Tag Archives: social justice

On Racism- from CPHP#5

19 Oct

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Racism

My collective and roommates Kayla and Eric and I went to Diversity Thrift the other day to see if they had halloween decorations and to get some more clothes for the cold weather. We checked out the LGBTQ book section and I found some really cool murder mysteries with LGBTQ characters. I love crappy mystery novels and so it was super good to read some that were not supporting the patriarchy. One of the books was pretty awesome, called Murder in the Collective by Barbara Wilson. It talked about collectives and consensus and queers and dealing with alcoholism and more! And there was a really awesome quote which I will repeat here! Page 133,

 

you worry about being called racist as if it were syphillis or something. Like you were accused of carrying some dread, disfiguring, incurable disease. But I think it’s more like telling someone or being told, “Hey, you’ve got snot hanging out of your nose.’ You say thank you and wipe it off. Though that doesn’t mean the snot’s not ever going to drip again.”

I think that is soooo good. And I want to reproduce it a lot, and would encourage other people to as well. It is such a good way to talk about racism (or classism, sexism, etc.) and point out why there is no need to be defensive. Of COURSE being oppressive or racist/sexist/classist etc. is fucked up. But of COURSE we all fuck up all the time. These things are not good, and they do need to be called out, but people need to realize that trying to avoid being called out is counterproductive. No one is perfect.

*An addition that was not in the zine but that ought to be thought about by white people- prejudice+power= racism. POC are not racist towards white people, because they do not have the backing of institutional powers.

Also, letting someone know they have proverbial snot hanging out of their nose is not the same as saying that you yourself have never had snot hanging out of your nose. Frankly, I think a lot of the reason people are ABLE to point out to others when they have been racist or sexist etc. is because they recognize their own previous behavior. Getting called out can make your ego feel bad. Getting defensive and attacking the person who called you out is not a productive or appropriate means of dealing with the situation. Someone calling you out is NOT them saying they aren’t fucked up. Someone with privilege can call out others on their privilege- it does not mean they are denying their own privilege or problems. Allowing guilt or defensiveness to get in the way of dealing with the snot hanging out of your nose is not going to lead to positive things for yourself or your community.

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Richmond Transit Riders Union

19 May

This is a new project being initiated by the new Richmond IWW chapter. GRTC and the state of Richmond’s public transportation are both in poor repair. If we want a more socially just community then we need more effective and accessible public transportation options. Please consider helping out RTRU, talking to folks in your area about it, etc. There is not yet a website for this group, but there will be soon.

You can contact RTRU at: richmondtru@gmail.com

Here is more information about what the group hopes to do:

“About 88 percent of the Richmond region’s commuters travel to and from work in a car, typically alone,”

Public transit is necessary for the mobility of the elderly and the disabled. It is necessary for communities without markets to access the things they need. For those without a car, it is the ability to seek necessary medical attention, to keep a job, and to get home at the end of the closing shift. It is necessary because the valorization of car ownership leads to ecological disaster, exacerbates the fight for fossil fuels, batters local budgets by deteriorating roads over and over again, and results in daily misery with the widespread congestion of commuting workers.

However, here in Richmond, VA, year after year, bus fares increase and service is cut. The buses have little to no access to suburban job centers. The poor, working-class, and communities of color are punished daily for not subscribing to the car-ownership money pit. And the drivers and mechanics who are the life-blood of the bus system are underpaid, and mistreated. Continue reading

Why I do Food Not Bombs

23 Feb

I have been doing Food Not Bombs on and off since I was about 16. I’m 23 now.

I think it is time I took a few moments to reflect on why I do Food Not Bombs.

I do Food Not Bombs because I see a need, in Richmond, as in most places, for a redistribution of resources, including food.  There is a ton of food that goes to waste (aka gets thrown out by lazy and greedy people) and on the other hand a lot of people who go hungry, or don’t have access to healthy food, or struggle a lot to be able to eat.

Providing free food has the potential to help folks stay healthy, remove some stress from their lives, and keep less going to the landfills.

And that is all the sort of nuts and bolts of it. Ultimately I have to talk about social justice to talk about why I think Food Not Bombs matters. I think we have the potential to build community. Both among the people who come to cook and among the people who  come to eat. And through the overlap of those two groups as well. Continue reading