I WANT TO LIVE MY ETHICS, and I want to love you, too.

So many activists act like we are only fighting to change the political and economic system. So many people I know seem to think activism is being concerned with local, state, and federal governmental and economic policy.  So many people act like abuse and oppression happens to other people, in other communities, but not ours. So many people think that *only* creating our own little cliques to protect ourselves from pain is activism (it is very necessary work for healing, but if it’s the only thing we do, we risk feeling “safe” for substantial change) .  So many people channel their legitimate anger into scuffles with police, or in composing angry missives to Wal-Mart instead of examining the oppression they perpetuate in their everyday lives.

***These systems we are forced to live in compromise, manipulate, and control our relations with each other.  Recognizing and fighting this is just as important in our activism as deposing a dictator.***  

WE ALL WERE RAISED TO NEVER QUESTION HIERARCHY (in our family, in our schools, by our government, through “rehabilitation” in various forms).  Just listening to some rebellious music and organizing some protests doesn’t mean that I have completely unbrainwashed myself from this system.  Just hanging with some awesome artists and activists isn’t enough to change this fucked up world.  We need to question hierarchy in the government and in our RELATIONSHIPS.  Until you are willing to dismantle the deeply entrenched colonialism, white supremacy, misogyny, heterosexism, and cissexism that WE ALL PERPETUATE EVERY DAY IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER, then I am not sure that I want to organize with you.  In fact, sadly, I am not sure I want to hang with you.  I am tired of being triggered by this harm when I really need people who recognize their privilege and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT instead of blaming Nazis, politicians, or evil dragons for the abuse we do to each other.  OUR DENIAL IS KILLING PEOPLE & DESTROYING SOLIDARITY.  That pain goes somewhere–we hurt ourselves and others when we deny the reality of abuse.  Emotional, verbal, physical, sexual abuse is real, and it is destroying us.

That is the work of a lifetime, and it’s what is necessary to call myself a radical and an activist.  I hope that within my lifetime I can get those closest to me to understand this, feel and know this, and understand why my concern for living my life in accordance with my values is so important to me.  This is what I am saying, my loves:  we can’t make any change in our fucked up government until we change how we relate to EACH OTHER.  Ask yourself:  who do you listen to, and who do you ignore?  What constitutes credibility to you?  What little things can you do everyday to CHALLENGE HIERARCHY, the cause of all this suffering??  How can we move to a world where we don’t have to pay money to rich people just to exist?  How can we come together while respecting difference?  How can your behavior reinforce hierarchy or dismantle it??

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~ by Angela Rhetorica on October 23, 2012.

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