Reflections on Audre Lorde and Difference

So much is going on with this COVID19, but I wanted to get a comment to you about Sister, Outsider. There are excerpts I want to highlight because they speak to the situation inside. Audre Lorde said:

“As women, we have been taught either to ignore our differences, or to view them as causes for separation or suspicion rather than as forces for change.”

This statement could he made about prisoners also. We are taught to view are differences in race, geography, gender, sexuality, social associations and abilities as causes for separation. This only helps the system continue its control and domination of all of us. We have yet to see difference as a creative force for change or a fund of knowledge.

Audre Lorde goes on to say:

“We have all been programmed to respond to human difference between us with fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate. But we have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals.”

What are you doing or have you done to “deprogram” yourself from seeing difference as a cause for separation? What are you doing to remind yourself that difference isn’t the problem, but it is the value we place upon difference that cause problems? What patterns are you creating to relate to different people as equals?



Author: Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition

> network of self-organized prison study groups at SCI-FAYETTE > consolidating networks of resistance across the PA DOC system

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