Sociology 02: Social Problems
Smith, Andrea. 2006. "Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy: Rethinking Women of Color Organizing.” 66-73 in Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology, edited by Andrea Smith, Beth E. Richie and Julia Sudbury. Cambridge, MA:South End Press. The purpose of Andrea Smith's article is to provide an alternative to problematic strategies in the political organizing efforts of people of color. She asserts that people of color organizing often assumes a static framework surrounding liberation and oppression, and that this fallacious assumption transforms potentially-liberating work into self-consuming “oppression olympics,” while keeping activists complicit in multiple forms of oppression (Smith 2006:66). Smith's main claim is that her alternative framework titled, “Three Pillars of White Supremacy”appropriately informs organizing efforts in communities of color due to its inclusive approach to distinct sources of oppression. She argues for a framework which multiply addresses the logic of “Slavery/Capitalism,” “Genocide/Colonialism,” and “Orientalism/War” (Smith 2006:66). Her framework combats foundational logic which produce and reproduce oppression in communities. To support her claim, Smith provides evidence in the form of historic accounts and contemporary phenomena. She asserts, “The logic of slavery can be seen clearly in the current prison industrial complex” (Smith 2006:67). She cites several instances displaying the connection between forms of oppression and their implications for people of color organizing. In light of the evidence provided, Smith concludes by opening her main claim up to critique for scholars and activists while expressing belief in her framework as a starting place. She re-emphasizes a need for a new discourse in the politics of solidarity and argues that radical political and economic changes are necessary.
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