How to derail discussions of race/class/gender in two easy steps

Discussing race, class, or gender is yucky. Discussing yourself is awesome! So here’s how it all goes.

1. Somebody mentions that discrimination sucks. (You don’t have to do this part).

2. Pipe up with some personal anecdote about your life because nothing is more interesting than you, and then conclude your life experiences all prove that all the poors and the colors and the girls need to do to succeed is ‘shut up and deal like you did.” You get extra bonus points if your folksy discussion of poverty involves bread sacks or casseroles, or if you throw in a shocker of high-level philosophizing like “life is hard.”

3. When somebody points out that your personal experiences might not actually be evidence of anything other than your willingness to talk about yourself when nobody actually gives a shit and generalize from an n of 1, flounce around about how meaaaaaaaaan and judddggeeeeey errrbody is, and how they are lecturing you, and how you have, since you’ve succeeded, helped out many of them poors/colors/girls, but you can’t talk about that now since everybody has been so mean. Gawwwwwwwd.

Viola! You have just coopted the discussion about race/class/gender and made it about the most important thing ever: you, your little feelers, your identity as a self-made success in life. Chances are, somebody will step in with, golly gosh darn it, stop fighting friends because…can’t we just get along…and then comforts you, with your little hurt feelers, because that–THAT is the real injustice here. Because nothing–nothing–is more important than you.