to the stage where new language is required, or new uses of old words, to describe changes to the conditions which form our reality.  And these changes– which are natural, because nature is in a constant process of change– really get under the skin of the reactionary capitalist class, which always favors the status quo.  They want everything to be static– drastic changes are bad for business, at least changes that they can’t control.  But any time you push down on something– or on someone, some identity– the natural process is for them to push back.  This makes the individuals who are aligned with the forces above (white, wealthy, cisgender) uncomfortable– so they react.  They even believe that they are under attack.  “Don’t call me racist!”  “Don’t call me transphobic!”  “Don’t call me misogynistic!”

So cis people don’t like to be called transphobic, just like whites don’t like to be called racist.  Of course, if we really didn’t want to be identified as racists, white people would move against this system that empowers all whites to be racist, and struggle to tear it down and then replace it with a system that is not racist.  Since we benefit from capitalism– a white supremacist system– whites refuse to dismantle it, and this makes all white people racist.  A similar (or connected) mass movement against capitalism would be necessary to get rid of transphobia; but, instead, cis people (cis whites in particular) want to argue about the meaning of the term “transphobia.”  They say, “I’m not afraid of transgender people– they can do whatever makes them happy, but I just refuse to go on a date with a man.”  And they say this because they are afraid of themselves.

Fred Hampton, that great revolutionary in the Black Panther Party, said, “If you’re afraid of socialism, you’re afraid of yourself.”  Capitalism causes us to be afraid of ourselves.  The term “transphobia” insufficiently describes capitalism’s violence against transgender people, just like “racism”– and even “white supremacy”– are other words in the English language (useful for selling Viagra) that are mostly unhelpful in any effort to resolve this violence.  The language itself– the language for this violent behavior– helps to keep the violence intact.  Capitalism’s terms encourage even more violent and reactionary behavior (“I’m not afraid of Islam, and I’m not Islamophobic– I just think Muslims are evil terrorists!”).  That’s a violent reaction.  However, these are the words we have today– until we eliminate the current global system of power– so we’ll have to deal with that reality.

And the reality is: white people aren’t scared of Black people or Africans, we’re scared of ourselves.  Capitalism has been able to keep African people powerless.  But this system can only commit its violence on such a massive scale because it has the support of Europeans (whites).  Since we support this kind of violence– in order to keep Africans powerless, for our benefit– we’re frightened of ourselves, not of them.  Whites project our own backward, inhumane behavior onto Black people and onto so-called people of color (who are the majority of the world’s population, and soon to be the majority in the United States).

Everything evil and violent about ourselves must be displayed in reverse by the people we attempt to dehumanize.  That’s why so many of us are scared of “crazy” and “erratic” homeless people who bother us during our holiday shopping by asking for handouts: homeless people have zero power, while the owners of the shopping malls and the wealthy advertisers on Wall Street have all the power … yet we fear the person with no money, and no power?  No– we’re actually scared of ourselves, because we support a system of power that creates these violent conditions and perpetuates them, in large part out of our contempt for women, transgender people, the poor, the homeless, the disabled, people of color, and any identity who has been stripped of power by this system.

So that’s one way to describe the “fear” of transphobic people.  Cisgender heterosexual men and cisgender lesbians aren’t afraid of trans women, not unless they wish to demonize us as hulking monsters lunging at them in the dark (like white women have historically treated Black men).  Cisgender heterosexual men and cisgender lesbians who say they won’t date trans women are transphobic because they fear themselves, not us.  Capitalism is working on their own contradictions in order to create this negative pressure inside cis/het men and cis lesbians– this lack of balance within themselves– as they get all out of whack in their thought processes.  Then they take the volatility of their contradictions out on trans women– but only because they are empowered to do so.

If you only want these violent attitudes to be about your opinions– merely a personal preference– then dismantle capitalism.  The same is true of the racism in all whites– if we don’t like being called racist, then we need to get rid of a system that empowers us to act violently against Black people and people of color (cis and trans).  In other words, we need to resolve the basic contradiction of our individual power at the systemic level, and stop fearing our power as a class of whites who support a social structure which forces us to resolve all our contradictions at an individual level.  Since all the power that we have (or anybody has) comes from a system of power, we end up resolving our own internal contradictions on terms that favor the transphobic, racist, sexist ruling class of imperialist capitalism.

