Identity Politics: A Healthy Love for Ourselves, Our Communities, and All People

We realize that the only people who care enough about us to work consistently for our liberation are us. Our politics evolve from a healthy love for ourselves, our sisters and our community which allows us to continue our struggle and work.

This focusing upon our own oppression is embodied in the concept of identity politics. We believe that the most profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity, as opposed to working to end somebody else’s oppression.

The Combahee River Collective Statement – COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE

That’s what it boils down to. Who else is going to consistently, determinedly work for us but us?

We’re autistic.

We’re disabled.

The words autistic and disabled connect us with an identity, a community, and a culture. With identity politics, we work for community liberation and the liberation of all people.

Identity is the place to understand what forms of oppression are operating within your own life. From here, coalitions can be built with others who face similar forms of oppression, so long as it is also understood that oppression is not experienced the same across identities. This is where intersectionality, the theory developed by black feminist scholar and activist Kimberlé Crenshaw, is useful. It helps us to understand that class oppression will look different for those who also exist at the intersection of marginalized race, gender, and sexual identities. Any coalition worth forming has to take stock of those differences or suffer an agenda that is insufficient to liberating all people.

What Liberals Get Wrong About Identity Politics | The New Republic

Given our racist, heterosexist, and ableist societies, we especially work for all when we center disabled Black women.

If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.

The Combahee River Collective Statement – COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE

The ultimate goal of meaningful inclusion for the disability community will never be fully realized until black and brown people are also free.

Racism and Ableism – AAPD

What Lorde and other black feminists such as bell hooks, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison realized was that the more dehumanized groups a person belongs to, the more their experience forces them to understand about the way society is structured: what and who it takes for granted, the truths about itself it chooses to ignore, who is doing the truly essential work.

Letters To My Weird Sisters: On Autism and Feminism 

Here are some disabled and neurodivergent Black women and non-binary people to follow:





One response to “Identity Politics: A Healthy Love for Ourselves, Our Communities, and All People”

  1. […] I love that verse, especially coming from a neurodivergent, disabled Black woman. It offers a core insight of intersectionality and identity politics. […]

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