Dear Women of Color,
You are seen as "Minority" women, but there is nothing minor about you.
It is 1 a.m. on the Friday morning (Thursday night?) after the election, and I cannot sleep.
Like many of us in this country, I am still in a state of shock. I feel like a part of me that I cannot get back has been shattered--perhaps the hopeful part? Perhaps the part of me that deluded myself into thinking I fit into this country, that I belong, that my existence is valued?
It is not easy to be a women of color. We are born facing double oppressions--both our race and our gender put us in the "inferior" category. We are not given the same advantages as white men who are born in this country--we are forced to fight every day to prove to them and to the rest of America that we smart, that we are brave, that we have the right to exist.
And prove we have. We have fought all the odds against us. We have resisted again and again the sexism and racism that has wedged its' way into our everyday lives.
I know all of us are struggling right now. I could continue, but I will instead let some of my favorite authors say what I am thinking.
The following 13 quotes are for all of you. They are for Muslim women, Black women, Latina women, Asian women--for all the women of color who are fearful right now to walk on the street, to go to work, to go to school. You are loved.
1.“You cannot use someone else’s fire, you can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe you have it.” --Audre Lorde
2. “I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to better.” –Frida Kahlo
4. "There are no degrees of human freedom or human dignity. Either a man [woman] respects another as a person or he does not." --Anonymous
5. “Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that—I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much—so very much to learn.” –Sylvia Plath
6. "Take a day to heal from the lies you have told yourself and the ones that have been told to you." --Maya Angelou
7. "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired." --Fannie Lou Hamer
9. “I’m not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.” --John Stewart
10. "The woman who doesn't need validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet."--Mohadesa Najumi.
12. "Women come from a whole range of backgrounds. If our visions of peace don’t include these differences, then our peace will be partial.”--Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
13. "If I don’t love myself, I won’t survive.”--Lisa Lopes