By Carolyn Riker
Obvious truths are often ignored and underscored with a familiar idiom, “There’s an elephant in the room.”
I am adding, it’s more likely a herd.
During the last week, my newsfeed and article reads, have sent shockwaves throughout my system.
I can hardly open social media without an onslaught of trigger worthy articles. For me, the statistics gives violence, trauma and discrimination of sexual, racial and religious injustices—an image of credibility mixed with a bizarre dissociative quality.
In a moment of cognitive dissonance, my own intellect could not comprehend the world history of inexplicable sums of death, violence, soulful defeat by venomous prejudices.
It is a narrow minded consensus from a superior majority still trivializing and denying a history of discomfort with racism, sexism, religion, violence and abuse.
I lost the focal point of individuals in a massive array of intellectualizing percentages. The swirling debates between people seemed to scream, who can speak louder, better and have more facts.
Meanwhile, the victims are lost.
Furthermore, what continued to shock me is how many people can ignore these significant realities. Ultimately, I am disgusted, appalled and sickened by the general public’s ability to ignore the rage and pleas of so many injustices. The lack of democracy has led to barbaric elite actions of ostracizing and deliberately discriminating human differences.
My heart bleeds the same red as any other race, religion or gender.
Not to discredit my opinion, but I have felt I am not well read enough to even breach this subject and yet I am. How long have I negated my voice? I wonder how many others feel they are inadequate to speak.
Is this part of the silence?
I’m feeling crowding with all of my thoughts and the freedom to share is lifting a heavy weight.
My voice is getting stronger and it’s time for me to speak out.
Observing and listening comes second nature to me. Learning to truly hear the voices of people suffering and speaking out on their behalf will be a process. I will step away from the swirling debates of who’s right or wrong and place the focus back on empowering those disrobed of their rightful respect and integrity.
The closet-activist in me has been ignited.
The shame of silence feeds ignorance. By acknowledging the history of trauma we begin to heal because it is no longer a secret.
I will not be kept silent.
My need to speak up was also incited by a slew of seemingly endless nightmares. It was and still is a mixed state of shadows and fear. At hourly intervals, I awoke with panic and tears. I can still taste a metallic and rancid terror.
What was lurking in the shadows? Was it real?
It was and is real to me and terrifying and it tapped into a space I thought I wasn’t prepared to go. Until I did and acknowledge I was ready to fight an unforeseen battle.
In the center of the room, shaking in striped PJs, I stood my ground. The moonlight called me to a large window. I honestly can’t explain this any better: I was connected to the clear moonlight and to a force beyond my existence.
The feelings, scavenger-like, picked at the flesh of my bones and kept telling me: Listen, lives of millions upon millions, have been set on fire in horrid, agonizing discriminations. It’s time to speak out.
By 3 a.m., I scribbled the words starting to surface from an inner well. It was a moan, a deep penetrating ache; it all retched from my marrow and connected to other weary souls, as a prayerful message came through.
Let us pray,
We, the people,
on blood soaked land
crawl the borders
befallen into evil hands.
Let us be free of,
barbed wire scars,
witnessed by elitism
and unheard in
our screams from afar.
Let us be seen,
the cries and the terrors
walking the lands
gathering the courage
Let us be known,
We, the people, died in
upon race, sex,
a blood bath
lynched and beaten.
Let us rise,
A death walk of empty shoes
and bare feet
still march the earth
day and night.
Paint my skin
red and white
reveal the bruises of
internalized black and blue
and emblazed pain.
liberty and justice
it has been bleached,
the ruler’s conscious
Let us speak,
We, the people,
need to be heard.
I am one more voice
and I will be speak.
Editor: Dana Gornall