Posts tagged decolonization.
— bell hooks (via loveyourchaos)
Why I object to you telling me yet again, “We are all human” and “Why can’t you be nicer?”
It’s admirable to aspire to a unified humanity. It is nice to think of how all humans have similar needs and aspirations on a fundamental level. However, when this is given equal time or even replaces entirely a critical analysis of colonisation and the tangible ways in which ‘sameness’ is enforced via assimilationalist policies that denigrate and obscure our legitimate differences, I get a little annoyed.
I don’t know if that is where you are going with this, but it sure rings bells.
We cannot merely ‘think’ our way out of oppression. We cannot merely have good thoughts about every human being’s fundamental sameness, because this is not a concept that is widely shared by those who create and enforce the power structures that prevent us from self-actualising on our own terms. Nor is it the job of oppressed groups to ‘liberate the oppressors through education’.
We are often asked to become saintly in our pursuit of self-determination. To ‘lead by example’, to never show anger, to be utterly kind and compassionate in every way, to ‘be more traditional’ and do *things people outside our cultures think are traditional*.
We are expected to discuss the ways in which we are burdened by systemic and institutionalised oppression, but in a way that always acknowledges the “good people who aren’t like this”…almost always an expectation held by those in the audience who have no understanding of their own privilege or complicity in these systems and believe themselves to be exceptions.
Failure to do this has us branded as angry, clouded, unreasonable, unobjective…take that further and we become the reason there is racism and bigotry, because we don’t just ‘get over it’ or because we bring it up or because we have offended people who ‘wouldn’t have been bigoted otherwise’.
Telling us how to pursue decolonisation is oppressive and directly contradicts any claim to support our right to self-determination.
Our indigenous ways of knowing are already rich with an understanding of our place in the the world, including our relationships with those around us. We do not need reminders of our common humanity. We need proof that those supporting such notions are willing to put their words into action, without this being conditioned upon whether or not we have asked nicely for this to be done.
if you get your white feelings hurt in discussions about how your privilege plays a role in subjugating a racial underclass, then you need to seriously examine what the real problem is.
What “Wall Street” and the U.S. has become — an imperial-colonial power over the world’s economics and the laws that protect it — is a direct legacy of the fraud and violence committed against Native nations.
Perhaps those who now claim to OCCUPY WALL STREET in the name of reforming America could remember their history and call it something else (seeRacialicious’ post on the importance of language in opposition). Wall Street is, after all, already an occupied territory. As are all of U.S. land holdings in northern America, the Pacific, and the Caribbean.
Decolonize the opposition!