It’s possible to feel so powerless, so confused by injustice, that you just don’t have the words to express the frustration and deep sadness running through your blood.
This is something that anti domestic violence advocates deal with on a daily basis. We live in this confusing and sometimes isolating space. We see the results of oppression when we sit with survivors of domestic violence. We know how unfair and perverse domestic violence is. So much so that part of doing anti-DV work is building the strength to sit with that knowledge, while doing the best we can to fight the injustices that so many of our program participants experience. It can be one of the hardest parts of this work.
Of course, there is a correlation between racism and domestic violence, it’s just one of the countless intersections that make this work so complicated. For instance, we know that African American women experience domestic violence are alarming rates. In fact, one statistic tells us that African American women expierence domestic violence at 22 times the rate of (cisgender) women of other races. How can we not explore the intersections between the caterstrophic rates of domestic violence and state violence against African Americans?
Like many of you, we struggle, are struggling and have struggled with the all-important question–WHAT CAN WE DO TO STOP THIS??? How can we best respond to the injustice and state sanctioned murder of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and countless other African Americans?
blacklivesmatter has been a source of dis/comfort in the past couple of weeks. A comfort because there are groups of people joining a MOVEMENT to end racist violence. They are doing something, speaking out and up, being a part of a critical mass for equality and accountability. The response is an empowering endeavor in an otherwise disempowering situation.
The site is discomforting because seeing statistic after statistic, story after story and statement after statement that outlines the realness of racism in this country is nothing short of heartbreaking.
Let’s all at least consider what WE can do here…can we educate ourselves? Can we join the movement? Can we become self-aware enough to admit and be mindful of our prejudices? The answers are personal; the personal is political.
blacklivesmatter has some tangible readings and suggested activities that can help. It’s an offered start in the process.