This framework has proven to be limited for women of color and people of color organizing. First, it tends to presume that our communities have been impacted by white supremacy in the same way. Consequently, we often assume that all of our communities will share similar strategies for liberation. In fact, however, our straregies often run into conflict. For example, one strategy that many people in US-born communities of color adopt, in order to advance economically out of impoverishedcommunities, is to join the military. We then become complicit in
oppressing and colonizing communities from other countries. Meanwhile, peo- ple from other countries often adopt the strategy of moving to the United States ro advance economically, without considering their complicity in settling on the lands of indigenous peoples that are being colonized by the United States.
Consequently, it may be more helpful to adopt an alternative framework for women of color and people of color organizing. I call one such framework the “ThreePillars of White Supremacy.” This framework does not assume that racism and white supremacy is enacted in a singular fashion; rather, white supremacy is constituted by separate and distinct, but still interrelated, logics. Envision three pillars, one labeled Slavery/Capitalism, another labeled Genocide/Capitalism, and the last one labeled Orientalism/War as well as arrows connecting each of the classes together.
One pillar of white supremacy is the logic of slavery. As Sora Han, Jared Sexton, and Angela P. Harris note, this logic renders Black people as inherently slave- able-as nothing more than property.’ That is, in this logic of white supremacy, Blackness becomes equated with slaveability. The forms of slavery may change- whether it is through the formal system of slavery, sharecropping, or through the current prison-industrial complex-but the logic itself has remained consistent.
This logic is the anchor of capitalism~lhatis, the capitalist system ultimately commodifies all workers-one’s own person becomes a commodity that one must sell in the labor market while the profits of one’s work are taken by someone else. To keep this capitalist system in place-which ultimately commodifies most peo- ple-the togic of slavery applies a racial hierarchy to this system. This racial hier- archy tells people that as long as you are not Black, you have the opportunity to escape the commodification of capitalism. This helps people who are not Black to
accept their lot in life, because they can feel that at least they are not at the very bottom of the racial hierarchy-at least they are nor property; at least they are not slaveable.
?he logic of slavery can be seen clearly in the current prison industrial com- plex (PIC). While the PIC generally incarcerates communities of color, it seems to be structured primarily on an anti-Black racism. That is, prior to the Civil War,
nost people in prison where white. However, after the thirteenth amendment vsa passed-which banned slavery, except for those in prison-Black people pre- fiouslyenslaved through the slavery system were reenslaved through the prison ,ystem. Black people who had been the property of slave owners became state
property, through the conflict leasing system. n u s , we can actually look at rhe criminalization of Blackness as a logical extension of Blackness as property.