The long hard race towards justice and community

Feeling: guilty, weird, shameful, scared, fearful, dangerous, timid
I want to feel: secure, assured, powerful, active, affective, in control, analytical

It's an actual fear of mine that my words are hurtful.  I am an emotional person, I do not deliberate over my words as much as I should.  I am not very careful with what I have to say, many times my words just spatter over the table, as I desperately try to shove them back into my mouth.  But I am becoming more and more aware that I need to slow down and think about what I am saying.  I need to just calm down.  I need to think more, and emote less.  And this makes me sad, therefore emoting more.  Oh, ho hum.  

In my grad school classes, we have this live discussion threads.  I think for hours on which of the 100 threads I will post a critical well thought out answer.  Of course, I unintentionally pick the most controversial topic, carrying lots of past baggage, lots of past pains.  I am trying not to be polarizing in my thought processes, just honest, just a bit real.  But I do not know what is the outcome of my words.  

Our words are very powerful.  Nations are built up and destroyed by our words.  We can hurt someone to the core, destroy their dreams.  I never want to be responsible for destroying one's dream.  Once while I was in high school, I called a classmate by what I thought was a funny joking name.  My teacher called me a bigot.  I didn't know what that meant, or the implications of the name I was refering to my classmate.  That memory stuck with me until now.  Recently I learned a term to describe my action, microaggressions.  I participated in an unintentional, unconsciousness act of racism.  And that is the thing.  Many times people have unintentional prejudice.  This is not excusing the act, but to say that everyone has participated in one or the other.  As a nineth grader, I was guilty as charged.  But because my teacher called me out on it, I was made aware and responsible for my actions.  

I do not want to hurt anyone anymore.  I assume that many people feel this way, regardless of race, class, gender, etc.  But small unintentional prejudices slip out of our mouths, and we act upon them.  We have and hold assumptions and never question them.  We live our lives unaware of how our words affect others.  We are not hurt, so we assume that others are not as well.  But others are hurt, and our words do affect them.  

I just want to live in dream.  A big bubble, floating above the city.  Whenever someone looks up and smiles, I can blow a bubble down to them and they can float up with me.   Soon the whole city will be teeming with bubbled people, floating weightlessly in the sky.  But we will be isolated, and we will be lonely.  And how will that be better?  It won't be.

I see myself getting into racial justice studies and the pressure of it weighs me down.  The amount that the community is fighting against, or fighting for, in self determination, is heavy.  Always I find myself in the midst and throwing down the towel.  Fuck it, I tell myself, its too much for me.  It's too heavy, I'm too weak/young/unsure/not ready yet/excuses so on and so forth.  But then when I walk away, I know that that struggle is mine.  I was born inside of it, I am it, it is my responsibility to push it forward, for if not this generation, then when?  If we all waited, then nothing would really happen.  Once I walk away, the struggle always finds me.  I run away to San Diego, Atlanta, Brighton UK, Portland, Urbana Champaign.  Always the struggle pokes its head under my covers, snuggles up to me, and winks, "You can't get away from me, you know.  Because you believe in the purpose of the struggle for the benefit of the community."  No matter where I go, the issues find me, or I find the issues, or maybe, the issues affect me so deeply that I cannot step away and ignore them.  

Nowdays in grad school, I find myself filled with raw emotions.  I am a minority once again.  I had forgotten that this is what I am.  In Portland I can try to forget, despite always remembering.  But in grad school, I am forced to remember.  I am forced to either bite my tongue and die on the inside, or stand up and speak up and live to face another day, proud of myself, proud of my heritage, and the struggle that provided me the priviledge to seek graduate education in the first place.  

And so, I can sleep easy knowing that maybe I'm not running away from LA, I am only now beginning to embrace a journey that will last a lifetime.  I just need an opportunity to stretch my wings and find my own grounding, and pace, to run the long hard relentless uncompromising race towards....


fight on, til we die, keep on keeping on til we can't no more, but we will, we will, we must! 

a friend spoke truth to me this evening, "DREAM means DOING once communicated...just a part of the process to allow for folks to dream together and thus elevate it...and hopefully, instead of a "piece" just a whole new lovely magnificent reality that we keep self-determining."

No comments: