Funny (not.) how although coming from an oppressed speaking position, we constantly have to turn down offers to ‘speak’, in order to not entirely corrupt what it is we’re working for:
an equal ground.
Most events, also those which revolve around power structures, ‘post’colonialism etc. as a subject, reproduce precisely the oppressive structures that are keeping us from ‘speaking’ (being heard, understood, able to share thoughts without having to bend ourselves or our content to appease the oppressive perspective, also, without having to anticipate repressions for voicing factual truths, and an absence of micro and macro abuse for existing in the place). So we are asked to negotiate [our] humanity in a colonial framework in which colonial positions are reaffirmed and re-staged over and over again. We are asked to serve interests and answer questions that are not and have never been our own. To explain, so that other people’s PhD’s can be done and their anthologies published, without the slightest necessity for them to possess any practical understanding of the effects of their own colonial hierarchies.
It is not theory. None of it is. It is a life live experience. It takes cynicism and vulgarity to consider our struggles, our survival strategies, our fights, our analyses primarily a ‘topic’, ‘field of study’ or ‘case made’. It takes a supremacist’s conviction to believe an engagement on such agendas to be a favour for us or it to be ‘in our own interest’ to attend anything because it is remotely mentioning or discussing Blackness or equality. Assuming what is our own interest in general. It is a sign of disrespect, privilege, and limited consciousness (single-consciousness) to not have any constraint when asking us to be of use, serve, collaborate in an endeavour in which other people study, discuss or negotiate our own lives and history.
It is just so very casually custom.