In the past few months, we have witnessed the murders of Armaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, all killed because of a system and culture that does not value their lives because of the color of their skin. They are only the latest high profile cases in a long line of black and brown and indigenous people taken from this world too soon by police, by white vigilantes, by biases in our medical institutions, by racism in our legal system, and by economic and environmental injustices. White people have had the privilege to ignore the existence of these injustices, even as we’ve benefitted from them, and historically Sex Positive World (SPW) has also failed to speak up or act in direct opposition to racism and anti-blackness. This must change.
Sex Positive World recognizes and condemns the unjust, disproportionate use of police violence against people of color. We stand in support of Black Lives Matter and the other numerous organizations fighting racism and anti-blackness in all its forms. As members of a sex positive community, our work both individually and together is that of dismantling systems of oppression. We are already accustomed to thinking of this in terms of dismantling the sex negative culture that shames and silences our expressions of sexuality. Yet we cannot do that work without acknowledging the ways in which members of our community are also silenced and erased by systemic racism, anti-blackness, and white supremacy. We must stand in clear opposition to these systems in order to make space for the unique knowledges of love and relationships and pleasure held by the voices they marginalize. And we must also educate ourselves as individuals in order to make Sex Positive World a space where we do not continue to replicate the harms inflicted on people of color by individual and systemic racism. It takes all of us to make our communities the transformational, radical spaces we truly need for a sex positive revolution.
Our Commitment to the Community:
To date, SPW as a white-majority organization has done very little to help undo systemic racism. Starting now, we as an organization will move beyond the goal of being “welcoming” and instead commit to being proactively anti-racist moving forward. It will be a process and we have a lot to learn, but it is one we know is vital. As a first step, over the next two months, we are looking to add at least two people of color to our board. We have potential space for more new board members over time, as several current board members have agreed to step down as needed to make room for more marginalized voices to come to the forefront of our community. We also will be available to support the sharing of resources and curricula between our chapters to facilitate a variety of anti-racist initiatives within our community.
We are currently discussing priorities, practices, and next steps towards developing an anti-racist culture within SPW, and we will be working with our community members on an ongoing basis to further these efforts. Anti-racist initiatives will be a standing topic at our upcoming board meetings so that we can keep ourselves accountable for continuing this work.