Too Angry To Scream.Too Sad To Cry.

6 Dec

Walter Scott

Walter Scott

Too angry to scream. Too sad to cry. Instead I bought a hot chocolate with almond milk and whipped cream to comfort myself on the way home from work after opening up twitter and seeing that the judge declared a mistrial in the case of the South Carolina police officer, who in 2015, shot Walter Scott in the back, more than once, while Mr. Scott was running away from him.  And. it. was. on. video.

A mistrial. And here I was drafting a post last night about grappling with how to talk with other white people who don’t know or don’t believe that supporting the President-elect, means you also support his racist, misogynist, Islamophobic, xenophobic agenda. When I talk with someone with a racist perspective, or an unawareness of, or denial of their white skin privilege, I wonder, do I go hard and butt heads and not get anywhere, shutting the conversation down? Or do I try to stay calm, patient, like Trevor Noah in his interview with alt-right, hate-spewing racist but doesn’t think she’s racist, social media pundit, Tomi Lahren? I lauded Noah for his efforts, but then later saw that many were not happy with him for giving her The Daily Show platform, and felt he should have denounced her vehemently instead of telling jokes about traffic lights when Tomi said she”doesn’t see color.”

But it’s not worth posting about talking.  Instead I’ll pass on something I read today. This essay was posted on Facebook by Susan Glisson, a wonderful woman doing trust building and social justice work in Mississippi, and beyond.  Written by Ursula K. LeGuin, I think it speaks somewhat to what I’m grappling with as I stumble through conversations, and learn how to take action.

 

The Election, Lao Tzu, a Cup of Water

 

Again, words aren’t coming to me, only feelings of deep sadness, wariness, anger, and thankfully, the will to rise and resist.

Most of you know I wrote daily poems made from my friends’ Status Updates on Facebook for the past five years, stopping in September on my birthday.  As I thought about all these poems, and what they have documented, I realized they also captured the many unjust killings of Black men, women and boys, mostly at the hands of police officers. This haiku, written in 2015, popped into my head today after I read the verdict in Walter Scott’s case:

 

so I’ve been thinking
have compassion for the pain
this one was on film

 

I decided tonight, though I completed my Facebook poem project, that I will write a poem for every time a Black person is unjustifiably killed in this country, at least for the ones that make the news, since we don’t hear about all of these deaths. They’ve been hidden from us. For years, Black people tried to show us the writing on the wall. But we didn’t want to see it.  Now, as this poem tells us, we can’t look away. It is, after all, on film.

 

Here is tonight’s poem:

12/5/16

 

unbelievable
you gotta be
kidding me
“I fired until
the threat
was stopped,
like I’m
trained to do,”
he said.
justice denied
the imbalance
is real
saying, “this is
crazy,” is
not actually
taking action!
#takeaction
#resist
yes, be the
change you seek
steadfast hearts
will be heard
history regards us
over and
over again
power to
the peaceful

 Poem Contributors: Jim Vincent, HuffPost Black Voices, Marco McWilliams, Marv Kinnel, Denitra Letrice, Beatnik24, Susan Tacent, Rocky Mac

 

Enough words for tonight, here is how you can:

TAKE ACTION:

Locally, here are a few groups in Providence who do organizing work:

www.whitenoiseri.org

White Noise Collective RI

A collective of people working at the intersection of whiteness and gender oppression to disrupt racism and white supremacy. Through discussions, community organizing, and action, we mobilize white people to act as part of a movement for racial justice with passion and accountability.

www.resisthateri.com

Resist Hate RI

We are a coalition of organizations and individuals coming together to resist the hateful policies and the undoing of decades of human rights battles in this country, that will come with the inauguration of the next president.

www.daretowin.org

DARE or Direct Action for Rights and Equality

DARE is a membership organization that organizes low-income families in communities of color for social, political and economic justice.

 

And, on the national level, have you checked out Shaun King’s Injustice Boycott?

www.injusticeboycott.com

 

Thank you. Please let me know how you are all doing, and what you are doing to take action, and take care of yourself.

