Pain, privilege, and the possibility of liberation

Very astute piece, and resonates with what I have been learning from Desiree B. Stephens, Kokayi Nosakhere, and other antiracism educators about the need for us white people to decolonize our minds; go on our own healing journey.

Short excerpt:

“If we are serious about justice, we have to be committed to transforming those contributing to injustice. This means understanding how people with privileged identities are also harmed by systems of oppression, and supporting them in navigating that trauma and grief. … This is the deal patriarchy makes with men; that white supremacy makes with white people; that colonialism makes with colonizers. Because these systems are set up as domination hierarchies, no one can have belonging: genuine relationship isn’t possible under oppression. But some can be elevated over others.

“Instead of belonging, we (people who hold identities privileged by dominant cultures) are given power. Not the healthy expression of power-with, but the toxic expression of power-over: we can take a place in the hierarchy, but only by stepping on others. … Most of us well-intentioned white folks who get into social justice work do so because of our commitment to equity, and our desire to help others. That’s a great start, but it allows us not to situate ourselves in the struggle. It allows us to maintain the dangerous belief that these systems only harm “others.” It misunderstands how systems of oppression operate, and therefore how they can be dismantled.

“By focusing on our privilege we mask our pain, and lose an important opportunity to work for our own liberation in solidarity, not mere allyship.”

Read the whole article here: I asked for belonging… they gave me power
Pain, privilege, and the possibility of liberation
Brian Stout

And now please check out rsa9.0’s video Suggested Antiracism TikTok Pathway — the creators he recommends following are the exact ones I started with and have been following since early summer. Highly recommended. Fellow white people in eco/permie circles, this is how we build an actually sustainable civilization: by decolonizing; by going on our healing journey.