**CW :: this is a special transmission that is written, with love, for white feminists and acknowledges + articulates the way white supremacist thought is engrained in white people**
Believing black people is like believing women. We live in a country that is geared to minimize and discount the pain of people of color and black people specifically. So when we ‘wait for the facts or the evidence’ while black community is saying ‘this is what happened’, how is that different from the white supremacist men who do the same for women?
Do we believe that the legal system and the media do not take women seriously? Absolutely. So we believe them, the women, instead of what the courts or the media or the president tell us. Do we believe that the justice system fails black people at every turn? Absolutely. So we believe black people. When they talk about their experience.
Can we sit with the fact that white history has taught us to not believe black people? That the thoughts that have been passed down from slavery and Jim Crowe – the lies that our ancestors constructed about black people to justify black enslavement and subjugation – are still present in our unconscious thoughts? Passed down like bad genes through our family lines, impacting our beliefs? Yes. And we can say — these thoughts are there. They are not my thoughts. I do not choose them. I choose to hear these thoughts, to challenge them, to determine where they came from, and to disbelieve them, to trace their arc of history back to their origin point and see that thinking black people do not know their own experience, their own pain, their own sovereignty, was a story that was told to justify enslavement. The same goes with women. The story that we don’t know what’s best for us, we are mistaken about what has happened to us are told to justify and uphold keeping us disempowered.
We believe women. So we also believe black people and indigenous people and all people of color, queer people, disabled people, immigrants, refugees, people from any and all marginalized groups.
I think that systems of power — white supremacy, patriarchy, imperialism, etc – tremble in their boots when the reckoning comes. Brett Kavanaugh on the stand, angry, red in the face, defensive, stolen power crumbling. Not real power, but power over.
In my mind I am juxtaposing that kind of unearned power with the righteousness and true power that I feel standing firm in my bodily autonomy, claiming the right to my body, feeling pleasure in it, freedom with it.
Everyone should get to stand here. In the fulfillment of their power. Not the kind of power that takes from anyone else, but the kind of power that is about sovereignty. Sovereignty from the fucked up systems that take our power and give it to others. Or take others' power, and give it to us.
Releasing power that never belonged to us – that was stolen – is also an act of rebellion, resistance, empowerment and healing. Even cis white men can stand in their true power, without the cloak of patriarchy and white supremacy. This is true empowerment for all of us. And it’s an invitation. To throw down the cloak that tells anyone they can lord authority over anybody. See through that power, and pass it over in favor of what is real.
Our work starts with believing each other.