“Until White America tells fear to fuck off, we’ll keep dying at the hands of ‘justice’ in a country they broke our backs and our souls to build for them.” – A’Driane Nieves, in “White Supremacy and Fear: The Cracks in America’s Foundation No One Will Fix”
Words have sat heavy on me this week. They land hard on my lily white skin and seep into me.
This sounds awful. It’s not. This is how change works. It strikes, and then it sinks in.
I suppose the easy thing to do would be to get defensive. The danger in taking the easy route is that the events that incite heavy words are usually broken systems that aren’t worth defending. The easy route allows the stunted soul to stay the same and hide from anything that doesn’t fit into what it already understands.
I don’t want the easy route. I want the words and the stories of the angry and the oppressed and the dismissed to melt into me and change me.
I am trusting firsthand accounts. I am trusting their lived experience that says this is only the latest installment of a system of oppression. The learned inclination to trust a badge just because it’s supposed to be trustworthy is quickly unraveling. My trust in authority is no longer immediate (and let’s face it – has not been immediate for quite some time).
I am praying with some of the bloggers I follow as they go to Ferguson to hear the stories of the people who have been there. I am praying that words will land heavy on them. I am also praying that they will be safe.
I am praying that the people – all the people – of Ferguson will be safe. I am sitting uncomfortably with the knowledge that feeling safe would be a first for many of the people of Ferguson, for many of the people in this country.
But I will sit with that discomfort. I will not run away from it to take the easy route. I will change.