Why is it necessary for a black person to say “I do not speak for all black people…” after giving an opinion on a subject? Why don’t white people find it necessary to say “Obviously, I do not speak for all white people but…”? Why is it that white people are automatically granted individual autonomy on almost every subject, but many people of color are not granted similar autonomy? In fact, if we extend this generality further, many minorities are often snatched from their perspective groups and then forced to be speak on behalf of the category society has placed them in.
This phenomenon actually causes a lot of trouble. You see, when your actions and words not only reflect yourself put also are forced to reflect your entire group, and you have no say in which group people place you in, your individuality gets chipped away at. Many people of privilege do not know or understand what it feels like to not be able to talk for yourself. Many people take their “individuality status” for granted, and assume this is the norm. Most minorities recognize though, that this is not the norm.