Showing posts tagged oppression.

baubles of my mind's eye



To recognize the causes of unhappiness is thus a part of our political cause. This is why any politics of justice will involve causing unhappiness even if that is not the point of our action. So much happiness is premised on, and promised by, the concealment of suffering, the freedom to look away from what compromises one’s happiness. To revolt can hurt not only because you are proximate to hurt but also because you cause unhappiness by revealing the causes of unhappiness. You become the cause of the unhappiness you reveal. It is hard labor to live and work under the sign of unhappiness. The unhappy archives that I have discussed throughout this book thus reflect on the collectivity of unhappiness. They resist the individualism that posits the unhappiness of one against the happiness of many. It is not simply that we recognize that unhappiness is collective or shared; it is also that we realize that challenging happiness can only be a shared project. It is too hard to cause unhappiness of the many as a one.

This is why feminist, queer, and antiracist archives are collective weaves of unhappiness even when we struggle for something, even in the moment of aspiration, even when we dance in the gap between inheritance and reproduction. If to challenge the right to happiness is to deviate from the straight path, then political movements involve sharing deviation with others. There is joy, wonder, hope, and love in sharing deviation. If to share deviation is to share what causes unhappiness, even joy, wonder, hope and love are ways of living with rather than living without unhappiness. To share what deviates from happiness is to open up possibility, to be alive to possibility.

The Promise of Happiness, Sara Ahmed

Sara Ahmed was a key person in my radicalization she is so badass.

(Source: todoelajo)

— 1 year ago with 30 notes

#excerpts  #this  #happiness  #authenticity  #oppression 



Israel & Mexico swap notes on abusing rights
May 22, 2013

Earlier this month, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, Mexico’s newly-appointed secretary of public security in Chiapas, announced that discussions had taken place between his office and the Israeli defense ministry. The two countries talked about security coordination at the level of police, prisons and effective use of technology (“Israeli military will train Chiapas police,” Excelsior, 8 May [Spanish]).

Chiapas is home to the Zapatistas (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional), a mostly indigenous Maya liberation movement that has enjoyed global grassroots support since it rose up against the Mexican government in 1994. The Zapatistas took back large tracts of land on which they have since built subsistence cooperatives, autonomous schools, collectivized clinics and other democratic community structures.

In the twenty years since the uprising, the Mexican government has not ceased its counterinsurgency programs in Chiapas. When Llaven Abarca was announced as security head in December, human rights organizations voiced concerns that the violence would escalate, pointing to his history of arbitrary detentions, use of public force, criminal preventive detentions, death threats and torture (“Concern about the appointment of Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca as Secretary of Public Security in Chiapas,” Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba) Center for Human Rights,14 December 2012 [PDF, Spanish]).

Aptly, his recent contacts with Israeli personnel were “aimed at sharing experiences,” Abarca has claimed. This may be the first time the Mexican government has gone public about military coordination with Israelis in Chiapas. Yet the agreement is only the latest in Israel’s longer history of military exports to the region, an industry spawned from experiences in the conquest and pacification of Palestine.

Weapons sales escalate

The first Zionist militias (Bar Giora and HaShomer) were formed to advance the settlement of Palestinian land. Another Zionist militia, the Haganah — the precursor to the Israeli army and the successor of HaShomer — began importing and producing arms in 1920.

Israeli firms began exporting weapons in the 1950s to Latin America, including to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic under the Somoza and Trujillo dictatorships. Massive government investment in the arms industry followed the 1967 War and the ensuing French arms embargo. Israeli arms, police, military training and equipment have now been sent to at least 140 countries, including to Guatemala in the 1980s under Efraín Ríos Montt, the former dictator recently convicted of genocide against the Maya.

Mexico began receiving Israeli weaponry in 1973 with the sale of five Arava planes fromIsrael Aerospace Industries. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, infrequent exports continued to the country in the form of small arms, mortars and electronic fences. Sales escalated in the early 2000s, according to research that we have undertaken.

In 2003, Mexico bought helicopters formerly belonging to the Israeli army and Israel Aerospace Industries’ Gabriel missiles. Another Israeli security firm, Magal Security Systems, received one of several contracts for surveillance systems “to protect sensitive installations in Mexico” that same year, The Jerusalem Post reported.

In 2004, Israel Shipyards sold missile boats, and later both Aeronautics Defense Systems and Elbit Systems won contracts from the federal police and armed forces for drones for border and domestic surveillance (“UAV maker Aeronautics to supply Mexican police,”Globes, 15 February 2009). Verint Systems, a technology firm founded by former Israeli army personnel, has won several US-sponsored contracts since 2006 for the mass wiretapping of Mexican telecommunications, according to Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Trained by Israel

According to declassified Defense Intelligence Agency documents [PDF] obtained via a freedom of information request, Israeli personnel were discreetly sent into Chiapas in response to the 1994 Zapatista uprising for the purpose of “providing training to Mexican military and police forces.”

The Mexican government also made use of the Arava aircraft to deploy its Airborne Special Forces Group (Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales, or GAFE). GAFE commandos were themselves trained by Israel and the US. Several would later desert the GAFE and go on to create “Los Zetas,” currently Mexico’s most powerful and violent drug cartel (“Los Zetas and Mexico’s Transnational Drug War,” World Politics Review, 25 December 2009).

Mexico was surprised by the Zapatistas, who rose up the day the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. The Mexican government found itself needing to respond to the dictates of foreign investors, as a famously-leaked Chase-Manhattan Bank memo revealed: “While Chiapas, in our opinion, does not pose a fundamental threat to Mexican political stability, it is perceived to be so by many in the investment community. The government will need to eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory and of security policy.”

Full article

the point must be underlined that wherever it reads “Israel,” you may read “The USA.” so the USA is not only providing police and military training and gear to help repress the People of México via Plan Mérida (aka “Drug War” violence)—namely the least advantaged and the ones the elites wish would go away and give up the damn land and resources carte blanche already—the USA is also, by its beloved Israeli Puppetmask, squashing the indigenous of the Americas. still. 

give land back to the indigenous of the north? you must be joking, UN. the genocide project rolls on, unchecked. From sea to shining sea.

(Source: thepeoplesrecord, via guerrillamamamedicine)

— 1 year ago with 663 notes

#oppression  #state violence  #repression  #Zapatistas  #Israel  #imperialism 


i’m wary of both people who think all identity politics is evul and a distraction AND the people who are fixated on it to the point where they forget what system underpins those oppressions.

(via indielowercase)

— 1 year ago with 11 notes

#tumblr quotes  #oppression 

Lauryn Hill performing I Get Out on MTV Unplugged

This song is sublime because it delves into full awareness of deep, overwhelming oppressions … and somehow transmutes it into realness, beauty & fierce hope. Seriously worth taking a moment to listen.

To Lauryn <3 <3

— 1 year ago with 2 notes

#Lauryn Hill  #music  #oppression  #anti-oppression  #hope  #beauty  #favorite songs  #intersectionality 


I want to be such a vindictive bitch now

I have no place I can go in my life

You know how they say work and the world are the public spheres and home is the private? Mainly when you study women’s studies and sociology do you learn how this became and blah blah blah

well what happens when neither are a refuge? When what you once considered the private, the comforting, the stable, becomes as hostile as everything else?

I’m sure this is not new to the people who follow me; I often read your stories of abusive homes, mothers & fathers who have kicked you out numerous times. But this is a whole new experience to me. And i’ve been so broken by everything else that’s been thrown at me, I cried all my tears last night.

It’s fitting the police make me feel unwelcome in my own neighborhood, because two weeks later the place where I grew up has done the same.

I can’t wait to say goodbye to Brownsville, and hopefully soon after, New York City.

It’s been real New York

Sure as fuck don’t know the answer to this. But, while our situations aren’t exactly the same, I feel you so much on this. As trapped and sucky as these situations are, it makes me happy that you’re speaking about this.

There’s way too much meaningless talk in our culture about choice, as if we chose to sleep in places where we’re lulled to sleep by the sound of insects in the wall, as if it’s somehow an authentic choice to live where we’re not respected, where we can’t feel comfortable enough to do whatever it is we’re trying to do with ourselves (even if that’s having a few moments to relax, or meditate or whatever). Where we can’t even expect the door to our bedroom to keep out ppl who want to take their anger out on us. As if we chose to only be able to afford to sleep in the places we sleep, and, as shitty as they are, to feel grateful for having a roof over our heads - because to us, not having a roof is not an abstraction, but a reality we crawled our way out of.

