Respectability Politics is Bull
In the eyes of some people of color, being “respectable” –as in non-threatening to white people –is tantamount for survival.
For these people, mental health struggles, accents and dialects, racial markers, and so on must be well hidden under an acceptably middle-class, well-educated veneer.
I understand this to a certain extent, and I can code switch with the best of them, but respectability politics has been used by some people of color to denigrate others.
Deflecting conversations about external racism to talk about how some black people are acting or treating each other is one example.
Yes, conversations about intra-racial issues need to be had. Hell, I want to start one right now. But there’s no reason to act as if racism is mitigated when we start acting more “respectable.”
People are always more worthy of respect than they are deserving of racism.