Guante is a spoken word artist, activist, educator and writer. (He is also my internet crush and I secretly really want him to croon spoken word pieces to me all night long. But until that happens, there is Youtube.)
His work has recently received a lot of attention for the beautiful piece “Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up’” (watch it and try not to get feminist goosebumps, I dare you), but he has done so much more. Check out his year in review to learn more about what he accomplished in 2013, and be sure to read his piece “Practical Ways We Can Stop Centering Everything Around White People’s Feelings.” Here’s an excerpt:
“When social justice education and/or media focuses solely on understanding racism through a white privilege framework, that can recreate the same oppressive structures we’re trying to destroy. When the conversation has such a laser focus around educating white people and carrying their emotional baggage, what potential voices, perspectives or frameworks are missing? We may be moving forward, but how are we defining ‘we?’”
But in the meantime, watch this video, where Guante says things like this:
“The thing about political correctness is that it’s not about being perfect or censoring your emotions or always being nice to everyone. It’s just about not being a jackass.
It’s not that your feelings are always wrong. It’s just that you’re expressing those feelings like a jackass…. Most people use offensive language because they just don’t know any better. And we can all challenge ourselves to more decent human beings.
Using inclusive language is not hard. If you think it’s hard, that’s because you’re not trying.”
Transcript available here.
Juliana is too tired to think of something clever.