one of the visions that came to me while i was reading andrea smith again this week was the ways that we can connect across communities. i know that as women of color we often connect through our shared oppression. but we also connect through our shared oppressing, the ways that we downpress other groups. we link together because of our middle socioeconomic class, or through our shared us citizenship, or our fluency in english, or our christian upbringing. and we need to learn from each other strategies to decenter our privilege or else our privilege will undermine our work of co-creating conscious community. we need to see others’ privileged behaviour as a mirror to our own. we need to ask ourselves how does our privilege make others in our community invisible to us, makes their essential contributions invisible to us? how can we support each other in seeing and living the truth (yes i still use words like truth and beauty and good) that we as sentient beings have value not because of where we are in the hierachy?
that an open table community is our safety net. the safety net is not all of the people who are below us on the hierachy. the safety net is not our privilege. and when we use our privilege as our safety net, then we are using all the people below us on the hierachy as our safety net. we stand on their shoulders and faces and dreams. we treat them as faceless slaves.
how many people have to be called colored in order for white skin to be seen as rare and precious and valuable? how many people have to be working poor in order for the rich to get richer? how many people have to be voiceless in order for one persons voice to sound so loud?