January 19, 2019

Hello!  My name is Amelia Mae Paradise and I am honored to have been asked to speak here today in chorus with this amazing harmony of voices.  I stand before you as a Native New Mexican, a Dyke member of the LGBT-Queer community, a white woman who is an accomplice to Women of Color leadership, an anti-capitalist, and a Jew.  I am currently studying at UNM’s Institute for the Study of Race & Social Justice, which is run by the brilliant intersectionality scholar Dr. Nancy Lopez, and I work in the New Mexico Jewish community as an anti-racist white privilege educator.

In the spirit of solidarity, I speak today lifting up our unified front.  At the same time I am holding the complexity & complications our broad coalition faces, and I am committed nonetheless, to our collective liberation.  As my sisters at:  #Jewish Women of Color Marching say now “is the time for our communities to affirm together that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights!”

I want to speak about antisemitism: about what it is and why it matters.  Anti-Semitism is a form of historically repetitive ideological oppression that targets Jews and blames Jews for society’s problems.  Like all forms of systemic bigotry, it encourages people to hate other people in a way that serves the continuation of the current system of power undisturbed. We are here today disrupting all the systems of oppression: homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism and all forms of social violence used by the owning class to keep things the way they are.  And we want change! 

We do not need to make different forms of oppression equal to understand how they serve the same purpose – to keep the almost entirely Christian White male ruling class in power.  Anti-Semitism matters because it is constructed and used by this ruling class to divert attention and responsibility away from the powers that be – the power elite! 

Today, I recommit myself to Justice as a Jewish Woman.  I am running more deeply into our strong and resilient movement for decolonization.  Our legacy is the profound continuation of the fearless work of our foremothers, and I will not be scared by the ruling class to run away!  I run behind the mantle of power and wisdom of Women of Color and I invite you to run with me, especially if you are a white person, a white Jewish person, I invite you to run with me … to run with us!