Friday, March 4, 2011
|photo of James Baldwin is from here|
And to She who speaks wisdom, whether I listen to Her or not.
One my deepest frustrations about white and male people--including myself--is our inability or unwillingness to ground our political actions in radical love. Radical politics must have a root spiritual base, because the struggles will always been more challenging than we can endure. And so we need forces beyond our individual selves to access when we are feeling or are beaten down.
|photo of Malalai Joya is from here|
|photo of Yanar Mohammed is from here|
|photo of Vandana Shiva is from here|
Sometimes I wonder if part of the pact whites and men make in order to maintain their whiteness and manhood (or whatever I, as intergender, hold in myself) is that we give up our capacity to love, deeply, radically, and in ways that will support and sustain revolutionary action. Because what I see is that we whites, for example, too often use disagreement as a way to disconnect. And there's too little love to be found in the oppressive institutions we passively and actively support.
There will always be compelling reasons to part company. And we will always have reasons to turn away from one another, in hurt, in anger, while triggered, when too tired to speak what needs to be said to move forward towards healing. But we cannot afford to not move forward, more deeply into ourselves, in community, if we are to create a movement that can resist the forces of the white Master. When we are using and holding tight to all the most anti-humane tools of the white Master, we can be sure he will continue to rule our lives and destroy the lives of those of us with fewer privileges and dominant social visibility.
In North and Central America, African American, Caribbean, Latina, Asian, and Indigenous women are systematically disappearing without regard or notice from whites and men. This gross human destruction is due, often enough, to men's and whites' violence and our refusal to join forces with Black and Brown women globally to intervene and stop the atrocities which appear in many forms.
Girls and women across ethnicity are incested, battered, raped, trafficked, and enslaved by men--of all races. Why do men, collectively, care so little about this? Is it really because men need some women to be tortured and terrorised, exploited and violated, in order to have a good life as men define it?
This is not to say that people of color have some God/dess-given ability to love. To survive being oppressed and abused, we often absorb society's messages about us, too often open- or close-hand delivered by our alleged loved ones--family members and people in our communities. This lack of love may be delivered with looks and tones of voice that lack compassion, care, regard, and respect. And internalised oppression and self-hatred are viciously successful means through which the oppressor maintains his rule.
But class and race privileged do make disconnection into a kind of sign of righteousness, I find. I see that in the white blogosphere, and offline also. If you're REALLY radical, you'll shut up, shut down, or shut out those who disagree with you. You'll cut people out of your life so swiftly because, well, you can afford to do so.
I know from some of the women of color in my life that this "deleting" of people is a luxury many women of color cannot afford. To cut people out is, often enough, to be entirely without support--however uneven that support is. And with no friends there is also no institutional support. In a society that is founded on your invisibility or that requires your slavery, imprisonment, destruction, or death, without human contact there isn't much else. There's no summer home with a room of one's own in which to write and gaze out at the sea. There's no police force that isn't terroristic. There's no court system that wants to see you and justice meet. Every white-man-made institution is designed to make women of color do the hardest work of all people for the benefit of the very few who do not ever have to work so hard, collectively. Exhaustion and exasperation doesn't make love easy.
So why is it that whites and men are so versed in uncompassionate action when we are disproportionately cared for and about by other people? When we have more social resources with which to take care of ourselves? When we make all kinds of pacts to stick together when challenged by women of color but not so much when we challenge each other?
Watching the news, seeing the revolutionary struggles that have been occurring with amazing bravery and compassion for one's citizens being oppressed, I am reminded of how much love is missing from the more privileged classes of people who might join forces with the most disenfranchised among us.
I'll pray to the Goddess that somehow, She will lead us to each other across difference, across disagreement, and across the divides that become chasms and mass graves most often for those of us who are neither white nor male.
|photo of Chrystos is from here|
Chrystos once said to me, after an embrace, "Make beautiful things."
Disrespect and disharmony aren't all that beautiful, are they? While honesty requires telling truths that can be unintentionally hurtful, it ought not require any willfully harmful action. Goddess help me understand the difference, with what I do and what I receive that others do.
Goddess be with me and help me through my triggered states of being. Goddess bless me, and those working for a better, more beautiful world. Goddess inform my choices about how to act towards my enemies, my friends, and all our relations.