We Can Think Now and Act

I’ve been using a part of the RC women’s draft policy to think about the U.S. presidential election: “We can give up acting like victims by discharging the feelings of powerlessness that were systematically installed on us as children. We can assist each other to reclaim our power and assume our rightful places as leaders of our own liberation struggle, and of the world.”

Our task is to end the actual oppressive practices, not just blame those who are in oppressive roles. We also need to determine what is really oppressive in the present. Most of us were victimized again and again as small children. We became used to feeling oppressed and can feel that way at any time.

If someone does something that feels hurtful to me, it is not always oppression. An ally might seem oppressive when she or he is actually being helpful. (It’s also true that many people do not intend to be oppressive but are, and that even if they don’t feel like they are, it is useful for them to discharge on it.)

Those of us in targeted groups need to discharge where we feel victimized, so that we can act with understanding, power, and accuracy. I think it will be most useful to discharge from the perspective of taking “our rightful places as leaders of our own liberation struggle, and of the world”—from a place of knowing that we are not powerless now, that we can think now and act.

Sparky Griego

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of women

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00