“I must remind you that starving a child is violence. Neglecting school children is violence. Punishing a mother and her family is violence. Discrimination against a working man is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical need is violence. Contempt for poverty is violence.”
Coretta Scott King (via actjustly)
And the sad part of this is the word “remind”. We had to be reminded this?
LANGUAGE AS A WEAPON
I am reminded of “Dan,” the pseudonym Kent Nerburn gave to his Lakota interviewee in his book, Neither Wolf nor Dog, who spoke about language being used as a weapon by the white, European invaders. When whites attacked American Indian tribes it was Manifest Destiny. It was victory. It was claiming land.
When they attacked back, it was “savages” on a “warpath.” Every time.
You only hear it called “class warfare” when the poor fight back. You only hear it being called a “race card” when the racist is called out for his racism. You only heard it called terrorism when the people in overseas lands, whom we’ve bombed, interfered with, invaded, and exploited for their resources, decide to strike on our land once. We’re never the terrorist, of course.
And then there’s this: You only hear people called thugs when those who’ve been abused by police fight back.
Yesterday I was told technically, by definition, that terrorism is breaking laws. Yes, I know our government uses that word vaguely and loosely so that it can use language as a weapon. But I refuse to call a jay-walker a terrorist. I refuse to tell people who lived terrorized every single day that they must not ever fight back or they’ll be “just as bad.” I refuse to acquit our society out of an ethnocentric blindness.
Less than a human lifetime ago, we still had Jim Crow. It’s still in reach to get back to that horror again. And that’s terrifying.
Less than a human lifetime ago the police were doing the same horrible things to gays. And that finally ended after a riot called Stonewall. But they recently tried doing that shit again at the Atlanta Eagle. The idea of returning to that is just terrifying.
But the idea that white, straight, Christian people might not be able to do this to whomever they please might be terrifying to the privileged, I suppose. And to that, all I can say is: GOOD. You deserve to be “terrorized” by that. But if you think your terror of losing supreme status is anywhere near as bad as the terror we face everyday, you seriously need to live in our shoes for five minutes. You’ll never use another stupid “just as bad” argument again. You’d be eating your one-sided words.
– posted at Tumblr