But here is an example of the transphobic behavior we’re talking about, or the contradictions within the cis person which cause them to fear themselves:

A) You say you are attracted to women.

B) You say you won’t even think of dating trans women (who are women).

C) So you say you are attracted to women but also that you are not attracted to women, or won’t date them.

That’s a contradiction.  And capitalism empowers you to move in just one direction in order to resolve this contradiction: you must behave violently against transgender women and rule us out in advance.

This is not just a “matter of taste”: it has nothing to do with us having blue eyes or brown eyes, or being tall or short.  It’s not about preferences.  And if you say you only date skinny women, you’re probably fatphobic too.  That’s your problem, until your behavior is empowered by a system that is fatphobc– then it’s the problem of fat women.

Furthermore, this contradiction in your behavior is not the same thing as saying you only date women who enjoying skiing or you only date women who listen to country music.  Historically, and in measurable or systemic ways, women who don’t enjoy skiing don’t have less power than women who do enjoy it.  And, if you rule out in advance all women who don’t listen to country music, you’re probably doing us a favor.  But if you rule out trans women, as a cis person, that’s an expression of power.  Historically and materially, trans women have less power than cis people.  So you are leveraging that advantage of power, apparently because something about trans women creeps you out.

You don’t realize that you may have even dated a trans woman at some point, and enjoyed it, but you just didn’t know she was transgender.  Then you find out, and just like the cisgender man said on The Breakfast Club show, now you want to kill her.  From my perspective, any man who says he is attracted to Janet Mock, and then– after finding out she’s trans– says he would kill her, has serious issues with himself, not with her: he’s frightened of his own sexuality and identity as a cisgender heterosexual man.  Such a person takes the toxic ideology (of transphobia, misogyny, misogynoir, and transmisogynoir) that capitalism has filled their mind with, and then they strike out at the perceived source of this fear, because they are powerless to move against the actual source of their discomfort … that is, unless they get over their own transphobia, and resolve their internal contradictions by choosing to uplift the marginalized in society, or the persons– the women– who lack power.

The reason this country hates Black women (including white women, cis and trans, who treat Black women with such violence) is that we fail to resolve our own contradictions in terms that will uplift them, and we choose instead to capitalize on the power that the system gives to us (the only power we have as long as we refuse to move against capitalism).  Black women in “America” don’t have the power to hurt white women– so why do we treat them so awfully?  It’s because we’re afraid of the power we have as white women, which can only move in one direction– against Black women– while we still allow this racist, sexist, transphobic system of capitalism to remain in power.  We’re afraid to give up the toxic power that has created these contradictions in our own isolated lives.

So, if you are a cisgender heterosexual white man who refuses to date transgender women, you’re transphobic– but it’s not because you’re afraid of us, you’re afraid of the toxic power of capitalism that has created these contradictions inside you.  As long as you support capitalism, you are only empowered to move in one direction in your attempt to resolve these contradictions: against trans women.  It’s capitalism that put these backward ideas in your head.  But, rather than struggling against the system which created these unstable ideas, you react– you get scared that you may lose your power over others, which is the only power you have been granted– and you move in a reactionary direction.

No one can be progressive or revolutionary and be transphobic.  This goes against the very definitions of “progressive” and “revolutionary.”  And, in order for society to progress to the next stage of history, it is necessary for each one of us– at least those who value egalitarian principles and human rights– to struggle with all reactionary elements in society, beginning with ourselves and our own behavior.

A person who is truly progressive or revolutionary will move against all reactionary behavior, including their own, and will try to eliminate from their lives any acts that are opportunistic or capitalize on unequal levels of power.  Dating, sex and marriage are inherently political acts within political institutions, activity which connects them to economic and social power as well: the ability to act in political, economic and social ways.  And such ability to act begins (or ends?) at the personal level.  Our personal lives will continue to be governed by unequal levels of class power until we have progressed to the point where our negative needs and wishes– based on hierarchies of power– are finally eliminated, and we only enjoy for ourselves that which does not come at the expense of anyone else.

At that point, you can call it “just a preference”– but, until then, it’s about power, and so it’s still oppression.


Oppressive Power, Not Preference: How the Behavior of Cis/Het Men and Cis Lesbians Who Say They Won’t Date Trans Women Is STILL Transphobic