Kayla Cason – Kimberlé Crenshaw’s “The Urgency of Intersectionality” Response
Kimberlé Crenshaw’s “The Urgency of Intersectionality” demonstrates the problem stemming from an idea she defined as “intersectionality.” Intersectionality is the meeting point of two forms of discrimination that is overlooked and dismissed by society. In her TED Talk, Crenshaw when in depth on how black women are the primary victims of intersectionality, particularly in regards to police brutality and how their stories are told the least.
I was shocked to see people beginning to sit after hearing Tamir Rice’s and Freddie Gray’s names. These young men have been significant cases of police brutality in our nation and it is a shame to see that their stories are still unheard of. However, as Kimberlé Crenshaw continued to list the names of victims of police brutality, I found myself not recognizing names like Aura Rosser, and Meagan Hockaday. Not knowing these names disappoints and shocks me as their lives and stories deserve to be recognized. The idea that the stories of black women who have been victims of police violence are untold even though they are equally as important is unacceptable. In American society, black women are often and undeservingly overlooked. Their issues are unheard by the public. Despite several attempts to support black women such as solutions to black issues or women’s issues, none are tailored specifically to black women. This lack of specificity sentences black women to become less than worthy to be heard and supported. The overlap of racial and gender discrimination has been a prominent issue in American society for decades. Unfortunately, not much has been done to resolve this.
This “intersectionality” proposed by Crenshaw, as she points out, not only impacts black women, but those who are apart of any minority group. “As a consequence of intersectionality, intersections of race and gender, of heterosexism, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, all of these social dynamics come together and create challenges that are sometimes quite unique.” Black women, for decades have been prominent receivers of hatred and discrimination yet other versions of intersectionality exist that target other underrepresented groups. It is imperative that in an era where social consciousness is expanding, we recognize the detriment that comes from intersectionality. As young leaders, it is our job to push our biases aside in our to create a fair and inclusive community, which will ultimately lead to our growth as a nation.