“So we heard the proposition last night, ‘We need to dismantle the United States.’ This sounds kind of preposterous and silly to most people but the question is, ‘Why? Why does it sound so absurd to say that we don’t want to live under a settler state founded on genocide and slavery?’ That the proposition seems silly shows the extent to which we have so completely normalized genocide that we cannot actually imagine a future without genocide.”—Andrea Smith, March 2011, at Critical Ethnic Studies and the Future of Genocide
“What is at stake for Native studies and critical race theory is that without the centring of the analysis of settler colonialism, both intellectual projects fall back on assuming the givenness of the white-supremacist, settler state. On the one hand, many racial-justice theorists and activists unwittingly recapitulate white supremacy by failing to imagine a struggle against white supremacy outside the constraints of the settler state, which is by definition white supremacist. On the other hand, Native scholars and activists recapitulate settler colonialism by failing to address how the logic of white supremacy may unwittingly shape our vision of sovereignty and self-determination in such a way that we become locked into a politics of recognition rather than a politics of liberation. We are left with a political project that can do no more than imagine a kinder, gentler settler state founded on genocide and slavery.”—Andrea Smith, Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy
“What was most disturbing to so many US citizens about the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center is that these attacks disrupted their sense of safety at "home." Terrorism is something that happens in other countries; our "home," the USA, is supposed to be a place of safety...the notion that terrorism happens in other countries makes it difficult to grasp that the United States is built on a history of genocide, slavery, and racism. Our "home" has never been a safe place for people of color. Because many mainstream feminist organizations are white-dominated, they often do not see themselves as potential victims in Bush's war in the US and abroad...Furthermore, many mainstream feminist organizations, particularly anti-violence organizations, have applauded the US attacks on Afghanistan for "liberating" Arab women from the repressive policies of the Taliban. Apparently, bombing women in Afghanistan somehow elevates their status...This support rests entirely on the problematic assumption that state violence can secure safety and liberation for women and other oppressed groups.”—Andrea Smith; Beyond the Politics of Inclusion: Violence Against Women of Color and Human Rights (2004)
“Rayna Green further elaborates that the current Indian "wannabe" phenomenon is based on a logic of genocide: non-Native peoples imagine themselves as the rightful inheritors of all that previously belonged to "vanished" Indians, this entitling them to ownership of this land. "The living performance of 'playing Indian' by non-Indian peoples depends upon the physical and psychological removal, even the death, of real Indians. In that sense, the performance, purportedly often done out of a stated and implicit love for Indians, is really the obverse of another well-known cultural phenomenon, 'Indian hating,' as most often expressed in another, deadly performance genre called 'genocide.' " After all, why would non-Native peoples need to play Indian-- which often includes acts of spiritual appropriation and land theft-- if they thought Indians were still alive and perfectly capable of being Indian themselves?”—
“Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy; Rethinking Women of Color Organizing”
“Adequate funding for indigenous-controlled programs and services [for survivors of violence] is not a privilege for States to curtail in times of economic crises. Rather, as international human rights law dictates, states are mandated to address the continuing effects of human rights violations. Hence, the United States violates international human rights law when it de-funds anti-violence programs.”—Andrea Smith; Beyond the Politics of Inclusion: Violence Against Women of Color and Human Rights (2004)
“...indigenous peoples from Bolivia stated that they know another world is possible because they see that world whenever they do their ceremonies. Native ceremonies can be a place where the present, past and future become copresent. This is what Native Hawaiian scholar Manu Meyer calls a racial remembering of the future" ”—Indigenous Feminism without Apology by Andrea Smith https://unsettlingamerica.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/indigenous-feminism-without-apology/
If we lived differently before, we can live differently in the future.
“If we critically assess the assumptions behind both positions, it is clear that these camps are more similar than they are different. As I have argued, they both assume a criminal justice regime for adjudicating reproductive issues (although they may differ as to which women should be subjected to this regime). Neither position endows women with inherent rights to their body—the pro-life position pits fetal rights against women’s rights whereas the pro-choice position argues that women should have freedom to make choices rather than possess inherent rights to their bodies regardless of their class standing. They both support positions that reinforce racial and gender hierarchies that marginalize women of color. The pro-life position supports a criminalization approach that depends on a racist political system that will necessarily impact poor women and women of color who are less likely to have alternative strategies for addressing unwanted pregnancies. Meanwhile, the pro-choice position often supports population control policies and the development of dangerous contraceptives that are generally targeted toward communities of color. And both positions do not question the capitalist system—they focus solely on the decision of whether or not a woman should have an abortion without addressing the economic, political, and social conditions that put women in this position in the first place.”—
Excerpt from “Beyond Pro-Choice Versus Pro-Life: Women of Color and Reproductive Justice” by Andrea Smith.
*Pregnant people, not just women. I think this quote is incredibly important because it addresses the fact that neither the antichoice position nor the mainstream prochoice position spearheaded by capital “f” Feminists and wealthy white women challenge the status quo. Ultimately we have become complacent to the anti-woman, anti-child, anti-family policies put in place by Republicans and Democrats alike. We’ve become resigned to the fact that the Hyde Amendment is the norm despite the fact that it effectively makes “choice” unobtainable for many poor pregnant people and pregnant people of color. We are working within the current capitalist, political paradigm rather than demanding more. And lastly, we are framing a life and death debate with the rhetoric of “choice” rather than “rights.”
Totally cried in my Feminist Theory class today.
We were having a discussion about the Prison Industrial Complex and it brought up a bunch of different emotions and it all just sort of spilled out of me.
We really need more people to talk about how prisons (at least in the US) have become industries, and capitalism turns people into commodities (especially women and people of color) and how the prison system as we know it is basically legalized slave labor. And by destroying communities of color and families through criminalization, prisons perpetuate institutions of racism and sexism and classism.
And we also need to talk about how violence is socially constructed, and how violence is state-sanctioned, and how we can’t entrust prisons with the responsibility of working toward ending violence or solving human rights issues because prisons perpetuate and thrive on violence and human rights violations.
And we really need to talk about how prison alienates families and communities as a whole, not just prisoners themselves, by tearing them apart.
And how the prison system is fucking cyclical because they’re lauded for being “CORRECTIONAL” facilities, but they don’t actually fucking do anything to rehabilitate or give resources to people who are imprisoned, so when they get out of prison, they have to go back to whatever means necessary it takes to support and care for their families.
All of this is really disjointed and I’m rambling, but I’m just really UGH upset right now. I called my papa as soon as I got out of class and started crying all over again, telling him that I was angry because I wanted him to be with us, but that the problem was too complicated to say that it was all his fault, and that I never thought less of him for going to prison, and I never would, and that I love him, and that I was sorry for the kinds of things he had to go through in prison.
And I can’t stop thinking about this RUDE douchebag who was in one of my classes in high school and how he said that all prisoners should be executed, because if people knew they would die, they wouldn’t break the law. And there’s SO MUCH FUCKING WRONG WITH THAT and I just really hate the world today.