This morning on the subway I felt nauseous. Right now I feel like my heart is trying to break and expand at the same time. I feel weary and sick and sad.
Look. #blacklivesmatter It makes me want to cry that this is even a cultural meme or a hashtag right now. Of course they matter. It’s ridiculous that in the year 2014 this is an issue that needs to be talked about. But it does. It needs to be yelled about. It needs to considered reality instead of a movement.
#blacklivesmatter #brownlivesmatter #indigenouslivesmatter #Asianlivesmatter #allPOClivesmatter #mixedracelivesmatter #evenwhitelivesmatter #andyesevencoplivesmatter #queerlivesmatter #translivesmatter #cislivesmatter #sexworkerlivesmatter #survivorlivesmatter #abusevictimslivesmatter #poorlivesmatter #veteranlivesmatter #homelesslivesmatter #humanlivesmatter #animallivesmatter #lifematters #itallmatters
One thing that keeps sticking in my mind is the worldwide culture of violence we live in. How every single one of us, everywhere, is living a life that is the result of millennia of violence, and much of it is due to racial, ethnic, religious, and so many other kinds of hatred. Intolerance. Especially here in New York City, where I can look around me on my morning commute and see people from so many vastly different backgrounds, I am struck by the fact that we all got here because somebody, somewhere in the history of our lives or our ancestors’ lives, committed violence against somebody. I’m here because my ancestors were forced off their ancestral home by state-enforced starvation after colonization and war. The woman sitting in front of me this morning is most likely here because her ancestors were forced into slavery and brought here. The guy working the front desk at my office this morning is probably here because violence and poverty forced his family to flee here from their home. Our species is, at this very moment, committing acts of unspeakable physical and mental violence upon itself, all over the world, and upon the earth we live on.
It’s so normal to us to see violence as the status quo. Those in power commit violence against those they repress, and the repressed commit violence against the oppressors, and themselves. The system continues to rely on violence as the norm, because that’s how it has always been.
If I turn on the TV or go to the movies or listen to the radio, I will see or hear about guns. I will see fights, blood, killing. If I want to watch nonviolent entertainment, I’m pretty much screwed because it hardly exists.
But if I want to see people loving one another, giving one another pleasure, experiencing pleasure, enjoying one another? I have to sneak around on the back end of the internet. I can’t find it in “legitimate” films or media. If I want to see someone have an orgasm, I’m expected to do it privately and quietly and not talk about it. But to see someone be murdered or maimed? Just turn on the TV. Any channel.
Police violence is one of the many symptoms of a world that turns on violence borne of inequality, hatred, and greed for power. When it’s normal to know how to shoot a gun or put someone in a chokehold because it’s part of your programming from years of living in a violent world, but the UK just banned female ejaculation (an undeniable, visible sign of female pleasure) in erotic films, there’s something deeply, deeply wrong.
I’m not saying everyone should watch porn instead of protesting. But I’m saying that the world we live in, though the violent aspects of it are so celebrated and the loving, pleasurable side of life is is so repressed, is still a result of love. The vast, vast majority of us were born because of love, or kept because of love, or adopted because of love. We are here because of pleasure, mostly. We continue to protest and campaign and live and breathe because we hope for love. Remember that. Try to champion that. Try to breathe love. Try to avoid violence. Try to change the paradigm.
#lifematters #lovematters #endviolence