The competition over whose oppression is worse does not help. Suffering, at bottom, is the same regardless of why the suffering occurs. Pain is pain.

I won't speak about Black women's suffering on a daily basis--it is not my specific experience. My daily suffering is class-based. Nor will I write about the suffering of Brown women imprisoned in cages with their children. I have never had that much power stolen from me. I won't speak about the suffering of Brown or Black men--I do not carry the weight of our economy on my back. Instead, I read and believe what is written by those humans to understand their story. I do not need to be convinced that they suffer, however--that is a universal experience.

Severely imbalanced power relations--whether a result of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.--are the basis of all oppression and suffering. Here's a piece that describes how power functions between us:

None of this is the White two-step: to take the spotlight off the pain of so many Black women by making the experience of suffering generic. White people--especially academics--love to play in abstractions, where they don't have to feel, in their bodies, the pain of fellow humans they look down on. Instead, my work begins at the basis of everything: power relations. Those are what connect us all, regardless of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, or species. Still, I’m assuming we all want connection. I may be wrong about that.

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SF Bay Area critical researcher, creative, & cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project IG @dr.cbg

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