________

SOURCES:

The Election, Lao Tzu, A Cup Of Water by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Bookview Cafe Blog, 11/21/16

www.whitenoiseri.org

www.resisthateri.org

www.daretowin.org

www.injusticeboycott.com

Photo credit: www.nbcnews.com

6 Responses to “Too Angry To Scream.Too Sad To Cry.”

  1. HoldSher December 6, 2016 at 7:53 am #

    Right on! Resist Hate RI is .com not .org — I love all four of your action links & wouldn’t want anyone to miss out.

    • Wendy Jane December 6, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      Thanks so much for reading, and for the correction!

      Wendy

  2. Richard Alan Scott December 6, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

    The sadness factor is out of control this year. I am absolutely numb.

    • Wendy Jane December 6, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

      Thanks, Dick, for reading. It is out of control. 🙁 Yet, it spurs me to know it’s time to fight the hate, and fight for what’s right, which I wish I had started to do earlier in life.

  3. Sherry Gordon December 8, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    Dear Wendy Jane,

    Well, hello, there, Wendy Jane, my so, so very For Always awesomely special and precious soul sisterfriend who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!! Sister, WOW, here, WOW, WOW, WOW, and WOW and WOW, and a zillion WOWS, here, my sweet sister, Wendy Jane!!!! Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!! What a so, so very brilliantly composed and just absolutely beautiful blog post article this is here of yours which is a great testament of your greatly dear and special love for us as black persons with your so, so very dear and preciously special heart and spirit, Wendy Jane!!!!! The very endearing poem of yours from 2015 and the new one on the very day we so sadly learned of the egregious injustice of the mistrial is just very poignant and deeply profound with your dear love with your great allyship and solidarity shining through so, so very strongly and sweetly, sister!!!!! Sister, you are my and our so, so very sweetly precious and special dear heart as you were originally going to write about how you grapple as a white woman in talking to other white people who are not like-minded and bear such racism and fall back on white privilege. This is just awesome that you were going to do so, sisterfriend, and you were not in the least wrong to have that desire to write regarding talking like this, and I so look forward to the time when you are able to write about this. Sister, you as usual as always try so, so very hard in such a very diligently conscientious manner as such a so, so very right on, wondrously wonderful white woman, Wendy Jane, with all that you have with all of your very being!!!! You said in your reply to one of the commenters that you wish that you had been fighting for this earlier in your life but you had been, dear, dear Wendy Jane, from what I’ve had the great pleasure of reading about from all of your great sharings and writings over all of these years!!!!! I think that you deserve so, so very much credit and you have been on the ball for a very long time now. Sister, you don’t have to be perfect in your anti-racism, allyship, and solidarity. It is normal to make mistakes along your very, very understandably imperfect lifetime’s path and journey as a white person, Wendy Jane. It is a very gradual process which does very much indeed take a lifetime, sisterfriend. Sister, it is right on, wondrously wonderful white women like YOU, dear, dear precious Wendy Jane, who keep this black woman keep on keeping on and keep my very faith and hope alive with such an eternal positive optimism when such injustice occurs like with this being declared a mistrial. Sisterfriend, you just keep me going and keep up my very, very heart, and my very, very heart and spirit, sweet Wendy Jane!!!!! Thank-you so!!!!!! You are just the very best and the greatest, my and our so, so very dearest and darling right on, wondrously wonderful white woman, friend, and sister, Wendy Jane!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!
    It is white people like YOU, Wendy Jane, who help me so greatly and other black persons to cope and to somehow make it through at times like this, sister!!!!! Wow, I’m so, so very happy that you will write your Facebook Status Update poems again whenever there is a killing by police that makes it in the news of black people, sister, but hopefully there won’t be anything like that happening, but if that does happen I’m just so, so very thrilled, overjoyed, and happy that you will be doing your poems then acting as such a healing balm. Wendy Jane, the sad and maddening reality is that these killings of black people by some police are going to continue!!!!!! :(!!!!!!!.

