Thursday, June 19, 2014

Why I Went Silent

I went "silent" for a month...to the extent that a writer, poet, philosopher, teacher, activist is able to silence the words that beg for life.

There is so much that draws for attention - the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, that the media has now forgotten because of the Sunni/Shiite centuries old conflict escalating in the Bush/Cheney illegal war in Iraq that has been going on for a decade and the media and the GOP are now trying to pin on President Obama, the open carry legislation raging through my Missouri legislatures and the lake tourist town worried that the locals with open assault rifles will scare away the tourists with money, the continued assault on the rights of black americans whether it is through education, housing, employment, or the new money-to-be-made in legal marijuana, it seems that black people are at the perpetual bottom while wkephite corporate america is making millions off their labor, their pain, and their existence. There was just so much vying for attention that this writer had to step back and do what writers do.

Observe. Listen. Contemplate.

One thing I've learned in these five decades is that I can not change everything.

I can, however, use the tool I have been blessed to receive - writing and teaching - to highlight what is happening.  In that, change comes.

It can be very frustrating to keep sounding an alarm to a seemingly deaf populace, then to realize that there is something that will spark action, much like the brave young people fifty years ago that stared down the dogs, hoses, and police during Freedom Summer 1964.  Perhaps it is the continuous small light-shining that is keeping key issues in the forefront from education to private prisons to corrupt legislators to the assaults on women's rights.

When I went silent, I kept reading, kept teaching, kept thinking.

We must be brave enough to stand up, even if in doing that, we stand alone.

Silent no more.

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