Reclaiming the “United” State of America: A Manifesto for the Marginalized

marginalized

Amidst the tension and chaos brought on by recent administrative decrees regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), the Supreme Court ruling on the Muslim Registry, and the responses to statements made by Jemele Hill and Manal Omar, many women, minorities, and social justice-minded individuals are exasperated.

Every glimpse of hope, solidarity, and progress is seemingly undermined by horrific breaking news alerts, ignorant Tweets, and political infighting; while minority communities in the U.S. are further marginalized and victimized.

So many are looking for a leader to truly unify the United States and expel the onslaught of divisive, hateful rhetoric, yet leaders on both sides of the spectrum have fallen short. Instead, they choose to focus on personal agendas that fail to truly acknowledge the plight of the American people.

Even Hillary Clinton, the “feminist martyr” for the modern age, has proved to be a somewhat concerning voice for the cause, penning “What Happened” to highlight the prejudice within the recent election while subtly reinforcing her own personal biases within it’s pages.

marginalized meaning

The “solidarity, outrage, and passion” in question has been ever-present within society, shown before and after campaigns for the 2016 election. Yet, as the recent treatment of Hill and Omar has proven, only certain voices are allowed to rally in solidarity of American history and rights.

Only a certain type of American can adequately critique the system with outrage and passion without being mocked on a public platform; completely delegitimized for having the wrong appearance or mindset for this form of discourse.

Even the physical embodiments of unity, the Women’s March, various interfaith rallies, and university-based “anti-hate” demonstrations have suffered. Many find it difficult to refrain from being exclusionary or inconsiderate, often walking a thin line between unity and division.

In a time when so many American citizens feel marginalized and excluded from the common narrative, never even offered a seat at the table or an opportunity to get a foot in the door, arguments for and against “I’m Still With Her” and “In Trump We Trust” fall short; missing the true errors of recent attacks against immigrants, dark bodies, and those that do not conform to the gender binary.

When activists and artists alike are feeling defeated, journalists and critics are being humiliated, and many out-spoken advocates have jobs on the line, it becomes the duty of every member of society to come together and fight for the values we hold so near and dear.

While it may sound utopian and unrealistic to call to action the various citizens of the divided States of America, we cannot go on living in a constant cycle of hatred. Since this country was founded in an effort to stray from persecution, we now must fight to prevent the persecution of its vast array of citizens; even those that we may not understand.

As an ode to the marginalized groups that have been the subject of scrutiny and malice in recent weeks, the following words should speak for themselves, serving as both a humanizing narrative and a reminder that we are never united when so many individuals are being deprived of their basic rights.

marginalized groups

A Manifesto for the Marginalized

Black and White
Dark and Light
You’re Dirty
Unworthy
Keep out of Sight
Punks, Bulldaggers, Welfare Queens
Still slaves to the Capitalist machine
Unintelligent, Underrepresented, and Often Unworthy
You’re Body Isn’t Enough, yet Others are Paying Big Bucks to be That Curvy
Too Nappy, Too Natural, or Too Unkempt
Time to Chop it All Off So You’re not Exempt
Where is the safe space to be honest, to feel free?
Will there ever be a place for me?

Sexy or Stupid, Never Given a Chance
So Exotic, You’re the Hottest, Won’t You Give Them a Dance
Ashamed to Tell Them That English Isn’t Your Language of Choice
Pero Es Fácil Mentir, Or You’ll Have No Voice
“Build The Wall”
“Ban Them All”
I’m Still Hiding from the Hate
America May Be Beautiful, but She Should Not Decide My Fate
I’m More Than A Body or a Caricature
Please Use the Accent in My Name, It Isn’t Much Harder
No Wall, No Ban. It’s Time to Take a Stand
Will someone make me feel at home again?

Modest Is Hottest
But Not For You
Take off That Scarf!
In America, That’s Not What We Do.
Princess Jasmine? Have you Seen Aladdin?

Does Your Dad Drive a Taxicab?
Don’t Bomb Me! Leave My Country!
This Land Wasn’t Really Made for You and Me…
There’s No Oppression, Covering Doesn’t Stem from Force or Aggression
Please, Just Hear Me Out!
I Am More Than My Religion
Will You Listen?

Each of Us, Marching Side By Side
All for One and One for All Will Keep Us Alive
So Let’s Be Intersectional and Inclusive
It Must Be a Movement For Us All
Male, Female, Dark, Broken, Non Binary, Disabled, Light, and Queer
Come as You Are, Fight Together Without Fear
Don’t Make it “Great”, Make it Better
Don’t Divide, Stand Together
Don’t Point Fingers, Saying, “My Activism is Better Than Yours.”
Be Sisters, Be Friends, Be Allies in this War.

 

Editor’s Note: Sign up for the Middle East Collective newsletter to get more stories, analysis, and activism tips straight to your inbox. Thanks for reading! 

Elizabeth Wright

Elizabeth Wright

Elizabeth is an undergraduate student passionate about diplomacy and international relations. She focuses her studies on terrorism and women in crisis in the MENA, hoping to use her voice to make a difference.

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