If we put together everyone who experiences discrimination ourselves, and everyone who doesn’t but is prepared to put time and effort into a fairer world anyway, we vastly outnumber anyone else.
I’d like to see us find ways to talk to each other, build connections; break away from this system which teaches that respect and validation and being heard is so scarce that we need to pit my group against your group and fight one another when we could be fighting ignorance, fear, and oppression instead. We could be so so strong.
Instead of arguing about who’s most oppressed (it’s not me!) and letting a system that teaches the only way to matter is to be more something than someone continue to affect our interactions. We need to stand together and say NO-ONE should be oppressed. Ever. True dignity and fair treatment is never mutually exclusive. Everyone should feel safe and respected and have what they need to thrive. And we will do the hard work . And respect the experience that we bring from our very different life experiences rather than talking for one another. Let’s stop talking about our weakness in the hope that someone outside us will listen and feel bad enough to change things for us and start talking about our strength in the hope that we will listen, and see it, and make the changes we need for ourselves.
And that most of us are oppressed; and all of us are oppressive. Because we’ve grown up in this world that hasn’t taught us what we need to know to relate to each other. And I’d like to see us put the work in to unlearn that. But rather than let the system which has made us need to unlearn that win by letting our ignorance of each other’s needs stop us working together, I’d like to see us be patient with each other. And have support for ourselves when other’s ignorance affects us. And find ways to have difficult conversations in ways that make us feel supported and respected, to give corrections in ways that inspire change, to listen to one another in ways that inspire hope. Because we can do so much better.
Because we grow in places that don’t treat us so well, then we go do the same to ourselves, we do the same to each other, we do it to ourselves. We deserve better. We can do better.
The roles you can take on are very different depending on whether an issue affects you personally or not, but we need to support our own and one another’s rights until such time as everyone is free and equal.
I’d like to see us learn from each other; respect even when we don’t always agree on tactics, find better ways to care for and nurture ourselves and one another.
Because, to paraphrase Audrey Lourde – we don’t live in a single-issue world…
So.. small steps.. would any other groups like to suggest things we can work together on – or exchange actions or anything?