Silence, as defined, is the "absence of any sound or noise; stillness." It is, also, pending context, "the state or fact of being silent; muteness." Or, better yet, "the absence or omission of mention, comment, or expressed concern." And for the purpose and intent of this post, I will be using the latter, to some degree, though I suppose, it is quite a contradiction.
Before I begin to delve into the issues at hand, I must mention that this post will not be a call for action; nor will it be some long-thought-out manifestio of some deeper and greater hidden meaning. It is simply my thoughts, my opinions, my feelings. It is nothing but a public diary entry brought forth due to the fact that some people feel there isn't a enought noise being made. So, this is my counter-reaction to the noise, or rather, my own noise.
With that noted, I will just forthcomingly state that my silence has its reasons; and it must be known that my silence on the matters of everything that has and is still happening has nothing to do with being unaware, not caring, or being hesitant to address the issues of race inequality that still plagues this so-called "melting pot" of a questionable, at best, nation; on the contrary, I rise in silence. I am silent because, silence is as loud as noise; and sometimes, silence speaks more volumes than noise ever could.
There are many ways to combat hatred and there has always been many ways to "fight." It is in my solitude, where I do what I know best: I write. And though many may feel this is a weak effort, as I am not actively out there doing something; however, it can still be argued that words contain a power, that at times, action may not contain. I say this in regards to the fact that what once worked during the times of our parents, our parent's parents, and so forth, will not be as effective as they once were. It is simply a sign of the times and a reflection on the changes that have ensued throughout history. This is not to say that those who do march, who do riot, who do protest are wasting their time, because they are not. This does not invalidate any such action. Those actions must continue to happen, because (1) it is a natural reaction to the grief and confusion over the continuous deaths of unarmed men, children, and women of color and (2) though all noise is not necessary, some noise is always needed. However, how we as people of color continue to handle these moments must be rethought. What I am saying, is that in order to elicit the changes we truly want to see in this nation, we have to use what the powers at be have been always using against us: education. It is and has always been the power of knowledge that has set anything in motion. If you do not know better, you cannot do better. Plain and simple. And I've always strongly stood by that notion, as it was the foundations of my youth. From the moment I can remember, my parents have relentlessly stressed the importance of being educated. Thus, we have to due diligence and provide for our own selves what the powers at be aim to continously hide from us. And what we clearly have been ignorantly missing is the importance of congressional elections. For it is the Congressional branches, and NOT the presidental one, that truly turns the wheels in this country.
So, we have to make ourselves aware of who is representing us in office. It is policy makers that determine the decisions made in this country - it is NOT, and unforntunately so, us, the people, who make the decisions. If we do NOT know who our policy makers are, what they stand for, what they seek to do, and so forth, then we are blindly giving up our rights to be represented equally. So, in addition to the noise making, we have to do our research. Learn, become aware, notice the details: see. We have to see where those problems are coming from, and amend those issues at the source. And in order to do that, we must vote the rightful individuals into office. Like the story of the trojan horse, these policy makers only make a difference if they too seek to overcome the enemies that still breed and nourish the inequalilty that reigns effortlessly within this country. Until that happens, noise making alone will not make a difference. It will just be unrequited noise.
In the end, do not take my silence as an absence of concern. I care. I care as much as many other people (of color or not) care. I worry, like many, for the future of my people. I am scared, as many are, of simply "being black in the wrong place, at the wrong time." But all I can do is what I was raised to do, and that is to learn as much as I can to better myself. I cannot lead others if I am not equipped with the knowledge I need to do so. All the movements of any form of civil and basic rights took years, decades even. In those years, the most effecitve leaders spent many years prior, during, and even after learning, absorbing, and finally applying all the knowledge they acquired. It is on that basis, where I stand and why I continue to educate myself on all that is happening around me. It is on that basis, why I remain in silence and refrain from commenting on everything that has to deal with all that has occurred in regards to the death of Mike Brown, the onset rioting that ensued afterwards in Ferguson, and any such related case, present or past. As I do not know everything, nor will I ever, I must only speak when I feel it best in my heart to do so; hence this post - which will, more than likely, be the only time I will address this matter on such a public forum.
This "fight" for equality was a war that began centuries ago; and though we may have won many "battles" along the way, the war itself is not any where near over.
To end, I remix the great words of Bob Marley, and I preach, "wake up and learn."
:: Post Rationalizing(s)
"Silence can often be more disturbing than noise, it reveals the complicated mechansim of our thoughts."
― José Rodrigues Miguéis ―