Hello! Reflections from you friendly neighborhood South Asian QWOC and daughter of immigrant parents
I am beginning a blog of essays where I share what I learn about oppression. The issues I cover may be obvious to some but useful to others who wish to eradicate oppression and find resources to help them do so. The inspirations for this blog are the allies who want to learn how to be better, the trolls who play devil’s advocate, immigrant parents, friends who deserve better, strangers who deserve better, and myself. We all deserve to grow and be better to ourselves and each other.
Keep in mind that this is the result of me learning and I am by no means done learning by posting these essays. As Paulo Freire believed, radical education requires that we do not see the world as divided into teachers and students, but rather that we all can learn from each other. I welcome comments and hopefully even response essays to develop a dialogue. I look forward to learning from you.
I do not go outside anymore, even for my birthday. But I still had plans. I opened a Google doc and took notes as I watched Abolition and Liberation: A conversation with Angela Davis and Jamal Juma’. Both spoke about the need for international solidarity as the Black and Palestinian communities fight eerily similar forms of oppression. Both are hopeful that abolition of rotten systems and institutions is possible. Both are realistic in expressing that freedom is not declared in a day; freedom is labored over by all of us through various processes. Davis had already convinced me in Freedom is a Constant Struggle. You cannot reform structures that are oppressive to their core.
As each day passes, it is increasingly questionable to larger swathes of America whether we live in a democracy, or more accurately, whether we ever lived in a democracy. As each year passes, I learn more about the oppression of Black and indigenous folx in this country. I have learned more in the last three years than I had ever learned before in my life. In a way, yes, it is embarrassing, but I am a product of a system that has colluded to provide a redacted education. But rather than being embarrassed by exposure of how little I know, I now welcome it. These are moments to grow and become better, even if it stings at first. As someone I spoke to earlier this week eloquently put it: “we will learn until the day we die.”
Perhaps if education were not as flawed, more students would have grown up seeing the unifying thread between slavery, Jim Crow, and deadly structural racism in our present day. The Case for Reparations has been made.
I am a law student who was motivated to go to law school in order to make the legal system more accessible to the communities I grew up around. Communities that did not have family lawyers or resources and are generally scared of the legal system. As a law student, I am increasingly learning how far removed the legal field is from movements. Lawyers are trained to have allegiance to the law, not people. Legal analysis is devoid of social context; at least that is how it is taught. As someone who wants to support movements and activists, law has not felt like the space for me. I feel more distanced from movements than I have been in the past. With this blog, I hope to be in touch with movements, even from my room, and make my education more accessible to those who do not enjoy the same privileges I enjoy in being able to invest time and money into a legal education.
As I learned in the webinar, freedom is a process. Dismantling each tool, each reason, that allows oppression to survive through generations, will be a process. I hope to explore these questions through more posts so that I am held accountable in continuing my education. I hope that the resources I refer and link to are useful to others. I hope we continue growing and learning until the day we die.