First of all, Brownfemipower is back! Welcome back mujer.
From the few discussions I've had about BFP's particular blog situation, and my own recent futile attempts to get involved again with a Palestinian women solidarity group I had done work with a while back, I've realized that there are some serious "trust issues" going on between radical women of color - whether between women from our own particular communities or the wider women of color community, there is a lot of hestitation, defensiveness, mistrust...
We know this too well, because we've all been there. How many times have we been fucked over by so-called allies? I can think of numerous situations when social justice groups I was involved with fell apart because of pure bullshit.
Can we address this issue? Is there even an issue here to address? I think there is something to be said about radical women of color, solidarity work and the issue of trust. Most of the white women (activists, academics, etc.) that I know do their work with a particular sense of confidence that I don't think the issue of "trust" is really even there in the same way for them. I could be wrong tho - but that has been my observation.
Of course I'm speaking in general terms here, I realize this (and the problems with that, even the notion of "radical women of color" itself is so vague).
But what is it about us and the way we interact with one another that sometimes becomes too damn volatile? Do our particular "baggages" (for lack of a better word) trigger one another, and is trust a main part of that "baggage"?
For example, I for one, have a difficult time with people speaking to me in a patronizing tone, talking at me (not with me) really triggers me. I think about all those spaces in my everyday life (job, school, activist, etc.) that have attempted to silence me, ignore me, "educate" me while I have either remained "silent" or spent every last bit of my energy voicing (no, screaming) my existence. Is there something to be said about this trigger of mine that gets played out in a certain way when i'm around other women of color who perhaps share the same rage?
I feel like I'm being inarticulate right now because these are ideas that are floating around in my head and I'm just putting it out there to see what you all have to say.
I know trust and solidarity building is a continual process and i'm not even sure if the word "solidarity" is appropriate (it's so fucking cliche). All I know is I feel an immediate connection with other radical women of color, I tend to want to put the trust there and build solidarity from there. But, with the few experiences I've had, I'm a bit hesitant now.
The perfect example is the Palestinian solidarity group I was involved with. We were a number of committed women of color (Arab/Iranian) who were doing some seriously solid work. I had faith in this group and my allies...well, what happened? Some bullshit and the group fell apart. I was devestated since the group and the women in it meant the world to me at the time. But trust issues got in the way, the group fell apart and now rebuilding it has been hell.
Now there is further distance, hesitation, mistrust...
I don't even know if we will ever regroup. And it's such a damn shame.
I know building trust and solidarity is a process, and i've said in the previous post:
Solidarity between Women of Color is not a given. We are not in solidarity by default of being of color. There's a lot of work that goes into building "solidarity." It's an ongoing process of continual shaping and reshaping of our politics based on acknowledging privileges and challenging one another.
But having said that...
Is all that even possible without building TRUST first?
I would appreciate your comments, really, because I don't want to be all jaded. A part of me knows there's a way to address this issue...there has to be.
There has to be.