I admitted something to a friend today that I’d barely admitted to myself before it came out of my mouth: I am drained. So drained, in fact, that I haven’t been writing much. Wow. Who knew?!
It has been a heavy few weeks in the US, and at first I took Thanksgiving week off of blogging because I needed to sit, and rest, and be quiet, and gather my faculties. But then the week ended and suddenly there was so much to say, that I felt I could say nothing. The unrest in my country had stunned me silent.
This is not a political blog in the traditional sense of the word, but it is a blog based on personal, social, and communal health. Given that fact, I must say this: I am deeply saddened by the decision to not indict officer Darren Wilson for his murder of eighteen year old UNARMED Michael Brown. I am sickened by the decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo for the murder of a once again UNARMED black man named Eric Garner. These murders show a society with deep and systemic sickness. I cannot continue moving forward with my agenda of personal health without acknowledging that there is societal health work that needs to be done, too.
I stand by my opinion that it is important to build yourself up so that you can help others as best you can. I focus on my health and wellness so that I may show up for other citizens when they are victims of prejudice, racism, and hate. And when I am so sad and angry that I feel I cannot write, I have to push through it. Becuase writing is one of my strengths and tools. Writing is what I have to fight with.
I do not accept the lack of justice that takes place when young black man after young black man is killed by white police officers.
I am full of anger, in fact, and that is an extreme privilege, because my anger does not come paired with fear of personal physical attack. It appears that black and brown people can be extrajudicially murdered, just because. I will never know what it is like to be a target like that. To actually think I could die at the hands of people who are supposed to protect me. I am holding my privilege and my anger, not letting one cancel out the other. What can I do? As a white woman with multiple kinds of privilege, what is my place in this fight?
I’ve been brainstorming.
I think My place is to talk when it is unsafe for others to. My place is to listen more times than I talk. My place is to keep an eye out. To watch people of power and to note their behavior and to talk about it. My place is to not keep silent when I see injustice. My place is to educate myself as much as possible. My place is to be accountable for my actions. To know that choosing not to touch this topic on my blog because I am scared of the repercussions is playing into a system that keeps streets extremely unsafe for people of color.
I will likely never know what it’s like to wait up all night for a family member who will never come home because they were killed by a cop. My place is to talk and write and think until that’s true for everybody.
Choosing discomfort over silence. That’s my place.
I’m starting today.