Intersectionality

Intersectionality

in·ter·sec·tion·al·i·ty

(noun)
the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

↑↑↑ That is the dictionary definition of intersectionality. Intersectionality in simpler terms is me; a black Muslim woman. The concept of intersectionality is referring to how different oppressive institutions such as racism, sexism, xenophobia, and the rest of the isms are connected to one another. So, living in this political climate where Muslims are being targeted, I don’t only face discrimination due to being Muslim, but also discrimination due to being black. Anti-black discrimination is very prevalent in the Muslim community as well, meaning it is coming from people who are in the same boat as me as far facing discrimination due to our religion.
Anti-black racism is very common other minorities. Going back to the point that I am a black Muslim, often times people disregard our existence. When people think of Muslims they typically think of Arab Muslims. In actuality Islam is very diverse, and the highest population of Muslims are in Indonesia. As the definition of intersectionality states, my identities intersect at different points.
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.
The most unprotected person in America is the black woman.
The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”– Malcolm X
To be a black woman, is to be strong. Women in general are seen as inferior in society, but black women have the added piece of anti-black racism discrimination to overcome. Black women are often sexualized. This dates all the way back to the days of slavery, when slave owners would rape black women all while viewing them as property. Black women were often ridiculed for their natural features, but today those same features are being imitated by non-black women. Black culture is often sought after, while black lives are not valued at all.
Intersectionality is an important concept to understand since there can be different oppressive institutions working together against an individual or group. Understanding this concept can help us all in the fight against these oppressive institutions.

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