Created by Asha Lorraine Richardson
Inspired by Celia Delaney’s “Racism isn’t a New Concept”
of Salish Sea Heartbeat IndigeZine Fall 2020:
Hear me and listen intently. That’s all we have been asking for. Wasn’t this year supposed to be a year of 20/20 vision? It wasn’t the vision I think any of us anticipated. Yet, this country and world have seen the clearest view that many never knew, or previously chose not to.
It has been a year of realizations, accountability, and genuine action. It has become a time for others to hear our cry and they have had no choice but to finally listen.
Who is “they” in which I refer to? It is one word to describe white America. Those that have had the privilege to ignore the intergenerational pain and trauma of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). “They” have benefited from our labor and our vulnerabilities. Don’t ever mistake that for any weakness. This has only made my fellow BIPOC prevail, harness our strength, and maintain our resiliency.
It’s not just BIPOC though. It’s a bigger revolution. People of all race, class, gender, and generations have chosen to join hands to disrupt the very systems that have lied to everyone.
The “American Dream” is and always was solely for the white elite. Especially unwelcome by Black and Brown folks that have sacrificed and sweat to build this country.
The system is running exactly as it was intended. Its foundations relentlessly grasping and retaining its inherent racism. It all started with colonialism. Land meant profit and power.
First, they unrightfully claimed my people’s lands, broke treaty agreements, then sought to remove Indigenous peoples only to then have the land be tended forcefully by enslaved Africans.
These two racial communities were seen as dispensable and expendable. Still are, and this will persist as long as policies and laws remain that work against them and their very existence. That is structural inequality.
The same system that permitted the removal and attempt to annihilate Indigenous peoples was the same system that allowed the ownership and enslavement of African/Black peoples.
The same system that has continuously inflicted “harm on an entire race of peoples”.
The same system that has oppressed BIPOC for hundreds of years.
No more broken promises.
Solidarity has been built and strengthened between Black and Indigenous folk. Leading the greater movement, inspiring a movement with people from all backgrounds.
A spark of justice has fueled so many souls. A global mission to achieve real change with the power of awareness and education.
We shout the names of the Black and Indigenous lives that have been taken carelessly by the hands of Police violence and brutality.
No longer will we be constricted at the hands of white supremacy and the dominant narrative.The Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Land Back Movements have forced the system of structural inequality to look in the mirror, including those that don’t see its faults and barriers.The two pandemics will linger into the next year. We must all acknowledge that racial justice and equity are basic human rights.
The fight continues, and my river of tears will not flow without reason.
This is my cry for change.