Your Silence Will Not Protect You- Audre Lorde

So I’ve been trying to find poets, and womanists, and literature all pertaining to black feminism and I think the one phrase that has been coming up over and over is this one

Your Silence Will Not Protect You

And I thought that through my blog I would explore what this means to women, men, minorities, handicapped, people of color EVERYONE that is oppressed by anything be it sizism, racism, ageism, homophobia, classism….the list goes on. Alot of the time we think that if we ignore a problem it will go away. Some people even think that if they are not completely aware of the problem it doesn’t exist….WRONG.

When it comes to oppression, ignoring a problem just means that it either gets worse or nothing changes. For instance alot of women in this country (U.S)  think that women are now equal as a direct result hardly anyone demands equal pay for equal work anymore. Its a fact that white women make 77 on the dollar, black women make 70cents on the dollar and Hispanic women make 56cents on the dollar. (Segue: my sister is a black woman who pretends that she is spanish…i wonder how much money SHE is making on the dollar lol) With this being factual can we really say that women are equal to men? Another example: Alot of black people think that we are in a post racist society yet we see billboards with pictures of little black girls exclaiming ” the most dangerous place in the world for an African American is in the womb” which says deplorable things about black women. We have instances like Jena 6, not to mention the nazi and klan inspired “border control”. We get too comfortable in our little lives and forget that just becasue we can vote as women, or just because someone isnt screaming nigger at us and threatening to burn out houses down DOESNT mean that the problem is solved. Ignoring the oppression you face doesnt help you, doesnt make it go away and it certainly doesnt help anyone else in your race or gender or ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Willful ignorance doesnt save you either. Honestly I am so disgusted with people who dont want to learn about their history. You say hey did you hear about that woman that….and they go no and I dont want to hear about it…It pisses me off to know that people refuse to hear about the goings on in the world just to avoid being “sad” or being a “downer”. And this is ALOT OF PEOPLE! they are in the same boat with the people that don’t bother voting…they think that nothing else in the world has to do with them, that what they do or dont do has no affect on anyone but themselves…..willful ignorance. If they keep their head down and mind their own then they are untouchable….thats all cute and good until they lift their heads to find out that some of their personal liberties have been taken away from them while they were so busy staying out of the way. And what they believed was a personal right was under attack for years and they never stood for or against it and VIOLA! not its gone…Your silence will not protect you, if you believe in something and you dont vote about it, speak up about it, you dont act on it then you believe in it for NO REASON. If you believe in something half assedly you mind as well not believe in it at all because when something happens to test that belief and you go with the majority in the opposite direction or you go with no one (which by default means you go with the majority) then your screwing yourself.

Your not protected when you dont speak, or you dont take a stand on an issue one way or the other. Your just lame, wishy washy, indecisive, and ignorant. Activism is not jsut for you, its for everyone like you. Anyone who believes something , really believes it acts on it. Even stupid people….so while the Sarah Palin’s of the world are standing up for what they believe in the potential Martin LutherKings and Susan B. and Alice Walkers are trying to stay out of the way. Get some fight in you.Use your voice.

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2 thoughts on “Your Silence Will Not Protect You- Audre Lorde

  1. Thanks for the thoughtful post. If you’re on FaceBook, please visit the page on the newest film about Audre Lorde: Audre Lorde-The Berlin Years. The film, produced by activist and author, Dagmar Schultz, draws on previously unreleased film, interviews and photographs of and about Audre while she was being treated for her cancer in Berlin. There is also a web site, http://www.audrelorde-theberlinyears.com.

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