are the cops in our heads and hearts?

August 4, 2007 at 11:20 pm (anti-classism, anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-sexism, women of color)

If our commitment to organizing is to build with those who are most marginalized, if we want to prioritize poor and working class women of color in the U S, most of whom are responsible for the care and survival of children and/or other family members, then it is essential that we look for alternative models to movement-building. We must also recognize another major challenge observed from outside the U.S.: the dismantling of “community”, social connections and relationships of solidarity and love. If we are faced with these conditions, it seems crucial that we try forms of organizing that center the daily experiences of those caught in the crossfire of all forms of oppression. From Latin America we can draw examples of the gigantic efforts for daily survival by the oppressed, an effort that involves strengthening the communitarian spaces and ties they are constructing and re-creating every day. It is not enough to center poor and working class women and queer folks of color’s experiences to organize around if the mode of organizing is still very similar to how male dominated labor or U.S. style community organizing operates. In this model only those who have the privilege and/or obligation of being full-time organizers because they are single without dependants, or fathers who do very little parenting, or people who can afford to pay others to do the caretaking of their families can actively participate, let alone lead our movements. Ultimately, political involvement that comes at the expense of our relationships with loved ones and the larger community is not truly libratory (19).



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