Colonial system dictates whom you or I will sit beside in school and that will often determine who your best friends will be. Maybe you or your family rebelled or resisted and took things into your own hands, maybe your parents were able to move?
Proximity affects our lives in the most peculiar ways in these colonially divided social spaces. What is my proximity to you the reader? To elders or youth?
What is your proximity to say, a poor street involved illicit drug user in their fifty’s?
What is your proximity to a church going Christian? What is your proximity to a Muslim family? To an organic farming family? To a working class family whose ancestors fled England as Irish in the mid 1800’s avoiding another war in the south? What is your proximity to a first nations family who have been fisher people for as long as they can recall?
Anti oppression workshops and decolonisation training will help us more fully understand our proximity to each other and how it is controlled.
It’s why it’s a great practice to really listen when we meet new folks, especially to the messaging in our heads. We can even begin to do this as a daily practice with each other in our day to day.
How can we better learn to identify and deal with what we were all taught:colonially based fears, judgments and desires to punish?
We are taught: abuse of power, capitalism is more important than anything, men are better than women, for some reason, this colonial system actually teaches us that whites, colonially ruled to be specific, whites are better or smarter than any other people on the planet. The school system teaches this still. Irish are white and oppressed by an English Colonial system and yet, they were “other” and not accepted as a white race by the colonist’s of England until late 1800’s, still Irish fight for their rights to be Irish.
This colonial system is based in “power over” hierarchical systems. Patriarchy.
Power is money. Resource extraction rules.
Those in each colonised conquered land seems to have a certain number who will make deals with the conquerer early on. Sell outs to some. Manager types. Orange people are the Scottish version of it, the William of Orange folks who went over to Ireland for the English in order to gain some land and power, since the English just took theirs and on and on abusive cycles continue…
Whew! It’s a mouth full in’t it?
The Orange still march in Northern Ireland every year; Inciting hatred towards the Irish. Sad devastating fact really, a racist birth right of hatred for each new generation of Scottish Orange families in Northern Ireland towards the Irish whose land they stole cause they lost their own to England. It must have been a BIG carrot dangLiNG! I know I had ancestors who were fighting for the red lion! So many of us have right? Roman Empire was not called that for nothing! We all were taught some hatred, I had an aunty who said racist things about first nations based on ignorance.
Radical feminism taught me this in the 80’s.
We all can spend some time working on retraining our minds to be open to who ever or what ever we were taught to be closed too.
Once we do the work necessary to unlearn the top three colonial teachings of classism, racism and sexism its like our eyes have been opened.
We can see clearly how colonialism affects our lives in terms of what is available to each of us, what is within reach and why, who is within our proximity: once we begin to do the personal and political work which seems arduous at first, we find it quickly becomes an often beneficial experience to move past that fear and get involved more deeply with community around us, we seem to want to keep moving forward on a new journey of discovery with “other”, which has been right around us in all the Lives and Life we walk by hurriedly.
We must first admit our common problem. Privilege’s handed out or garnered do get in our way, unless we identify them and share them.
A system of divide filled with judgment trying constantly to disempower us, fooling us into believing we have choice or freedom when we do not exercise it, especially when we need to. Mostly out of fear and, we are too busy. No time. Many fear police brutality or not getting jobs in the future or worse, losing a job they have. That is how oppressed we are which reflects how bad this system is. We call that free?
The rain hits my back deck cover and, I think its time to go inside. In ending, a woman I know just shared with me on my way home: she will be homeless tomorrow. For whatever reason, she is in this bad predicament and, homeless is what she will be tomorrow. Its just not right.
We need Social Housing built now. Please help with that so that other folks might have proximity to a covered area in the rain.
kym hothead hines
VIMEO: Transform Homelessness Advocacy WAtch