“Traditionally, in American society, it is the members of oppressed, objectified groups who are expected to stretch out and bridge the gap between the actualities of our lives and the consciousness of our oppressor. In other words, it is the responsibility of the oppressed to teach the oppressors their mistakes. I am responsible for educating teachers who dismiss my children’s culture in school. Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.”—Audre Lorde, “Age, Race and Sex: Women Redefining Difference” (via lizdexia)
“It is no accident that white masculinity is constructed the way it is in the United States, as European invasion of the Americas required a masculinity that murders, rapes, and enslaves Native and African peoples. It is a masculinity that requires men to be soldiers and conquerors in every aspect of their lives. A masculinity rooted in genocide breeds a culture of sexual abuse.”—Qwo-Li Driskill (via queersissyfag)
harsh truth of a lot of truths, why i can’t trust you
“Whitepeople believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift, unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood. In a way, he thought, they were right. The more coloredpeople spent their strength trying to convince them how gentle they were, how clever and loving, how human, the more they used themselves up to persuade whites of something Negroes believe could not be questioned, the deeper and more tangled the jungle grew inside. But it wasn’t the jungle black brought with them to this place from the other (livable) place. It was the jungle whitefolks planted in them. And it grew. It spread. In, through an after life, it spread, until it invaded whites who had made it. Touched them every one. Changed and altered them. Made them bloody, silly, worse than even they wanted to be, so scared were they of the jungle they had made. The screaming baboon lived under their own white skin; the red gums were their own.”—Toni Morrison, Beloved (via sonofbaldwin)
“I visited Borders Books three or four years ago. I went to buy a book of poems by Gwendolyn Brooks, an African American poet. When I couldn’t find it in the poetry section, I went to the help desk and was told that it was in the African American section, five or sex shelves near the front of the store on which all types of literature by Black people had been placed. In another part of the store, in a similar setup, was the Gay and Lesbian section—literature of all kinds written by gay and lesbian folks. (I forgot to check to see where they had shelved James Baldwin, who was both Black and gay.)
[…]First, I realized that my sister, for example, was unlikely to encounter anything written by someone gay or African American unless she purposefully searched for those shelves, so her learning was curtailed by Borders’s marketing approach. Second, by organizing books in this way, I think the store was assuming that a reader would want something specifically by a Black author, as opposed to just reading a good novel that happened to be written by an African American.
Third…the rest of the literature section was not labeled “straight white fiction.” Seriously. So a customer could go to the literature section and look through all the books, never aware that all she or he was seeing was fiction by white authors. The pernicious privilege is: simply don’t include the Other, and then act as though the picture is complete. In a sick way, it is brilliant.”—Frances E. Kendall, Understanding White Privilege (via brute-reason)