Being Part Of A Marginalized Community Should Never Be Seen As A Punishment

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Self

With the recent death of Rush Limbaugh, many people have had very different opinions on the widely-known conservative radio host who spent decades of his career spewing bigotry and hatred. 

One of the sentiments that people have shared in light of Limbaugh's death is that they hope Limbaugh comes back as an individual from the same marginalized communities he continuously hurt throughout his career, as some sort of karmic retribution.

There are a plethora of reasons why that sentiment is wrong and shouldn’t even be said in the first place. Though perhaps I can see the reasoning behind making statements like that, those kinds of statements are misguided.

Being a part of a marginalized community should never be a burden or a curse you wish upon someone that you want to suffer.

To be sure, Limbaugh has hurt and made it extremely difficult to be Black, to be part of the LGBTQ community, to be a woman, to be Muslim, and to be Mexican in this country — but that doesn’t mean his punishment (or any other bigoted person’s punishment) is to be forced to live a life in the shoes of the people they hurt.

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Because being in a minority group, one that faces oppression on a daily basis isn’t some kind of grand karmic punishment because being a minority isn't a bad thing.

These are real people's lives we're talking about.

I’m not ashamed of being Black and I don’t ever regard it as some sort of burden that I wouldn’t want to bear —and I’m sure people in other minority groups can relate. I love being Black. So to say that being Black is to be reduced to some sort of punishment is honestly cruel.

My role on this Earth is not to offer white supremacists some kind of learning opportunity so that they aren’t a bigot anymore.

Why can’t people want Rush Limbaugh to come back as a sensible white man who doesn’t fire hateful speech at marginalized communities? In fact, why are we wishing him to come back at all?

White supremacists are quite literally the reason why so many communities in this country feel unsafe and as if their lives have absolutely no value. I’m sorry but no, I don’t want to see a white supremacist reincarnated as the same Black person that they spent their life terrorizing.

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Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want To Talk About Race, shared a post on Instagram about people commenting that they hope Rush Limbaugh “comes back as a Black person, or a gay person, or comes back as a minority.”

In her caption, she stated, “I will remind you that it is not our role in the universe to suffer in perpetuity and our identities are neither punishments nor learning opportunities for unrepentant bigots.” 

I agree with her completely: Being a part of a marginalized community isn’t something to fear.

Being Black comes with so much rich culture and honestly, Rush Limbaugh or any other raging white supremacist shouldn’t even be granted the hypothetical luxury of being reincarnated as a Black person. 

Instead of trying to bash an entire group of marginalized people in the name of making a point, how about instead we push for education? How about we push for ignorant people to finally be given the resources they need to educate themselves.

How about we advocate for better things for the marginalized communities that have been heavily impacted by the voices of people like Limbaugh, Trump, and any other white supremacist that has been given a platform to spew racist ideologies?

Conversations should always revolve around uplifting and continuing to give a voice to the disenfranchised — and never to the oppressor. 

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Chicago. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.