Quotation by Audre Lorde

Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people. As members of such an economy, we have all been programmed to respond to the human differences between us with fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate. But we have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals. As a result, those differences have been misnamed and misused in the service of separation and confusion.
Audre Lorde (1934–1992), African American poet, autobiographer, and lesbian feminist. Sister Outsider, ch. 12 (1984).

From a paper delivered at the Copeland Colloquium, Amherst College, in April 1980. The paper was entitled "Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference."
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