Thank you for offering to hear me out!
I feel the statement “brown is always preferred over black” controversial because of the term always. I am NOT trying to claim that black woc are less oppressed than brown, by any means. I am trying to say that there is no less or more than, in a total sense. There are varying means. I feel like that claim presupposes a truth about *my* experience as a brown woc, and that is what I am upset about. There are certainly a number of ways that brown woc could be privileged in comparison to black woc, but that is not always the case, no.
Lived experiences are lived experiences, and I will never know what it is like to be a black woc, nor will any black woc know what it’s like to be a brown woc. That is the simple point I am making, so please avoid presupposing that I am “always” preferred, when that is not “always” the case, in *my* lived experience. There are certain oppression and struggles that come with *my* culture that you will never understand. If I can accept this truth regarding a black woc’s lived experience, than how am I being dismissive or antiblack? In just the same way I cannot insist that your oppression is less than what you feel it is, you cannot insist that my oppression is less than what I am saying it is.
A small example is the amount of black girls I see who appropriate bindis? And or the ways in which many black women have spoken to me about my brown-ness? I am not trying to say I am worse off than black people, but clearly again, the term “always” is not applicable, because this is an instance where in fact a black woman is participating in the ignorant oppression of my culture.
All lived experiences of the oppressed are real, and some are worse off than others in a huge number of varying ways - totally. But not “always” no.
My oppression is real and it will not be dismissed because it is not yours.
Again, thank you for actually taking the time to hear me out. I really appreciate that.
"nor will any black woc know what it’s like to be a brown woc"
I’m going to disagree with you there. As a Jamaican of primarily African descent with desi ancestry, who has family and friends who are more immediately mixed-race than I, I think it’s really disrespectful to the multitude of Caribbean diasporic experiences lived in bodies that are coded/acknowledged as black, as brown, and as both simultaneously (or in varying ways depending on context). I don’t presume to put words in the mouths of my loved ones, but I have had conversations that disprove your words.
And yes, I take issue with the appropriation of bindis. I also take issue with the invalidation of brown identities that aren’t characterized by a straight path of lineage from South Asia to [European country/North American country], which I’ve seen happen over and over with Caribbean folks with desi roots, especially those who are farther away from the phenotypical ideal of “desi”.
You might not like the word “always” but it wasn’t employed to discuss low-level, interpersonal examples; it was used to discuss larger social ramifications. Capital-B Brown is preferred over Capital-B Black globally, even when we’re talking about people who are not of African descent but who are still socially categorized as “Black”. That you conflated your personal experiences with the larger issue in discussion is a matter of you misunderstanding the point, not an error on bad-dominicana’s part.
Also, all brown folks benefit from anti-blackness. Sure, we are not the primary beneficiaries and we are still oppressed under white supremacy but the fulcrum of white supremacy is anti-blackness. And as brown woc, we benefit from that. We get to say that we are not Black and that counts for something. Not to mention that Black folks are erased pretty much everywhere. Like, my friend is mixed, desi and Black and she was raised desi but whenever she goes into South Asian spaces, folks are always giving her the most shit. Afro-Latin@s are constantly being erased as Latin@.
And a Black person appropriating the bindi does not mean that Black people have the power to institutionally marginalize you. Its not cute but its also does not have the same power as when a yt person does it. All the examples that you are citing are interpersonal. None of them are institutional and that says A LOT.