It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains
— Assata Shakur
I feel a little weird about quoting Shakur, as a White woman. I see way too many White Liberals co-opt quotes from People of Color, particularly radical POC, and then continue to perpetuate White supremacy through our daily actions (and inaction). But this quote keeps coming back to me.
It is our duty to fight. Even when it’s hard. Even when its makes us uncomfortable. I noped out of a couple of FB groups today that were dominated by White women mourning the election and also refusing to face up to their own White privilege. White women not understanding that it fucking matters that 53% of White women in this country voted for Trump, and that it fucking matters that they were White — that this is just the latest betrayal of Women of Color at the hands of Liberal White Women. I’d been growing steadily more frustrated at the unwillingness to be called out or called in, and I had a tense conversation with a woman who was doing every last goddamn one of the things that make White women suspect to WOC — ally-cookie-seeking, self-centering, talking over WOC — and I just kind of lost it. But I feel guilty a bit for noping out, because I know that it’s the job of White women to come for our people, to have these hard conversations, to not leave it to WOC to, once again, do the emotional labor we’re too fragile to do.
It is our duty to fight.
It is our duty to fight even when we can’t do it perfectly. Even when it’s the last thing we want to do. Even when it feels like we don’t have the tools. It’s our duty to go out and get the damn tools.
And we need new tools because, to quote another radical Woman of Color who’s often quoted by White folks to show how woke we are, Audre Lorde, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
And while we’re at it, let’s all of us who are still living in the master’s house recognize that we’re living there. Doesn’t matter how we’ve spruced it up with paint and new curtains and fluffy throw rugs to cover up the bloodstains on the hardwoods. We’re in the master’s house.
And we have to recognize it, and get out of it, or risk being crushed when it crumbles around our ears.
Because it will, must crumble.
It is our duty to fight. It is our duty to win.