As we all work to create just communities, we must think deeply and critically so our visions are of freedom.
One way we are asked to support other groups is through endorsing actions and events. As each of us in our autonomy reflect on how deeply we have internalized colonization, we are challenged to consider the broader implications of endorsements. Respectfully, the following shares where we are in our process of learning.
Endorsements vs. Collaboration
Endorsement is a capitalist tool used by corporations and political institutions. These are the very institutions we seek to dismantle, and using their tools implies that the power rightfully belongs to them instead of to the people.
There will be times when things like distance make it so endorsements are the only way we are able to support each other in a timely fashion. However, within our local communities, we have the opportunity to share knowledge and move forward in unity. It is in our best interest to take advantage of this proximity to each other.
A key aspect of (un)Occupy’s organizing is the practice of full consensus in our collective decisions. Part of the work of finding consensus among ourselves is an emphasis on relationships and shared power. We seek to engage with the wider community by striving to prioritize relationships as fundamental to decolonial work. If, from the beginning, we have all voices at the table, we can create rather than take power, and commit to sustainable community.
Our hope is that all of us together can and will expand our relationship-building, co-organizing, and sharing of resources. In this way, we envision and practice what we would ideally want for ourselves and our communities.
Hate is the child of racism, misogyny, homophobia, and colonialism—not the parent… *
Hate, in a political context, reduces complex and overlapping structures of oprpression, marginalization, criminalization, and violence to a single notion, diminishing the struggle for liberation and freedom. Hate masks structural problems as individual choices or psychological conditions. We are steadily working to expand our understanding of hate, and we currently comprehend hate as a symptom of bigger problems that have been historically and structurally cultivated.
(un)Occupy Albuquerque recognizes that the “March and Rally to Unite against Hate” on February 21 is a way forward for many people and groups. As for us, it is not hate we oppose, but the very systems and social dynamics that see any person of color as a violent threat, as disposable, and as less than fully human. Focusing on hate collapses these issues into a single problem; it assumes that if we could all just get along, misogynist, racist, and colonial systems would cease to exist on their own.
For instance, the state uses (racial) hate and hate crime to silence dissent. As an example, New Mexico has considered prosecuting attacks against police officers as hate crimes. While hate crime charges have also been imposed on those who attacked queer people or religious minorities, “hate” as a category is overwhelmingly used to dismiss the legitimate anger that racialized and colonized people feel towards white supremacy and settler colonialism.
Lastly, and most importantly, focusing on anti-hate allows us to ignore our own internal struggles with racism, patriarchy and everything that colonization brings with it. Through observation and experience, we have learned that when white supremacy and patriarchy are called out within the progressive movement, hate has been expressed freely and without interruption.
It is not our place to try and alter the vision behind this March Against Hate. We simply find that we are unable to unite with it. We want to acknowledge the heartfelt labor that goes into organizing a big event, and we respect the variety of tactics organizations find useful in our collective struggles.
(un)Occupy Albuquerque, Feb. 2016
(written by collective process and approved by consensus)
*This framing is inspired by (and paraphrased from) Ta-Nehisi Coates’ statement: “Race is the child of racism, not the father.”