A room full of people of all different backgrounds, shapes, colors, races, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, locations, levels of knowledge, access to information and resources, different abilities, different genders and gender expressions, relationship statuses, sexuality, various levels of privilege and intersections of oppression, differently abled and neurologically diverse… Imagine it. The only thing they all have in common is the understanding that none of us are free until all of us are free! That’s it. Intersectionality.
Some speak well in front of people and are good at getting people to understand their point of view and perspective.
Some are good at dissecting and disseminating the information and knowledge that may be useful to others to know and understand.
Some are good at seeing the BIG picture and how all the different points interconnect and intersect to form the large problem.
Some are good at taking a deeper dive into the weeds of those different problem areas; most problems are multifaceted and do not have one simple cause and effect.
Some are amazing at giving love and encouragement and seeing what someone can be and what talents they have.
Some are good at sharing the information that they are learning and connecting with others.
Some are good at organizing and delegating to make something happen; events, campaigns, initiatives, fundraisers, educational endeavors.
Some are good at wrangling people and getting them to listen.
Some are good at getting people to feel and care.
Some are good in person.
Some are better behind the scenes (or the screen).
Some are (kinda sorta) good at all of these things but not amazing at any one.
Some are good at different times on different days depending on the circumstances.
The point is, EVERYONE has something they can contribute to the larger goal of freedom — LIBERATION! Because like Dr. King said, “none of us are free until we all are free.”
Hannah Drake wrote beautifully about the nature of a revolution saying, “The body cannot function as a unit if every part is the hand. So, find your part in the body of justice” in her essay This is not YOUR Revolution, So Please Stop Trying to Own It.
So, no. I don’t want to hear from someone they can’t door knock when my life is on the line. My freedom is at stake. My humanity is the price of your complacency. Your apathy will contribute to my metaphysical internment.
We can’t all be the hand, and that is ok! If we all were the hand, what about the rest of the body? How is the hand getting blood? Who is the heart? Who is the brain? Who is the right lung? The left lung? The body is 90% water. Who is the water? Water is life.
Even all the major organs are made up of several different parts that serve different functions.
Each of us can and should be playing a different role and even fighting on different fronts if we want to achieve liberation for everyone. We are collectively waking up to the fact that the system is broken. The body is battered and bruised and on its last leg. But I’m here for this. I’m good at finding what’s broken and how it got that way. I’m decent at explaining why it’s broken and needs fixing. I am a human being whose body is repeatedly battered and bruised, but I am here for this! What about you? What are you here for?