This was never part of the political calculation. Eventually Zimbabweans might be brought together by their common bond of suffering and begin to insist on their own liberation. In fact, Mugabe seems to have deliberately turned so many ordinary Zimbabweans—soldiers and police officers, obviously, but also schoolboys ordered out of their classrooms to rape and torture—into perpetrators that there is now widespread fear a change of government might bring with it recrimination. “Victims of the political violence are afraid it will resurface with every election; perpetrators of the political violence are afraid it will end,” Rutendo Munengami, an advocate for victims of rape, told me. “Everyone knows who the culprits are; they are our neighbors and officials. They are not hard to find. Those people are afraid of a government who will call them to account.”
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Paul Revere's modified "Join or Die" snake from the masthead
of Thomas's Boston Journal, July 7, 1774. Newspaper Serial
and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress.
Wallace is pessimistic but realistic in her assessment of Black feminists' position, particularly in her allusion to the nearly classic isolation most of us face. We might use our position at the bottom, however, to make a clear leap into revolutionary action. If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.