Some thoughts about INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence…

In the writings section I’ve just uploaded a college reflection paper, in which I wrote about an INCITE! event I had attended back in 2005 (in New Orleans, before Katrina…), but more broadly about the perspective that I had about INCITE! as an organization at that time.

I wanted to share this with folks because on this blog, but even more in emailing with some blog readers, I’ve been thinking a lot about questions of identity-based politics and identity-based spaces within revolutionary politics. I do not think that the INCITE! paper reflects all of my current thinking about either the organization or the larger questions, but I do think it is provocative.

In our class the other day we were having a discussion about the N-word and who is allowed to say it, and who isn’t. In the class, some of our students showed a clip from a documentary called “The N-Word,” and in it Chris Rock makes an observation about how white people are often so intent on their right to say it, precisely BECAUSE it is the one thing that white people are not allowed to say. I think the point holds so much truth, and I think it’s just one example of entitlement around privilege (think also about men demanding, every year, to march in some Take Back The Night! marches…I know that it’s different from the N-word, especially thinking about trans folks and about male survivors of sexual violence, but among some males I think there is an entitlement thing going on around the demand to march). I recognized then in writing the piece and now still that entitlement plays a part in my own reflections on INCITE!, but I really do think my thinking and feelings go deeper than that in this case. I genuinely want to be a part of a large revolutionary organization with deep, complex anti-authoritarian politics. I believe my radical work would be so much stronger if it was linked in a structure with other like minded folks. It makes me sad that I don’t have that kind of group right now.

I have a right to that sadness, while I also have the responsibility to join with folks to do something about it…

…which means MARCHING INTO INCITE! MEETINGS AND DEMANDING THAT THEY LET ME JOIN!!! SI SE PUEDE, SI SE PUEDE!!!…

…no, of course not. It means organizing with other anti-racist white folks, other feminist men, etc…to try to build supporting radical structures that are actually worth the time and energy of groups like INCITE! to work with us. The burden is on the privileged to build new organizing structures, and to transcend old, unworkable models of “allyship” and “solidarity.”

…Which is something I’ll be blogging further about in coming days. In the meantime, check out the piece in the writing section.

PS Had another staff meeting today. Things are still a big mess. All bets are off. The decision has been postponed until next Tuesday. I’m so sick of waiting…I’m just moving forward as if we don’t have a job there, and maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s more important to work with the students and help them build their initiative and structures until the end of the year. And so that’s what we’ll keep doing.

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi