I really don’t know what to say. I don’t know what more could be said that already hasn’t been said, and by many voices and in many more eloquent ways. And maybe it isn’t a time for me to say much, but instead to listen.
And to that, listen… if this anger is a surprise to you, then I assert you have very likely been either willingly disengaged or deliberately dismissive and smug. There is a lot of shit happening to people for no (real, justified) reason, a lot of disproportionate infliction of suffering, a lot of power plays and asshattery and sycophancy and pathological hording and so much treatment of others as nothing but pawns and expendable nothings, led by psychopaths who have closed themselves off to human connection.
I even spoke about it just a couple of weekends ago, about myself being table flippy from all the f-ed up parts of our systems that have been made worse and put onto stark display during the ‘natural’ event known as a pandemic. And how much of that is supported by and held in place by our systems and how much we need to step up and speak up and especially to march to the ballot box and get our hands dirty in wrenching those systems back to serve us and not us serve a system that is designed to only serve a few. And to that I still hold – step up, wrest control, and point things towards a world that works for everyone, with no one left out.
(And, of course, step one is to recognize that everyone includes EVERYONE. There are no “that group/race/nationality/fandom/whatever over there are lazy or stupid or evil or lesser than or etc.” I often think that should go without saying, but, of course as it turns out, it isn’t so automatic. To many people, their so-called superiority is so much a part of their identity and they are willing to, and even hoping and wanting to, inflict and harm and fight and kill for it. This is immoral, corrupt, depraved, and an absolute sin.)
But even then I must remember that I get to speak here from a platform of privilege. I’m table flippy about many shitty things and about people being shitty, but some of those really shitty things I have the absolute luxury of not having to face. Of not having to worry about. Of not even having to think about them if I choose not to.
And so there is the moment to choose. Choose to listen, to think about them, to reckon, and to support the voices, the actions, and the people who are leading things towards equity and justice. With an absolute emphasis on the listening part, and to listen hard. To read accounts like the one below, one filled with nothing one might consider extreme or outright cinematic, but the general, daily, so-common-it’s-in-the-background-but-it’s-always-there-like-a-sword-over-your-head experience of living in a system that is geared to make you and keep you a lessor (and potentially dead). I likely won’t ever have this experience, but I can imagine it, and I must imagine it and listen to it and let it in. So that I can be a more open person for having done it. To ensure I account for any of my hidden biases (and remove them wherever I can). And to be rightfully angered so that I never step over this kind of shit and let it slide.
This needs to end.
Please read this account by Asha Tomlinson, as reported on the CBC: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/raising-young-black-man-1.5594179.