in pulling information for my post on the 5th year of the iraqi war, i came across images that reflect the suffering of women and girls in war torn lands.
i must say that i chose not to include these images, sobbing recounts from those tenacious enough to survive, and perpetrators brazen enough to brag about their participation in crimes against humanity.
on a certain level i felt the images too graphic. additionally, it felt as if my posting them would further dehumanize the unfortunate women pictured. i would never want that done to me or my family---so i did not do it to another woman and her family.
i must say this though. my viewing these images wounded my soul. they haunted my dreams last night. in the comfort of my home, safe, surrounded by my family and everything i need; my life was impacted.
my love, respect and immense empathy prompted me to re-visit the topic today. i love my sisters and their suffering affects me. my sisters motivate me to continue to tell the truth, do my best to shine the light of understanding in the dark places; and let the chips fall where they may. i honor them and will stand in solidarity with them against violence and sexual assault.
all americans don't believe that other lands are inhabited by lesser humans. some of us understand that during times of war, the men and boys die and the women and girls die a thousand times. i will not even pretend that rape is not a weapon of oppression and war. i won't bury my head and mute my voice because it is so ugly and unpopular to discuss such things. i wish there was no need to discuss such things.
additionally, i am tuned into the fact that the poor women and children displaced by hurricane katrina are still suffering; although it is no longer on the news. where i live, i see funds for schools being slashed, while the police departments are being bulked up. i get an e-mail everyday wanting to know if i want to be a police officer. the stage is being set...
it is time to wake up! Malcolm X said it best with, "the greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people. you have to wake them up to their humanity, their own worth, to their heritage, then you'll get action." it is time to wake up!
i will relax when i see progress being made. even then, only a little. ever mindful that if this is the plight of non-black women, it will be double time for us. nowhere have i been able to find an indication of otherwise.
my tears cleanse me. my tears heal my soul. my tears release my anger. when things beat me down, i will get up. i will come back in multiples of ten. this is who we are, my sisters. my tears have been dried and my face washed; i will now return to my assignment. it is time for everyone to wake up.
thanks to my mother for the image. i love you.
SELF LOVE~SELF ACCEPTANCE~SELF RESPECT