It is undeniable that there is a huge awakening in regards to racism, and hell yes for that. There still needs to be so much more but what's happening at the minute is definitely something powerful and overdue.
If there is something that we have all learnt during these last days, it's the importance of working on understanding our privilege, of shutting up and listening, doing the work. We have been reading, donating, signing petitions and following new people to get ourselves more educated. I am not saying this to specify that we are the good ones but to clarify that we thought we were the good ones, we thought we were doing ok, nice and respectful, and advocating for diversity and it has taken something like this to make us realise that there is so so much work to do and we are just not doing enough.
We have been having the talks in the house, knowing that we won't fully understand but we need to STAND and we have been speaking a lot about the role of feminism in this situation. We believe that anti-racism and Feminism, as well as LGTBQ to mention other examples, are different battles of the same war. A war against a society of privilege and oppression, where the lack of diversity and the stereotypes have severely damaged people's reality. And like any war, it is a really messed up one.
People that fall into any of the main oppressions (class, race, gender, sexual orientation, body ability...) have a tendency to understand better the other struggles, mostly because the main concept, privilege, is not something new. Yet, instead of building a homogenous army, we fall in the traps of the system, multiplying the oppressions across communities by being blind and defensive. And the people that are oppressed in more than one way, instead of being twice (or three times! or four!) as visible and supported by the different causes that claim to fight for them, they get more silenced and forgotten.
White women are failing black women while not recognising and putting them first in every advancement. Our own privilege and blindness about other realities (which is completely our fault) narrows the demands and the areas we decide to focus on. There is nothing wrong with those demands, they need to be made and those conversations need to be had, but they are insufficient. We are replicating with our own peers what we constantly criticise men of doing to us. We have even had the nerve to copycat the structure of making someone's pain about our own discomfort and more than one, unapologetic feminist, has probably heard themselves saying quietly "not all white people" or "all lives matter" in a shameful way to break a fair narrative and clean their guilt. Not ok.
In the other hand, and I am just quoting here because this is not my place or my story to tell "Black women’s experiences of police brutality and their tireless contributions to mass social justice movements have almost always been left out of the picture, receiving far fewer media or political attention."
The article I am quoting, written by a black woman, explores the penalty women are paying, for being women in the anti-racist movement. Did you know (at least before last week) that The Black Lives Matter movement was started by 3 women? Do you know how exactly racism is killing, abusing and making black women poorer? Why didn't we burn the place down with Breonna Taylor?
At this point, we should all acknowledge the need of intersectional support, and we should focus all our efforts on giving the voice, the lead and the power to black women as they have been suffering different layers of oppression through history "from abolition and suffrage to #MeToo." and they are the best equipped to design a new reality of justice. Real justice for everyone. (And don't worry, both black men and white women will still benefit from it, is the beauty of justice!)
In a world with different oppressions that not only add up but multiply each other, we can't compromise with just our battle. We need to joint efforts for the big war, instead of hurting each other's advances by being focused only on our very own lane.
Let's remember the power of giving the lead to minority figures and, during this pride month, keep the memory of Marsha P. Johnson alive. Black, activist drag-queen that rioted the shit out of the streets refusing to let the world keep being an awful place.
That is the energy we need. The "I see you" and the "I hear you" that will undoubtedly lead to "I fight with you"
These are some resources that we found useful, gathered from BIPOC and shared in our social media. We hope they help: