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Response to the Open Letter by Raven Redd

Naomi,

I believe I hear you saying “There are things about the behavior of a community to which you belong that look to me like conscious or unconscious racism.”  I am always willing to consider this feedback.  I reaffirm my commitment to facilitate and work with these issues at camp.

I believe I am hearing that cultural respect is not coming across through the event description, and you have concern that this community is falling into the trap of colonization even while attempting to avoid it.  It sounds like BCWC’s good intentions do not match their impact for you.

It is my belief that the Reclaiming community worldwide is challenging racism and learning to live our Principles of Unity.  It is slow work in this crazy world, but we are in it and we are in it together.  Our consensus based culture does not always move fast, but we move deliberately.

I notice that when folks of European descent avoid art, inspiration, information, and relationship with people and stories descended from all the other continents (even in order to be respectful), conscious/unconscious white supremacy can rear its head.  In my experience, white supremacy is as much a danger as cultural appropriation or colonization mindset and all are intrinsically linked.

The open forum letter published on the internet that held what I read as assumptions, accusations and judgments about an entire community and reminded me of tactics/strategies used in (at least) 400 years of colonizing “witch” trials in medieval Europe.  I have a concern about horizontal hostility being a tool of colonization to keep us distracted from challenging the larger structures of power over.  For me, this kind of horizontal hostility shows up within or between communities who are actively challenging the intertwined and toxic patterns of the dominant culture.

I am willing to sit with what has been raised, even if I have to do some work to get through my concerns about the style of communication.

I always agree that we can do better.

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