28 Aug

Working Across Difference

Photo by Adam

Photo by Adam

Ferguson is not a black and white thing. Ferguson happens all over the country, to black folks, brown folks, asian, native, trans* folk. It crosses racial lines. Ferguson (and all the other violence and killings that happen in our country) is also at the intersections of race, class, and gender…and so Ferguson happens to poor folks, to middle class folks, to women, to trans* and gender non-conforming folks—by men, and primarily white men. Our country’s history is centered at the intersection of whiteness, masculinity, and wealth, and our suppression tactics through violence, fear, and economic sanctions stem from that place as well.

As I have been processing all of what is happening and having conversations with friends and colleagues, it occurred to me that our “justice work” efforts have been largely single issue actions and responses. We do our work in the silos. Race is salient in this country in very particular and meaningful ways, and we work that. Class has a very real and tangible impact on families and communities, and we work that. Gender has a fluidity that resists being boxed and harassed into narrow imaginations, and we work that. But we end up segregating our efforts, never getting to the intersection that leads to the oppression in our country.

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15 Aug

Fear and Courage

Photo by dryhead

Photo by dry head under Creative Commons license

Fear is a powerful thing.

My eight-year-old son told me the other day that “taking a chance was scary.”

Fear prevents you from showing up, from being vulnerable, from taking a risk, and being who you are. Fear can protect you in times of crisis, but often times we conflate emotional discomfort into danger, and this is where we get ourselves into trouble.

Fear holds me back from making this post, from truly answering myself when I ask what I really need, and from sitting in the silence. I want to be perfect and infallible. This is the message of a capitalist, patriarchal society.

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