All I can say is that I feel a lot of this. I can’t imagine how unsafe it must feel to be in a neighborhood colonized by the police. :/

It’s bad enough to go through overwhelming amounts of dehumanization & other shit. It’s bad enough that the deepest, truest forms of healing from it only seem accessible to rich people (often marketed to white hippie-types, to be honest), (even when some of these forms of healing were developed by my fucking ancestors!!). It’s enough to make it a struggle to keep from shutting down entirely when I don’t even have the right space at home to haphazardly do what I can to try to heal myself, so I have a chance of doing anything with my life.

I’m so sick of shallow and cliche discourses around this sort of thing. How the hell do we actually navigate the 'bird cages' of multiple/intersecting oppressions? Where the fuck do we go?

(via cunningcunt-deactivated20140510)

— 1 year ago with 3 notes

#trapped  #the bird cage  #home  #safety  #oppression  #cultural appropriation 
"As the (generational) effects of global capitalism, genocide, violence, oppression and trauma settle into our bodies, we must build new understandings of bodies and gender that can reflect our histories and our resiliency, not our oppressor or our self-shame and loathing. We must shift from a politic of desirability and beauty to a politic of ugly and magnificence. That moves us closer to bodies and movements that disrupt, dismantle, disturb."
— 1 year ago with 23 notes

#body  #pain  #oppression  #excerpt 

As a social worker and clinician working with “the seriously mentally ill” for many years, I never came upon someone who didn’t have fairly severe traumas in their histories. Yes, I can say those who I encountered who were in that particular labeled segment had a solid 100% rate of trauma in their histories. Mental illness in large part is a reaction to trauma.

It’s quite simple really. When we start listening to people’s stories of pain rather than numbing them out and effectively silencing them with neurotoxic drugs we will start healing them. Until then people will remain broken. One of the most basic needs for a wounded human being to heal is to be seen. Recognized. Validated. Yes.

Without appropriate care and integration trauma changes both our bodies and minds for many years and sometimes for our entire lives. Right now the mental health system knows virtually nothing about how to care for people who have been traumatized and in fact often traumatizes them further. It’s downright dangerous to subject a traumatized person to most social services. This is a tragedy that has to end.


Monica Cassani, What Happened to You? (via madness-narrative)

I read this and think FANON FANON FANON: One of the most basic needs for a wounded human being to heal is to be seen. Recognized. Validated.”

(via dancepunksnotdead)

yesssss. this!

Also I’d like to add that its important to recognize that some people have a need for medications and that that is okay and should never be shamed. period.

(via thewooest)

Hurt people hurting people.

(via mashupmishap)

(via aliveforalittlewhile)

— 1 year ago with 251 notes

#truth  #trauma  #mental health  #mental health system  #oppression 

reality: we are not all knowing 

living in empire countries means that we are simultaneously all up in people’s shit and perpetual outsiders

some of us follow/study/learn from the stories we are taught are revolutionary that involve people who are thought to be revolutionary

and that is as far as our experience goes and we hold different complexities than those who live in the settings of these stories recited to us. 

i don’t have any or believe in definitive statements about any country that experiences such deep riffs operating outside of a capitalistic/imperial/whatever system. 

y’all, most of the time in diaspora i don’t even know about the absolute realities of my motherland. i think we are all owed space to navigate that complexity. 

(Source: tranqualizer)

— 1 year ago with 45 notes

#diaspora  #empire  #reality  #context  #situated knowledge  #immigration  #privilege  #oppression 
[trigger warning]



Solidarity with survivors of multiple traumas. 

Solidarity with unstable survivors. 

Solidarity with survivors of multiple kinds of abuse, over long periods of time. 

Solidarity with survivors with complex narratives. 

Solidarity with quiet survivors. 

Solidarity with survivors who can’t find their voice, survivors who can’t express themselves well or at all or in the ways that make other comfortable. 

