Wake Up Call


If the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing is your wake up call, I’m so sorry. 

I feel so much for all survivors, and for those who hoped that maybe things would be better this time. For those who thought that maybe because this time, because a privileged white woman spoke up, she would be heard.

It sucks when that hope is taken away from you.

If this was your wake up call, I’m here for you. You’re a little late to the party, and there’s a lot to catch up on. But if you’re feeling lost, I’m here.

I want you to know first and foremost: nothing could’ve been done differently. There was nothing Dr. Ford could’ve said or not said to change this outcome. This is not about individual failing. This is a system, and it’s working just the way it was built to.

It may be hard to see if you haven’t been looking. It may be hard to grasp if you can see it now, because it’s so vast and perverse. I know. It’s a lot. But I want you to start here with this truth: this is real. We built this world.

The second thing I want you to do, is know this: white women, we are a tool, not a player, and we have been used to build this system over and over again.

We have ignored people of color over and over again in the pursuit of our own humanity, and we have reckoning to do. This is not an easy pill to swallow, but it’s the truth, and that’s what you need right now.

We have delighted in our small privileges. We have been given just enough crumbs to think that we are being fed. But we are being kept. Docile. Courteous. Complacent. Complicit.

Now, I want you to read this, and sit with it. Feel it. Know it. Breathe it in.

(1981) Audre Lorde, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed

In June 1981, Audre Lorde gave the keynote presentation at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Storrs, Connecticut. Her presentation appears below. Racism. The belief in the inherent superiority of one race over all others and thereby the right to dominance, manifest and implied. Women respond to racism.

The Uses of Anger by Audre Lorde

Do not go to your friends of color for comfort today. Do not ask forgiveness. And do not seek redemption. For today, live in the truth of our legacy.

I know you’re angry and sad and in pain today. But if we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right. There is nothing you can do today to make the pain go away. Take the day and see the whole picture. See your place in it. Reckon.

If this is your wake up call, I’m sorry. We’ve been trying to get to you. You have some catching up to do, and none of it will be easy. But you’re here now and that’s a good thing.