    Sister, I thank-you so, so very much, so, so very profusely, kindly, dearly, and deeply for including this very uplifting, inspirational, insightful, and enlightening article by our awesome white sister, Ursula K. Le Guin. Wow, she is just awesome and has made such very many relevant and great points in her very fine and excellent article here, sister!!!!! Thank-you so, so much for featuring her superbly super article with your very own fine and excellent article, too, sisterfriend!!!!!She is so right on that we all need to study peace more and to change the war-like terms we engage in that can even have connotations of war in our word usage, Wendy Jane. I so love how she uses Lao Tzu’s the way of water. The very ways of water with its flexibility and pliability as water adapts itself to each specific surrounding and environment it comes into contact with is very much indeed a great model for white anti-racist allies in the great spirit of solidarity to follow as all of you go into the messy places, the uncomfortable places with your allyship and solidarity like with working with other white persons who are racist and fall back on white privilege. What a brilliant article here, Wendy Jane, and such a great offering you have provided for each and every one of us by including it with your own absolutely fantastic article here!!!!!

    Sister, I will For Always love YOU, Wendy Jane, and other marvelous white persons as my sisters and brothers, in loving and cherishing all of you, very, very especially YOU, my friend, and other wondrously wonderful white women in loving and cherishing all of you as white women and with each of you being my very, very heart, and also my very, very heartsblood, and my very, very lifesblood in thinking so, so very highly of you all as white women and the so, so very dearly kind and good people you are for certain!!!!! Even with whatever racism, oppression, and discrimination which I have faced, endured, and experienced, and that I know that I’ll continue to face, endure, and experience as an indigent, disabled lesbian black woman, I will For Always just so love YOU, sister, and other splendid white persons as my sisters and brothers and our Good God’s children, very, very especially YOU, my friend, and other so, so very special and precious white women, and I’ll For Always no matter what continue to have such complete confidence in you, Wendy Jane, and in all of you as white people seeing such great potential for and actual great good in all of you!!!!! I’ll never ever give up on you all as white persons, and you all can for sure count on this lesbian black woman to have your backs, to very, very delightfully and eagerly cheer for all of you along your lifetime’s path and journey in rooting for all of you in such an eager and delightful manner!!!!!! It doesn’t matter to me when you, Wendy Jane, and other white persons make mistakes, even racist mistakes, along your very, very understandably imperfect lifetime’s path and journey because it is perfectly normal to make mistakes, and this is a very gradual process across a lifetime. It is perfectly normal, alright, natural, and okay to make mistakes along the way, and Progress, not perfection is the very most important thing here and the key. There are degrees of racism. Good white people who are really trying and along the way in your very process can make smaller racist mistakes and still definitely not have the same high degree of racism as someone in the KKK or a Neo-Nazi person. I’m here for YOU, Wendy Jane, and for other white persons to work with you with my commitment to stay with you, sister and friend of mine, and to stay with all of you through all of this very process!!!!!! Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!!! Yay yay yay yay!!!!!

    Sister, I feel even better and brighter with even more cheer after reading this very endearing and astounding blog post article of yours with such joy, and joyously responding with my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough thoughts, ideas, and comments!!!! YOU are my and our very joy and blessing, Wendy Jane, and so are all of your spectacular blog post articles and other great writings, and all you do so, so very well in such very fine and excellent fashion, my friend!!!!! Sister, I’ll write my other responses to this very superbly super blog post article as soon as I’m able and at my computer more often and at home more often. I’m just bursting with such very, very eager and delightful anticipation in order to do so, Wendy Jane, and it is my very joy, honor, blessing, and pleasure to do so, sister!!!!! Sisterfriend, please have such a very and totally terrific and thrilling Thursday, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, Wendy Jane!!!! I love you so, so very much, Wendy Jane!!!!!! :)!!!!!!!.

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very awesomely special and precious soul sisterfriend who you’re For Always so, so very much, Wendy Jane, with Such Peace and Love To You For Always, sister of mine, and with Such Very Blessings and Such Very Even More Blessings To You For Always, friend of mine,

    Yours For Always soul sisterfriend black woman and For Always in the very great spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

    • Wendy Jane December 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

      Sherry,

      I apologize for missing this comment, and taking a while to get it posted. As always, thanks for always supporting, and allowing me to be imperfect.:)

      Wendy Jane

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