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Systems of -ism

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

Systems of -ism by Aimée Okotie-Oyekan

Oh you -isms, you are all so damn good at what you do. Keeping us on the move, too busy, too tired, too numb, too depleted to recognize you.

Obscured by scale, nestled neatly, hidden in plain sight within power-laden entanglement of your own diabolical design. There you are, and there, and there. Do Russian nesting dolls not carry the same face?

Dear reader, are you considering how the war waging over there is also the one waging here, in your city, in your community, in your body? That these systems, which reduce all that is necessary for life into playthings of exchange, don't need to be targeting you directly to kill you consistently? (1)

Are you considering how unsatiated -isms will not stop with the targeted destruction of black and brown communities? That once they've mined us of all we have, they will come for the Ukrainians, for the socialists, and for you, too? (2)

Dear reader, how else are you making sense of and giving names to the nestled, entangled systems of -ism?


(1) Gumbs, A. P. (2020). Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals. AK Press.

(2) Niemöller, M. (1946). First They Came.







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