Hi friends, Sonny here! I just want to take a few moments to share some general thoughts on my relationship with the current call for activism, self-awareness, and actionable items.
Most of my client-friends who’ve visited my office have seen (and maybe even taken) this button pictured above. After reading about Kimberlé Crenshaw’s socio-political theories on intersectionality a few years ago, I was so inspired that I made these little buttons to give out for free. There’s a lot to unpack about intersectionality, so for those who aren’t familiar, I encourage you to do the reading and research. There are plenty of articles and videos about it that helped me understand the brilliance of it.
Identifying myself as a healer, I found that intersectionality is a tremendously important approach to understanding (in short) the social-political suffering of others as we all suffer in our own unique way, whether it’s because of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, language, class, age, and so on. Understanding intersectionality provides me (and Purple Cloud) the opportunity to shift the healing space to your own uniqueness.
For me, the most important aspect of intersectionality is to understand that I may be flawed, and learning that I may not only be a victim of discrimination, but I may also be an unwitting oppressor and a subconscious supporter of institutional discrimination.
The internal questions that have been popping up in my mind have been humbling to say the least: Without even realizing it, am I subconsciously supporting the discrimination against others as someone who is a person who presents (or passes as) male? As someone who’s not Black or an Indigenous American or an immigrant? As someone who is non-disabled (physically)? As someone who’s middle class? As someone who’s not yet elderly? What can I do to improve my awareness and consciously discontinue these thought-forms and speech?
It’s a humbling process, because as a racialized person, I used to think that I had no privileges. But I found that I actually have plenty. As a matter of fact, for example, I recently realized that I was an unwitting accomplice to ableism (a non-physically disabled person who wasn’t aware of the entire spectrum of physical disability), which I shamefully overlooked as a health practitioner. Intersectionality brought to my awareness that there’s so much to address if I want to do my part in helping heal the world.
I want to be an ally, but I don’t believe that it’s something that you can declare yourself to be. I humbly believe that only through hard work, “ally” is an honorary title that is given and earned.
I vow on behalf of Purple Cloud, to raise my own awareness, to educate myself and to improve my language in order to do my part in dismantling the discriminatory system that provides me unearned intersectional privileges as a non-Black, non-Indigenous, non-physically disabled, male [passing] person.
On top of my personal endeavors towards self-education and being an open-hearted listener, I will continue to sign petitions, email policymakers and law enforcement authorities, donate to organizations that help the communities who are under attack, and you can count on me showing up in November. I’m historically very private (but neither quiet nor neutral) about my activism, but I now realize that it helps to know that the organizations you support make it publicly known that they are behind you, too.
Being an introvert with Social Media Anxiety while being a small business owner can be really tricky for me, and sometimes it prevents me from articulating my views precisely, or at all. But I do hope that my intent to be helpful in this challenging time comes across well. I simply want to let my present and future client-friends know that I will do the best I can so that Purple Cloud is, and remains to be, a safe space for all.