“White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged to feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake. The fact that this mistake led to the violent death of an innocent young man does not register; Mass media is worded in a manner that encourages viewers to identify with the one who made the mistake by doing what we are led to feel we might all do to ‘protect our property at all costs from any sense of perceived threat.’ This is what the worship of death looks like.” ~ bell hooks on George Zimmerman
Malintzin, malinche, mala. Vendida o vendio?
We are not co-opting our movement. We are not dividing our movement. We are not defeating our movement. We are making our movement stronger, better, more durable and able to stand defiantly alongside our values of social justice and openly confront and dismantle all forms of oppression. Our words may be hard to look at, may be hard to swallow, are not pretty and may make you shudder with unease but are essential in all periods of growth and reflection. Yes, we will be the reflectors of things that go bump in the night and make your heart go pitter-patter. That boogeyman, the cucuy of all those silent screams in the darkest midnight hours from all the womyn who absolutely collapsed from the inside out because no one had faith in her words, because capitalism doesn’t have faith in womyn and capitalism is a sickness we breath into our lungs each and every day.
It’s not about trying to change other people, it’s about building what we want with those who want it too, and not building for the sake of something so light as egos, but building for something that honors all things, all Life, all us- we who have a spark of life in them and who want that spark to grow. This is to those people, who I know sometimes feel that they litter the lands with dreams that they are forced to walk over and over and over. But those dreams keep lifting, by their own weight they float, and this is to Life we know that wants the better things to grow.
Its 2013 and we have no justice. It’s important to remember the realities of our ancestors, the “justice” system in this country has never and will never protect us. It didn’t protect Trayvon Martin, it didn’t protect Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, Saleh Elamareen, Brisenia Flores, Carlos Lamadrid, Aiyana Stanley-Jones or Emmett Till. It will certainly never deliver justice to queer womyn of color like us. When and where did we learn to sell out our sisters to protect our ideals? Fuck that, remember who you are, who we are and where we have been. Our legacy of love, rage, sadness, dignity and strength we inherit through our mother’s blood and tears. We are no longer silent and we are not going back. We are growing. We are many. We are strong. We are not afraid. We are walking the walk and talking that talk. We love ourselves, we love you and this struggle, this resistance, this transformation. We always have and we always will. We are dedicated, we will not back down. We are your sisters, your mothers, your aunties, your wives, your lovers, your friends, your comrades. We are valid and we are right. We are crazy and we are telling the truths. Don’t ignore us, don’t cut us down, don’t fuck with us or you will only be fucking yourself.
This is to all those (all of them: birds, crickets, rivers, all of them) who want the profane death to stop. How is it that those who want death seem to hold all the power and we have none? Because we forget that our allegiance is with all of Life, All of it. And all of Life is in alliance with us, so we should stop forgetting, and start again Honoring all that is and could be, was, will be. All of Life wants to live, Trust in that.
This is for Saleh Elamareen, Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, last wintertime in Palestine, 16 years old, was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers (identities unknown) funded by U.S. Government money while walking along the Apartheid Wall in the Aida Refugee Camp which is now literally hemmed in – like curbside in front of your house – on three sides by this Israeli/U.S. military wall – sniper towers and all. In Palestine the United States government is paying to see death and to see destruction, and it’s a sickness because the U.S. government is trying to destroy the Palestinian people and they have no right to do this, to profane anothers’ sacred land and ways.
This is for Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16 years old, shot 9 times in the back by U.S. Border Patrol agents – Identities Still Unknown despite camera footage in the possession of the FBI which is “currently undergoing” a 9month+ (and counting) thorough investigation into the matter with their associates, the Border Patrol. Jose was walking beneath the Wall on the hill dividing Nogales between two colonial governments called the United States and Mexico between whom money flows like bullets do, like drugs do, like war does, and like lies do too
This is for Trayvon Martin, 17 years old, shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman calls 911 to report “a suspicious person” in the neighborhood. He is instructed not to get out of his SUV or approach the person. Zimmerman disregards the instructions. Moments later, neighbors report hearing gunfire. When police arrived they reported finding Zimmerman standing near Martin, who was lying face down in the grass and unresponsive. Zimmerman acknowledges that he shot Martin, claiming it was in self-defense. Zimmerman was found not guilty.
This is for
All those who suffer
With hope for a better day
This is for Justice which we know is due, and whose debt must be paid.
Our words speak for all these stories and more, stories projected out through the media to further instill in us a sense of defeat- a sense that we cannot protect our sons and daughters.
We speak in order to counter these stories regurgitated through mainstream media only meant to remind us, justice will not come for folks like us.
And our words speak for all those stories which never left their community, which never left mouths, which only remained in silence.