Notes on Oppression and the Marginalized

When White, Western leftist and anarchist activists claim that their oppression at the hands of the capitalist system and the resulting “class division” means that their experiences with “oppression” are equal with that of the Kurdish people and other colonized people.

When leftist and anarchist activists demonstrate zero awareness of the intersectionality of race, religion, culture, genocides, historical contexts, imperialism and colonialism, and the resulting unequal access to privilege and power and erase the specific experiences of oppressed people like the Kurds because they see “solidarity” to mean a homogenization of the experiences of colonized people to reflect their world views and realities based on their relatively privileged experiences.

When pro-environmentalist and ecological activists demand to know why the rebuilding of our war shattered cities do not involve the use of recycled plastic bottles or the latest eco-friendly architectural designs produced by famous millionaire architects in California without realizing that we actually need to build our houses and cities with heavy concrete to protect us against the constantly falling bombs and missiles; When the burden is placed on war-torn communities with devastated economies to be radically ecological and implement the latest state of the art ecological methods without realizing that desperate people need to urgently rebuild their homes so their children will not freeze in winter.

When privileged and white people claiming to be in solidarity with us but demand to speak for us and about us without awareness of essential historical facts and contexts and respond to our protests that we should be happy that anyone is taking the time to speak about us. When they fail to realize that genuine solidarity is ethical, humane, involves listening and never, ever, ever speaking over marginalized people when they speak about their experiences and their struggles. When they claim that they know the solution to our liberation better than us, having never lived a second of our experiences. When the price of their solidarity means absolute gratitude on our part and never voicing any critical comments demanding a more self aware form of solidarity from them.

When solidarity from Western groups and so called allies means a demand on our part to show a servile level of gratitude and deference to these voices requiring a silencing of our own voices and that of our own activists. When our capacity as rational, capable agents of change and progress in our own lives are erased and silenced by such “activism” towards us.

When individual “activists” come to places like Rojava and Kobane and demand to be fed, housed, provided with translators and extremely limited resources, transports, access to institutions, people and organisations simply because they are “curious” about us Kurds, but actually do not have any funds, do not have any concrete skills that can be of use to us, do not know/won’t do the work necessary to determine how they can be of use to the marginalized people they are fascinated with and see simply as a tool for their own individual curiosities.

When individual activists come to Kobane and have been a total and utter resource drain on an already war shattered and traumatized community and provide zero help during their stay and after their departure.

When ignorant representations of activism from leftist, anarchist, feminist, western, white allies only serves to dehumanize us further, silence and marginalize us further, disconnect us further, and demonstrate to us that our oppressions and violences are appropriated to serve their own specific political agendas.

When Western activists won’t do the intellectual and ideological work necessary to demonstrate effective, necessary, appropriate solidarity that reduces our burdens rather than add to our experiences of frustration and further marginalization.

When we keep going, keep believing, speaking and living, acting, breathing, sacrificing and losing our best and brightest due to our belief in a radically different form of co-existence even as your cause, your struggle and your pain, and your people’s plight is erased, marginalized, questioned and ridiculed by groups who should be your most natural allies.

When being self critical, unlearning and removing racism, misogyny, and other efforts towards PoC to prevent dehumanizing and Orientalist practices towards marginalized communities like the Kurds are lacking from leftist groups claiming to be in solidarity with us;

When you experience more racism and sexism from leftist groups than right wing conservatives.

When uneducated, uncritical leftist solidarity means that the feelings of relatively privileged white, western activists, most often men, are more important than the actual daily experiences of violence and the subsequent opinions of deeply oppressed people like the Kurds, especially Kurdish women.

When you point out these factors and get called a racist and anti-White without the basic realization that marginalized people cannot be racist as racism requires access to power+privilege, something which we obviously lack.

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