“There are no strangers” — Toni Morrison

“…There are no strangers. There are only versions of ourselves, many of which we have not embraced, most of which we wish to protect ourselves from. For the stranger is not foreign, she is random, not alien but remembered; and is the randomness of he encounter with our already known – although unacknowledged – selves that summons a ripple of alarm. That makes us reject the figure and the emotions it provokes – especially when these emotions are profound. It is also what makes us want to own, govern, administrate the Other. To romance her, if we can, back into our own mirrors. In either instance (of alarm or false reverence), we deny her personhood, the specific individuality we insist upon for ourselves (Toni Morrison, “The Fisherwoman,” introduction to Robert Bergman’s book of photograhs, A Kind of Rapture, New York: Pantheon/Random House, 1998).”

This entry was posted in commons, ethics, history, human rights, inclusion, listen for a change (oral history, narratives), narratives, oral histories, reflections, social justice, Uncategorized by Virginia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Virginia

Virginia Raymond is a lawyer, teacher, and scholar who has lived in Austin, Texas for almost thirty years. She currently practices law, teaches writing for Austin Community College, and listens to the oral histories or testimonies of disability rights activists with ADAPT of Texas. Before that, she taught cultural studies, policy studies, and Mexican American legal history for the Center for Mexican American History (CMAS) at the University of Texas at Austin and directed the Texas After Violence Project from its inception in 2007 until 2011. She is a long-time member of the National Lawyers Guild, committed to law "in the service of people..to the end that human rights be regarded as more sacred than property interests." With Tom Kolker, she is the proud parent of three young people: Joey, Rebecca, and Louis.