I Write Letters

Dear US Cable News Media:

If you are discussing reproductive rights, include at least one woman on your panel.

If you are discussing LGBTQI rights, include at least one member of the LGBTQI community on your panel.

If you discussing a race-related issue, include at least one person of color on your panel.

Basically, what I'm saying is: If you are discussing a news item about a marginalized demographic, include at least one and preferably more member(s) of that demographic on your panel.

I mean, sure, we all love seeing straight white cis men opine on everything, especially things which do not affect them and of which they have no personal experience. It never gets old seeing straight white cis men talk about "women" and "black people" and "gays" like they are mutually exclusive monoliths.

But even though we love it—AND WE DEFINITELY LOVE IT—it kind of makes you look like fucking jackasses to continue to discuss the concerns, needs, desires, lives of marginalized people without letting us have a voice at the table, thus actively participating in our oppression even as you give space and time to jerkbags who yammer endlessly about bootstraps and suggest that women don't want to participate because they want to be mommies, and gay people can't participate because Jesus, and people of color aren't participating because insert the latest evo psych Bell Curve fast twitch pop science theory to avoid talking about centuries-old systemic racism here.

Failing your commitment to meaningful inclusion, just stop talking about us and our shit. No one gives a tiny infinitesimal fuck what Reince Priebus has to say about marriage equality, or what George Will has to say about Trayvon Martin, or what Bill Kristol has to say about what happens in any person's uterus. That shit isn't helping. It's counterproductive.

I'm frankly tired as hell of seeing careers made by publicly and shamelessly trading on privilege to more deeply entrench oppressions. If you're going to silence and disappear us, then do us all a favor and stop turning our issues into platforms to elevate the profiles of pontificating gasbags who mistakenly believe that their privilege makes them more objective.

If you need help identifying any of the thousands of qualified commentators from marginalized communities, just let me know. I'm happy to help.


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