Solidarity with ‘bad’ survivors, survivors who can’t set an example.

Solidarity with survivors who can’t sculpt their pain into an uplifting feel-good story for everyone else.

Solidarity with survivors who figured it out through sheer luck and don’t have or want to impart any sage wisdom.

Solidarity with survivors who cope with it differently than you do.

Solidarity with survivors who don’t know they are survivors.

Solidarity with survivors who know healthy behaviors only because they ran out of unhealthy ones first.

Solidarity with survivors who never ran out.

Solidarity with survivors who never put the pieces together, who never figure out their stories.

Solidarity with survivors who would have made it were it not for myriad other oppressions standing in their way.

(via face-down-asgard-up)

— 1 year ago with 6532 notes

#survival  #trauma  #susto  #oppression  #abuse  #solidarity 
Today solidified why despite being unabashededly pro-choice, I will never bring myself to join hands with western feminism’s version of “abortion freedom”. →




Today solidified why despite being unabashededly pro-choice, I will never bring myself to join hands with western feminism’s version of “abortion freedom”.

I went to a feminist meeting with a friend on her campus (she invited me) and the issue of “overpopulation” comes up and displays women from various nations (particularly Somalia, Ethiopia and India) in which they seem to be struggling to take care of their children and the slideshow insinuated, “if these women had an opportunity to get an abortion, they would”. That message is not only patently false, but it’s also incredibly offense and disingenuous.

Misogyny is a huge issue in many of these nations, no doubt and reproductive rights are deeply stifled and neglected, as well as prenatal care. It’d be foolish to deny such a reality. But, to showcase women with five, six, up to ten children, as somehow being oppressed by their circumstances and painting huge families as leeches and parasites to the well-being and livelihood of women in the third world is dishonest, hyperbolized and frankly, bullshit propaganda. It suggests that women of the third world have absolutely no agency and are somehow forced to have these children (which thereby means that every large family is the cause of rape, essentially), which is demeaning to every woman’s advocacy movement that have taken place in the aforementioned regions. In addition, it portrays brown and black children as a nuisance, something that the world needs less of, which is disgusting, racist and directly aligns with neoimperialist initiatives.

Also, as someone who comes from an African country where the average family bears 4-5 children, I know firsthand that children are assets to their family, above anything. From my experience, women tend to have more children as sort of a safety net; arguably husbands are more likely to die first, so the more children a woman has, the chances of her being taken care of and accounted for are higher. In face the of heightened risks of early death, disease, poverty, war, etc. this is a premeditated move, an action of resistance to ensure one’s survival. In Eritrea, there are children (up to eight years old) who sell gum, tissues and other small merchandise after school to help provide for their families and continue to do so into their teenage years. This, as unpleasant as it may seem, is the reality. Children serve a purpose. They’re an ecomonic resource to their families.

To assert with pictures which provide no nuance, that mothers with their children are helpless, needy and their families repress them is a gross misconstruction of the realities that these women face and it does nothing but assert that western feminism, in all of its narcissism, will ignore and distort context to appeal to its own agenda.

^ so fucking important

this “ABORTIONS FOR ALL” rhetoric is reckless, ethnocentric nonsense

let’s talk about EUGENICS

let’s talk about the United States’ legacy of EUGENICS

let’s talk about the exploitation of working-class communities of color

let’s talk about the Nixon administration’s 1970 establishment of “family planning services” which target inner-city populations

let’s talk about Madrigal v. Quilligan, the policing of fertile bodies of color by fascist white professionals, and the naturalization of non-consensual, coercive sterilization practices

let’s talk about the acute colonization of Puerto Rico and the ways in which Puerto Rican women have been corporeally subjugated, not only becoming receptacles for American contraceptive experiments yet also being rendered completely infertile via tubal ligation (reproductive justice activist and professor Elena R. Gutiérrez notes that “By 1965 about 35 percent of the women in Puerto Rico had been sterilized, two-thirds of them in their 20s.”)

