"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Friday, May 9, 2008

Quote of the Day

Somewhere down in our guts we understand that in an oppressive system such as white supremacy, the unearned privileges with which we live are based on the suffering of others. We know that we have things because others don't. We may not want to give voice to that feeling, but it is impossible to ignore completely. And it doesn't feel good, in part because to be fully human is to seek communion with others, not separation from them, and one cannot find that connection under conditions in which unjust power brings unearned privilege. To be fully human is to reject a system that conditions your pleasure on someone else's pain.
 

2 comments:

Katie said...

Yes. Agreed. Now what do we do? Especially when no one else is doing it.

Dina Baxter said...

Shouldn't we be careful, though, not to travel too far down the road of liberal guilt?

There's a delicate balance between rejecting unearned privilege and debasing yourself in attempts to apologize for labels that have been unfairly assigned. The first should be done, just because it's right. The second becomes another kind of separation, just a divisive as the thing it tries to counteract.