[Revolution is not a one-time event. It is becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make genuine change…it is learning to address each other’s difference with respect.]
– Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider, 1984
Audre Lorde, “Age, Race and Sex: Women Redefining Difference” (via uprightcitizens)
Ahh, this is one of my favourite Audre Lorde quotes. I tried explaining this to another Asian woman in an anti-racism workshop when she said that it’s not productive to just call someone an asshole and walk away. If we wanted change, we needed to explain it to them in a way that is “accessible.” My response is that sometimes I need to just call someone an asshole because I’m so sick and tired of explaining things to white people especially when they are capable of learning for themselves. It’s a drain of energy for me and for our communities. How are we supposed to heal when we’re constantly draining our energy on white folks who many of the time, refuse to listen. There’s much more at stake in those conversations when our humanity is put on the line and our pain is often invalidated? So whatever, I reserve the right to call someone an asshole when they’re being racist and I can provide an explanation when I damn well feel like it.
[ “Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.”]
— audre lorde