Against Politics of Disposability

We stand against disposability, which is the political practice of disposing an individual of their personhood under the assumptive logic that the rest of humanity will be better off.  To be clear, it is a political practice that authorizes one person or a select group of people to choose who is disposable and who is not.  We do not support any practice of disposability — regardless of the political goal or what side of a debate we are on.  Disposability is not a form of sovereignty, it is a reproduction of the violence of the settler state.  We push back against any conflation of accountability with public shaming, especially when the shaming is en masse.  Such conflations appropriate the language of accountability and erases the community organizers and activists who have spent decades of their lives developing and fostering transformative justice and community accountability practices for themselves, their communities, and their movements.  We are angered by those who took a conversation amongst native feminists to an online platform and rallied people to participate in making indigeneity a spectacle.  To be clear, our position on people of color solidarity asks that you not erase all of the native feminists who are critical of the public shaming of Andrea Smith and recognize that native feminists and other feminists of color did not choose to enter this debate on indigeneity but were brought into it by those who used online platforms to enact racial policing.  The genesis of the “Andrea Smith is Not a Cherokee” tumblr and the meme of Smith’s face next to Rachel Dolezal used anti-black violence as the basis of comparison.  Now, so many of us have had to exhaust our time and emotions because our own narratives (as organizers, students, colleagues, and friends) were forced into this larger act of public shaming.  We did not choose this, we do not accept this, and we support anyone who has had to carry a burden that others are responsible for forcing onto them.  We ask that those waging attacks, and the broader public that is following them, refrain from damning an individual for not putting out an immediate response.  We should not assume any knowledge nor should we participate in such a public and violent discourse.  These stories were not meant for public consumption, yet natives are always expected to willingly give whatever is asked of them.  This call needs to be refused.

– Editors

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