Notes on Place
November 10th, 2016
This inaugural issue of What Fresh Witch Is This? is about place. In considering place as an actual quantity, a physical location and a lived reality, Alex and I have had unique experiences. I’m a dual Canadian and American citizen. I’ve lived in cities across Canada and Australia, lived out some of the most formative years of my life in New York City, and now I’ve found myself in London, England. Alex is a Canadian, who moved to London for a significant period of learning and growing before recently returning to Canada after coming up against the border control powers that be.
I want to say this about place. In each of the places I have called home, racism, transphobia, xenophobia, and hatred have had a continued presence. These forces are not new. People of color, especially women of color, queer people, indigenous populations, disabled people, and those whose identities exist across these spheres, have confronted oppression always, and constantly.
In Britain and in America, this has been a loud and aggressive year for white supremacy. It has been a loud year for misogyny. With this in mind, I want to say this, too, about place: it is not just the responsibility of those who are being oppressed to stand and say, “these are my streets, this is my home, I belong here.”
As white women who are feminists, we want to urge our those in a similar position of privilege: wherever you are in the world, stand with people of color, LGBTQ+ people, Muslims, disabled people, and indigenous people, and affirm: “This place is yours. This place belongs to you, and I will fight with you now and always.”
What follows is not a comprehensive list of resources. Find more to read, find more to do. If you feel like you don’t have enough information on a particular issue, speak to friends who you think might be able to direct you to learning material, or search university and organization pages. Use what you learn to educate other white people. Challenge people productively and pass information on to family and friends that need to hear it.
Resources for learning about white supremacy and the oppression of black people:
Reading lists for white feminists to comprehendintersectionality and inclusion:
This recent Ted talk from Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw is an excellent place to start:
Reading lists onissues confronting trans people:
Resources on issues faced by indigenous communities:
Resources on Muslims in America and Islamophobia:
Donate, volunteer, follow and participate in action. Show up, show support, and listen. Encourage your friends to do the same.:
Resources on how to intervene in hate crime:
This is work. Be alert. Stay involved. Pay attention to laws and legislation being quietly introduced that you can take action to intervene in. Read constantly and read widely. Educate others. Build fighting back into your daily schedule. Using all of the resources at your disposal, make certain that wherever you live, whatever place you call home, you are affirming each and every day that that place is for people of color, it is for LGBTQ+ people, it is for disabled people and for migrants: it is for diversity.