let’s talk about the year 1973

let’s talk about how, while affluent, white, second-wave feminists were still celebrating Roe v. Wade, Relf v. Weinberger was happening

let’s talk about the Relf sisters and the intersection of race, class, gender, and ability

we can no longer afford to ignore these histories

we can no longer afford to let people, however unwittingly, promote the co-optation of “choice”

feminisms cannot survive and evolve and grow richer and stronger without a deep recognition of the myriad fictions of liberation

“The progressive potential of birth control remains indisputable. But in actuality, the historical record of this movement leaves much to be desired in the realm of challenges to racism and class exploitation.” -Angela Davis

reblogging to add that an acquaintance of mine is working on a dissertation for her Ph.D in Hawaiian Studies that details early eugenics programs forced on Hawaiian women when white missionaries showed up

also the Hyde Amendment, how “the movement” didn’t give a shit enough about poor women and women of color to fight that shit. which is one of the most damaging things in contemporary abortion/women’s health access and a big reason women can’t afford terminations and clinics have a hard time staying open.

(Source: maarnayeri, via brujacore)

— 1 year ago with 1351 notes

#Western feminism  #eugenics  #overpopulation  #imperialism  #oppression  #third world feminism  #feminisms  #agency 





Imagine a wall full of circular holes, that circles can keep walking in and out of with no difficulty.

Now imagine that the triangles manage to get the resources together, after years of not being able to fit through the circle’s holes, to drill a single triangle space into the wall.

Now imagine that the circle — who previously supported the triangle’s efforts because they are well-rounded (har) and value equality —  comes along and sees the construction project. But instead of being happy, they get angry.

“Well, I won’t be able to fit through your hole!!!!” the circle cries.

“I helped you get the drill!!!!” the circle shrieks.

“Make it fit me too!!!!” the circle demands.

The triangles, barely holding it together enough to get a triangle hole together, stare at the circle in confusion. 

“You have all the holes you need,” the triangles explain. “This is for us. You don’t need to fit through our hole, too.”


“It’s not your drill, it’s our drill. You helped us get it, because you said you cared.”


“Why is it up to us, the small group that has never been able to fit through the wall at all, to make a hole everyone can use? Why isn’t it up to you, the people who have been able to cross back and forth at will for years? We just want to see the other side; why are you yelling at us?”


“You are interfering with our project and asking us to comfort you while we’re trying to make progress. Please leave.”

“I’m going to tell everyone about this,” the circle warns. “Nobody will support you now.”

“Apparently nobody ever did,” the triangles sigh, getting back to work.

It’s kind of sad

That we have to draw comics using colorful shapes

To explain systematic inequality to people

(Source: charliebink, via strawberryspam)

— 1 year ago with 368930 notes

#analogy  #oppression  #oppression 101 

Tiny Horrors: A Chilling Reminder of How Cruel Assimilation Was—And Is
For such small objects, the child’s handcuffs are surprisingly heavy when cradled in the palms of one’s hand. Although now rusted from years of disuse, they still convey the horror of their brutal purpose, which was to restrain Native children who were being brought to boarding schools. “I felt the weight of their metal on my heart,” said Jessica Lackey of the Cherokee tribe as she described holding the handcuffs for the first time.


Tiny Horrors: A Chilling Reminder of How Cruel Assimilation Was—And Is

For such small objects, the child’s handcuffs are surprisingly heavy when cradled in the palms of one’s hand. Although now rusted from years of disuse, they still convey the horror of their brutal purpose, which was to restrain Native children who were being brought to boarding schools. “I felt the weight of their metal on my heart,” said Jessica Lackey of the Cherokee tribe as she described holding the handcuffs for the first time.

(via anarcho-queer)

— 1 year ago with 3337 notes

#indigenous rights  #history  #oppression  #boarding schools  #assimilation  #cultural genocide 
Dear Liberal Allies – what your college courses on oppression didn’t tell you



I’m not angry or upset about anything in particular at the moment, but I thought I’d take a little time to write something out that had been bugging me about allies. It’s certainly not all-encompassing or totally comprehensive, but I hope it’s something I’ve been thinking about in terms of being a good ally and a good neighbor, especially here on Tumblr.

Before you step in to help us out, I’d just like to clarify a couple things.

