racism

Our Colonized Tongues

Ask someone what gender pronoun they go by, ask someone how they describe themselves and just like with someone's name - when you forget, ask again. Take time, have more conversation than less, write down things that you might need to remember. In any process of education, learning isn't immediate; it takes time and various different approaches to integrate it into our brains.

I want to remind us all that this process of unlearning language and culture that has been and is being used to limit, erase or violate each other and learning new terms that people have forged in direct response to the violence that they have experienced should be joyous. We are learning new ways to affirm and celebrate each other. We are creating more space for individuals to name themselves, we are creating bonds of solidarity, we are resisting a society that tells us our directives must come from 'above', from 'far away' or because that is what 'they' say, when in fact language and culture is created now, here and in our hands.

Done

I am tired of talking about 'whiteness', tired of responding to and negotiating it, being assaulted by it, being drained by it. Here's why, literally EVERYTHING that could be said about racism and white supremacy has already been said. People of colour have been prolific in naming it, resisting it and educating about it in ways that sacrifice our mental, emotional and spiritual health - even in our decisions to walk to the store just in our bodies can end in racial profiling, rape or death. We've written books, manifestos, made movies, films, art - if you can google and find the address of the nearest hipster hangout with wifi, I know you can learn in detail about the legacy and continuing effects of systemic racism. And then, WE STILL take the time to educate,  our friends, our colleagues, our lovers about the violence we are subjected to and we need to deal with defensiveness, derailing, name calling (too many of us have been called psychotic), tone policing - we are asked to say it softly or not at all, to ease up, while still having to negotiate the ubiquitous experience of racism - from which we get no break. To ask us to stop talking about it is exercising a privilege we don't have - the privilege to stop thinking/feeling/living racism. And because we do this, we don't get to talk about ourselves, don't get to talk about the dynamics between us as people of colour. I wanna talk about the connections/love/pain between Black communities and Latina communities, between East Asians and South Asians, between First Nations communities and Pacific Islanders - I want to talk about the ways we live those experiences as Afro-Latinas, as Indigienous Pacific Islanders - I want to talk and learn and build together as communities of colour. If you believe that Black Men are all violent offenders, that every womyn in a Hijab is oppressed and you don't understand why people of colour are so angry, I'm done. Read a book, use the Internet, look around, do some work.No more apologies, do something.If you make $250,000/yr, break it up into several people's salaries and hire some brilliant womyn of colour. Tell your old racist aunt who means well to stop talking. Stop mining diamonds, for the love of all life, stop wallowing in self pity and change the system that you benefit from every single day. Do it now. And do it daily.

Why Reverse Isms Don't Exist

This is why reverse racism, sexism, heterophobia doesn't exist.

A member of a group with less power cannot affect a group with more power.

Similar parallels can be made with sexism, women as a whole do not have the ability to exercise power over men, but men do. Globally, men are in the most decision making positions.

In Praise Of The Vulnerable Femme: The Redux

My breasts sag.

They are small, soft,
Easily laying against my chest
Falling off to the sides
Across them light lines that weavestories like rivers flowing downward to the earth.
I have practiced exactly one thousandpositions, casually cupping them, shrouding them
Your eyes averted, kissing around them
You pretend my breasts don’t sag
I pretend my breasts don’t sag
We pretend our breasts don’t sag,pretend our bellies are flat, pretend our hearts do not hurt.
And I want to saythat there is power in our softness, in our vulnerability. When I see us inmirrors, biting lips and furrowing brows, I want to drop to my knees womyn andtell you that we are perfection. But we stand in this all together, carryingwith us the whispers and shouts of a glossy photoshopped world that tries towill us into non-existence with size 00's and I see you worry that my gazecomes with a judgement but I promise you it doesn't. (And to be clear no shadeto my slender sisters, I simply believe that you/we should all get a realnumber)

Dorothy Allison says “Femme girls dance on razors everyday of our lives, and some days it is only bravado that keeps us upright."And womyn I see you, I see you in your fierceness, your anger and yourinsecurity and I love you in all of it.

 

I love the many expression of femme-ness, love the subtly and directness in oursexuality, love the war paint, love us knee deep in the swamp and wide eyed inmy arms. I love it when you tell me what to do and love it equally when youhave no idea.
I want to shield us from the whole world beautifulbrokengorgeous as we are. Ithink that your round bellies are so sexy, the way you wrap your tightcurls/locks/braids/crown is artful and commanding and when you say something crass/brilliant/provocative/braveI.melt.every.single.time.

And I can't fit it all in here, nor will I try, but I promise to tell you allthat I love you more. Proudly declare it and treat you preciously. In this patriarchal, racist, mind fuckof a world we are both what is desired and defiled, vessels of power and ofshame. A world oftensurprised by our intelligence and dismayed by our independence.

But babes we are oh so hard on the world, can't help but turn heads and dropjaws. Can't help but free minds and steal hearts. We are scientists and sexworkers and when we find each other and find ourselves in each other, I know Iam watching god.

And it is oh so hard to love withoutconditions, to love with the urgency that we deserve, and in defiance of allthat opposes blackgirllove.
For the moments we forget, for themoments we can’t find the joy in our arms curve, the blessings in our fatthighs, the bliss in our sagging breasts.
For those moments,
I want to remind us that we are nevertoo much and always enough.
Explosions of stardust
Bodies of pure worship
Magnificent in our ugly
Eternal in our darkness