As CODA chair and a student organizer, I am going to be very honest. People of color and other marginalized folks need to stop trying to educate their privileged counterparts. We do not need to prove to them why racism, sexism, homophobia and class struggles exist. The symbolic rise of Trump to power shows that these insidious ideologies are very much alive and they have and will continue to structure, the social and political arenas of America for years to come.
As a queer man of color, I do not feel the need to justify to straight white men the reason why POC needed a separate space to heal amongst each other. I do not feel that I need to explain why marginalized folks wanting a separate space to process the election was not segregation. The reality is that we just do not have time to explain ourselves, because the years to come will be a fight to preserve our voices, our mental health and even our lives. More than ever it time for those who live on the margins to care about themselves and their communities, because on Nov. 9, 2016, America basically said they do not care about us.
I am writing this article for oppressed groups, and I want to say: you matter. Your voice matters your dreams and aspirations for a better world matters. More than ever we are going to have to prove ourselves in the face of adversity and pain. Some of us will feel invalidated and unloved, but there is no mistake that love is around us. You have a community of people who care and cherish you, and like you, dream of a better future. The recent result of the election did not kill those dreams, it just made us realize that we have to fight harder than before to make them a reality.
We need to infiltrate—we need to take over Academia, the arts, institutions like government, schools and medicine to create a paradigm shift. To change this economy of hate and violence to one of love, empathy and compassion. But before we do that, we need to be healthy and take care of ourselves so that we can get our degrees which will enable us to create change. It is OK to grieve and be angry, but the way in which we harness that rage and anger can be through our talents and a burning desire to envision a new world. But before we do that, let us reflect, love, learn to navigate the structures that oppress us. Audre Lorde once said that “The master’s tools cannot dismantle the master’s house.” But the slave built the master’s house and regardless of popular belief, slaves have minds of their own. America has become a plantation for marginalized bodies. We can alter those tools beyond recognition, and then it will be possible for the master’s house to be dismantled. We can do it!