If we are to decolonize we must start with ourselves.
No matter who we are in a colonially conquered territory, we got to beware of Colonialism’s basic rule: Divide.
Colonial systems have schools that teach hate. If you went to ANY public school ever you were colonised in your brain.
Whether you believe it or not, get over it, welcome to the DEEP INNER struggle that is making its way out and we got to deal with it…
Dr. Ellyn Kaschak stated years ago at a radical workshop I was in with her, and I fully agree: “Systemically speaking we are not emotionally capable of dealing with systemic oppression based on how we are oppressed…”
(paraphrased by me)
I decided to try and find her again and I did this time, her is her response:
Yes, that would be me. I worked with Sandra for a couple of years back in the ’90’s. That sounds like something I would say and it is definitely something I believe. Your memory served you well, although probably slower than you would like. What you mention is probably something I said spontaneously, so I do not have the exact wording. My book that was just out when I was working with Sandra was entitled Engendered Lives: A New Psychology of Women’s Experience and probably has a lot of the material I used. My latest book is called Sight Unseen: Gender and Race through Blind Eyes and, I hope, puts the final nail in the coffin of believing that these categories are “real” rather than invented. Take a look at them when you can. I think you will find what you are looking for in both. And I do think there are big changes happening, many of which we planted the seeds for all those years ago.
Glad to hear from you and glad you are still doing the work and living the result. I am still writing and teaching at the UN campus of the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Teaching Gender and Peace!
I was thinking of her and that workshop years ago because of where we are now and where we seem to be heading, into radical and fast change. It IS going to be emotionally hard, tough, harsh; many are feeling ”this is impossible” even. We can get thru by having boundaries and by being forgiving and have understanding as to why folks are loosing it more and more.
I met Ellyn due to a few years of working on anti oppression and then trying to go farther, where now, how do we incorporate this when we are up against it daily? To understand how oppression affects us really really helped me.
I learned that we all got to work on prejudices and discriminations between us.
These merely keep us divided. What is tough for most is ow most of us do not know how to fight and most won’t jump in for practice for fear of making mistakes. Divide and rule has taken a lot of our power. We can still change things around and we all got to know that.
No one is above or below anyone else.
If you do not agree with that you are in for a hard life of power struggle.
Many before us dealt with the English conqueror, Spanish Conquerer, the Dutch, and so on… and we CAN learn from those who fought before, right?
The “You don’t know my pain” crap is bullshit and is a divide and rule tactic! The introduction of a managing class which makes up one third of population just keeps most of us fighting like dogs over meager resource scraps.
Arrogance is used as a divider; it usually starts out like this:
“You Jewish people…”
“You First Nations people…”
“You drug addicts…”
“You white people…”
“You black people…”
“All of you gays…”
“All of you young people…”
When sentences start like that I cringe!
You get my meaning?
I am impatient and absolutely fucking done with “activist’s”, “warriors” and “allies” making broad statements that are filled with arrogant reactive attitudes and generalizations which are discriminatory, stereotypical and often based on stigma’s. I apologise for my impatience.
Having said all of this, when we do say “hurtful shit”, can we please get honest about it and know that we are emotionally volatile for good reason yet, we got to take care best we can of self and community. That care includes saying sorry even if you are not called out. Knowledge is power and we got to get thru this by being honest in our process more and more! I am happy to see unusually high amounts of this honesty at Super InTent City community.
I also struggle that so many hurt around the inability to communicate and, that is also something colonialism took from us. Lets face facts; MOSTLY ALL SCHOOLS teach divide and rule! Our futures are depending on us changing radically now. I know we can, I know we can have boundaries, I know we can forgive, I know we can move forward…