You and I, we may have taken the same seminars and maybe even read the same Audre Lorde excerpts or Ronald Takaki books, but know this: we learned very different things in very different ways 

For students of color, for gay students, for trans* students, for the children of immigrants and refugees, these classes aren’t always about learning new concepts when it pertains to us. It’s more about learning the names of things we already knew fairly intimately. Do you understand that? You learned it another way. You went in, you got this set of key words and a list of definitions. Your learning was, in all likelihood, “Here is this word. This is what this word means.”

For you, it was “Xenophobia: a strong fear or dislike of people from other countries.”

For us, it was “Xenophobia: the time that boy in my kindergarten class spat on me because I couldn’t speak English yet. Or when I saw that clerk yell at my mom in the grocery store because her English wasn’t clear enough. Or when USCIS had us confirm our American citizenship with the same set of papers seven times over the course of sixteen years because they wanted to confirm that we were, in fact, actual American citizens.”

For you, it was, “Racism: unfair treatment of people who belong to another race; violent behavior towards them.”

For us, it was, “Racism: that one time I saw that manager tell that sales girl to follow my dad around at Kohl’s. Or that one time my neighbor’s kid got shot by the police and they tried to cover it up by convincing everyone he was in a gang because he was Hmong, but we knew he wasn’t. Or that one time my dad told me I shouldn’t rollerblade to the library because I’m not white and it’s not safe for me.”

For you, it was, “Homophobia: a strong dislike or fear of homosexual people.”

For us, it was, “Homophobia: that time in the sixth grade when Ryan shoved against a glass door and banged my face in it while yelling, ‘faggot!’ at me until the teacher stopped him. Or when my Catholic high school’s president told me that, though he loved me as a child of God, he still believed I was sinful when I suggested that we start a GSA.”

For you, it was: “Classism: prejudice or discrimination based on social class.”

For us, it was: “Classism: that one time when my best friend came over to hang out in high school and her parents didn’t want her to come over again because they didn’t like our neighborhood. Or that one time when your friends had no idea what food stamps looked like and you were too embarrassed to explain what they were.”

So while you were learning that these academically-framed phenomena were real problems, we were just getting little figurative nametags for awful things that we already knew. Your weekly vocabulary list was, to us, just a hollow shadow of our lived experiences.

So my point is this:

If you didn’t live an experience, then step aside. Because we knew this stuff before our professors told us what to call it. We learned it from the bottom up, you learned it from the top down, and that’s not even a metaphor.

When you step out of class, you get to be like, “Oh, awesome. I am learning how to be a good ally and a better human being. This will help me.” For us, it’s more like, “Ah, so that’s what they’re calling it nowadays. When exactly did they say change was going to come for us?”

So in practice, here’s what all this theory looks like: you don’t always have to speak. I mean, certainly, you should totally call someone out on their oppressive bullshit. But if you identify as male, you don’t get to tell people what is best for women as though you have that authority. If you’re white, you shouldn’t be trying to “uplift” people of color by the grace of your intellect or your words. Nobody’s looking to be ‘rescued’ or ‘pulled up from out of their unfortunate circumstances’ as you may be tempted to believe.

All anybody’s looking for in an ally is someone who knows that “empowerment” means taking a step aside in a place where you know you have privilege. And if it is, for example, a PoC-to-PoC conversation, a woman-to-woman conversation, a queer-to-queer conversation, etc. about this stuff, and that isn’t who you are, you don’t need to be chiming in.

Just take our word for it, let us talk, and let us vent. We’d like you to give us room, and if you have to be helpful, then help make room for us by giving up some of your proverbial social girth.

Because the bottom line is that our academia has made a commodity of our lived experiences as teaching moments for you. And if you think your academic knowledge is more valid than our lived experiences, then you’re definitely not part of the solution.

Much love.

And if you think your academic knowledge is more valid than our lived experiences, then you’re definitely not part of the solution.

(via cuntofdoom)

— 1 year ago with 8551 notes

#important quotes  #excerpt  #tumblr essay  #abstraction  #oppression  #race  #class  #gender 


“words only have power because we let them have power, man”

no, words have power because they are conceptual representations of an oppressive culture



(via olaflecoq)

— 1 year ago with 4636 notes

#microaggressions  #oppression  #language  #culture