May 27, 2017 6 min to read
A Letter For My Raging Sisters
Category : Diaspora
“It’s the hinge that squeaks that gets the grease” – Malcolm X
I am angry. Although probably not for the very same reasons as you are, but for many which are a result of systems and structures created to keep people like us oppressed. Every day, I have power removed from me. I have to deal with racism, sexism, misogyny, and a whole full circle of blatant ignorance from peers. At work, it’s the white man, and the white system. A white system, that proclaims its diversity, yet keeps those that are diverse at the lowest ranks. A system, where a mediocre white male can use my work as his own, and tell me I have a much longer way to go. A system where when a racialized person finally breaks through, but then are bullied, and not treated as an equal. I have to witness people of colour being belittled every day because that’s what whiteness does. Whiteness uses you to your advantage, to talk to your people, but needs you to be quiet when in the presence of whiteness. As if this whiteness has even created anything that hasn’t been built on the backs of Indigenous and Racialized people. I call bullshit. I can go on about how this enrages me, but I think my very existence breaking whiteness in spaces exclusively for whites enrages them, and for that I thrive.
TO THE PIECE OF SHIT TAMIL MAN: To the Tamils that support the struggle, yet want to exploit Tamil women, or better yet all women. Yes, I am calling you on your bullshit. Do not use the struggle as a platform for cowardness when it comes to women.
TO THE PRIVILEGED TAMIL: Whiteness is not only perpetuated by the white man, heck Tamil people try to accustom to it. Let’s bring up the educated, class privilege holding TamilThe Tamil that has so called made it, but made it by distancing themselves from their very being and identity. The Tamil that strives to achieve whiteness, and believes they have to by treating their very own as immoral, and below them. The Tamil that has yet to realize that no matter how close they get to whiteness, even if they are the boss, one day they will be confused as a custodian or the secretary of their own workers. This is the Tamil that rages me. The Tamil that calls out Tamils that protested because it makes them look bad, but you know the death of hundreds of thousands of Tamil people is fine. The Tamil that says well both sides did wrong, yet fails to acknowledge the history of oppression that even manifested an arms struggle. This is the Tamil that says everything’s better there now, we can plant trees to unite. This is the Tamil that organizes events for reconciliation, without the understanding that reconciliation can only occur when those with power understand the oppression that has manifested, and make a commitment to work towards uplifting those that have been affected for years with equitable policies. Oh also, fuck your reconciliation. Your tea and coffee greeting for reconciliation has not stopped a Tamil woman from being raped by the Sri Lankan police force, a Haitian woman from being sold into a sex ring created by Sri Lankan peacekeepers nor has it solved years of oppression and genocide. So to this Tamil, I do not hate you because you are as much a victim to this whiteness as we all are, but I also encourage you to read. Please. Educate yourself. Do not speak on behalf of a community that you do not reflect. We’re all struggling here, but not to achieve whiteness like you are.
Let’s however not confuse this Tamil, with one that has distanced themselves from the community due to harm, violence and struggle. To those Tamil’s we owe a great deal of understanding, support and recognition of our failures as a community.
TO THE PIECE OF SHIT TAMIL MAN: To the Tamils that support the struggle, yet want to exploit Tamil women, or better yet all women. Yes, I am calling you on your bullshit. Do not use the struggle as a platform for cowardness when it comes to women. These are the type of men that preach resistance in the community against state intervention in Sri Lanka, yet want to make decisions about my body and how I act and dress in public. This is the Tamil man that has to appear to be asexual and as if he has no desires or feelings towards women, but in private continues to destroy the very souls of women that are my sisters. Your justice is bullshit. There is no justice for Tamil’s without understanding that women are the very core of this struggle. Women have birthed the freedom fighters, they have cooked and cleaned, and they have even sought after to protect these type of men all in the name of community. So fuck you, and fuck your entitled male privilege. I understand that you are broken, but do not break us women to try to fix yourself. Break the system of toxic masculinity that has made you this way. Until this is undone, no woman will feel safe to work in the struggle, and put her name behind something that continues to hurt so many of those she knows. Be the change, act on this when you see it, or become complicit to continually being violent towards the very people you are trying to liberate.
FOR MY TAMIL SISTERS: I am broken. I am broken when I hear the struggles of so many of you that continue to be impacted by violence. I am in pain when I think of how many of you continue to endure abuse that you think you deserve. I am sad at this world that has made you think that you are worthless and that no one can love you the way you deserve to be loved. I am directing my rage at the world for you. I am directing my rage at these systems. I however, need you. I need you to see you are loved. I need you to see you are worthy. I need you to see the strength of our ancestors that have built for us, the women who have raised us and the grandmothers that have survived tough times. This world tells us to think we are incompetent, second guess ourselves and always live in fear. What we have always been taught is that we need a man. Here is my message to you. We do not need men. We can create revolutions on our own. We can create organizations for us that work through our principles and establish spaces where we can also begin talking about the liberation. Our biggest mistake is believing that we are invaluable. We are worthy, and we can make change. We can build together systems that work to lift our sisters higher, and work to build each one of us up. We do not need to view each other as competition, but rather navigators available to each other. Let those who agree with organizations such as these, join us. We do not want to completely alienate men, but allow those to assist us that respect us the ways we will learn to respect ourselves.
To those that are reading that disagree with me. I’m ready for your criticism; however you will not be prepared for the educating that will come for you when you question me. Also this wasn’t for you, this was for my raging Tamil sisters.