Friday, February 13, 2009

Listen up white women: On racism and feminism

K, seriously, fellow white feminist women? READ THIS.

Annotate it.

Highlight it.

Scribble notes in the margins.

Read it BEFORE you try and engage with black feminist, womanist, or other feminists of color.

No... really, I mean it, NOW.

Because this shit keeps happening, and while I know you don't mean it like that, while I know you didn't do it on purpose, while I know that the world around us has tainted us and we never asked to be a part of it...tough shit, we are.

Please take my advice on this. Save yourself the embarrassment. I've been the newly feminist white woman from suburbia raring to go and finding herself with shit coming out of her mouth that when it was read back to her through the perceptions of those reading it, it was downright ugly. It hurts to find out what your thoughts mean for the lives of others sometimes. Yes. It throws your whole little world into flux to find out you don't have to wear a white sheet to be racist. Yes. I know.

I'll even give you a hug and help you deal.

But you HAVE to deal.

This shit will probably keep happening, as new, young, white feminists keep coming to the movement. But we gotta spread the word. We have to do what we can to nip it in the bud. Because ignorant white women are hurting our sisters in movement, and making it more difficult for the rest of us to be trusted by them. Because this is our function as allies, to use our social position to point this shit out. Because at some point, it'd be nice for this movement to actually be realized.

And when you're just starting out, seriously, it's a good idea to just shut the fuck up and listen to the truth being spoken around and to you.

Trust me on this. And read Barbara Smith, just for a start.