ISSUE 3) “I think classism (or sexism) is a bigger problem than racism.” How many times has a well-meaning white friend said this?  This comment is misguided. Not because classism is a lesser problem than racism, but because those are variables you can’t compare. To use a cliche, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. When examining racism, you have to study it within every economic class, within every gender, within every sexual orientation and within every other identity. When you study sexism, you have to study it within each ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and so on. Ignorant people will always point to Oprah, a range of other colored celebrities and now President Obama, to refute the claim that racism is a problem today. Never mind that for one Oprah, you have many other white billionaires at or higher than her class – Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, the list is endless. Never mind that for one Obama, you have 43 other white male presidents. Never mind that for all the pop culture colored icons, you have many more white icons who are often paid more, and among colored people mostly the lighter skinned are represented, and paid more. It’s always those few colored people who’ve moved up the ranks that now make classism or sexism a bigger problem. Well, they are all problems. And for a poor colored woman, not one is bigger than the other, and not one can be prioritized. To make a logical judgment about an issue, you have to compare it with the right variables. And guess who’s losing among people of low economic status? Colored people, cis-women, gays, lesbians, trans-people, etc. Guess who’s behind among the rich Americans? Oprah.

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