Monday, November 24, 2014

When Silence Doesn't Work

I have been feeling hopeless, broken, disheartened with the racial disparity in America. But giving up does nothing for change. A radio story I heard this afternoon while listening to ‪#‎Ferguson‬ coverage, reports that in Wisconsin, White Americans are more likely than Black Americans to have used drugs, yet Black Americans are arrested for possession 3 times as much as Whites.

When I am overwhelmed, I retreat. I fall into a lonely corner, and wait on the verge of tears for something. But even then, I can't turn away to breathe - not from the radio, the newspapers, the overheard conversations in stores. Silence serves nothing.

We can't give up. One voice atop many voices is better than no voice from anyone. Something is better than nothing, even a small post like this, may make someone take a second look at an issue they feel impacts them little.

We can't be flattened. For too long we have done nothing, hoping that things would get better on their own... because what's right should prevail. The truth is, America doesn't work for everyone the same way. We have to care about that.

We have to matter to each other. We have to see what reality is for everyone. Our world is not the world that others experience. The only way is to talk, to keep moving on in the direction of opening eyes. To have the hope that one by one, people will get it, they'll listen... and if heard enough times, they will begin to consider.

We have to use our voices and speak. When we hear racial comments, don't pretend that we didn't. Let our voice be the one that stands up to that. Let our children not only hear us, but see us. Let our children grow up knowing what it's like to say no, I heard what you said, and I will say something about it - no matter who is saying it.

We don't want to be blamed for things that happen to us, we don't want to be told how to feel when these things happen, we don't want to hear how to act, how we deserve it for this, that, the other.

We don't want to hear that we imagined, we over-reacted, we're too sensitive/angry/touchy/.

We only want peace, fair and beautiful peace.

"RT BLACK POWER ranger @MalcolmLondon
You ask for peaceful protest but we ask for a peaceful world, a peaceful walk home, a peaceful place to love ourselves, a peaceful country."

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  1. The stigmas attach themselves, and once there, it's increasingly difficult to remove them. I've been witnessing this for 30+ years in the courtroom. Peace is absolutely in short supply in this world.

  2. I don't know, Alexandra. I want to believe you--that speaking up and out makes a difference. I really do. But I don't know if I can. There is so much clamor of talk (online at least), and sometimes I think many, many of us need to shut up. It is hard to find/hear truth amidst the cacophony of so many voices. I find myself retreating from all of them these days.

  3. I love you for posting this. I can't get the images out of my head but there are just so many feels about it, mostly that we need to break down the stereotypes and work together. I don't know how to make it stop, but I do know that I have but one voice and I will use it whenever I hear anyone throwing about racist, offhand remarks. XOXO and Happy Thanksgiving to you, my sweet.

  4. T: It feels like it, doesn't it, friend
    Rita: You are visibly present . That counts for so much.
    Charlotte: I don't either, but for certain, we can't silently allow others to speak while we say nothing.



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