Tag Archives: family

Post the Fifth 2 or On the Boston Bombings and Drone Strikes

First of all, my heart goes out to all the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing. I am so, so grateful that my family and friends are safe. I can only imagine the fear and a deep-seated apprehension that must have settled all over the city. I’m not sure what I would have done if I was still in Boston. But I do know that I would be writing.

Writing helps me sort through my thoughts and bring order to my mind. I’ve had a lot of emotions running through me the past few days. Fear that my family had been hurt. Worry that more attacks my come. And yet I am not surprised. This type of violence is common in many parts of the world. US imperialism is constantly waging war against Third World people. This state of fear is common place in areas like Pakistan, Palestine and Yemen. To me, this seems like another manifestation of imperialist violence. Another bomb in a long line of bombs stretching back to Columbus.

There has been such an outpouring of love and support for Boston and the victims of the bombing. It is amazing to see the bravery of those folks who witness the disaster first hand and do what they can to help. All over my Facebook and Tumblr, as well as in person, I have seen people express deep sympathy and solidarity with Boston. I have seen so much rage at the people who did this. But I wonder, where is all of this rage and love and solidarity for the victims of drone strikes in places like Pakistan and Yemen? Where is the outcry for the dead innocents aboard?

And I wonder if that 8 year old boy had been Black, would he have been as mourned as he is now?

Of course, I already know the answer to these questions. Its natural to react more strongly to things that happen closer to you. It is easier to dehumanize that which you will never see or interact with. And our culture of systemic white ignorance keeps most people from realizing what is happening or even caring. But this does not make the reality any less disheartening.

And I worry about what sort of racist backlash we are in store for. Already, a Saudi student was accused of being a suspect by the media, when in actually he was injured by the blast. Two men were taken off of a plane because they spoke “Arabic“. A “be on the lookout” alert has gone out for a “tall, dark-skinned man wearing a black hoodie and a black backpack”, which is probably the vaguest, and most lethal, description ever. I have many friends who fit this description but none of them are, of course, involved  But that is not going to matter. What is going to matter is the racialized panic that is going to envelop Boston and make like much, much harder for brown folks, especially folks who “look” Muslim.

Already I am seeing on my Facebook patriotic calls for revenge. And that scares me more than anything because that patriotism is under girded by white supremacy and imperialism. And patriots rarely care if their victims were actually responsible for the crimes that they are accused of.

I also wonder how this will affect victims of domestic violence. Almost always, disasters put victims of DV at greater risk.

I don’t say this to minimize the pain or the suffering or the fear that is going on in Boston right now. Rather, I encourage us to hold all of these truths together. I encourage us to stand in solidarity with all victims of violence and understand the ways in which we are complicit in imperial violence here and abroad. I ask that you remember the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and the victims of drone strikes.  I ask that my friends in Boston, and elsewhere, resist the urge to buy into the panic that the media will be selling us.

Most importantly, take care of yourself. Take care of each other. If you feel like this stuff is getting to you, reach out. There is a Disaster Distress Helpline that can help you through this. It is times like these that really show the mettle of our character. I would hope that we can act out of compassion rather than fear.

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Post the Sixty-Seventh or Distance

Distance

That place where time and space meet

Which is infinitesimally small

And infinitely large

Boundless possibilities exist

In the distance between two people

The distance between two hearts

It is in that distance that we see ourselves

Reflected

In the other

In that distance

Where we find ourselves

Quite by accident

Unsure of how we got there

Not knowing where to go from here

But aware that this distance

In this moment

Is precious

Unlike anything we have ever experienced

Exhilarating

Like the view of New York City from the Empire State Building

Feeling like one false step could sending you plummeting

And yet knowing that you are safe

Terrifying

Like the first glimpse of the endless expanse of the Pacific

Knowing that you could drown in those dark, unfathomable depths

But feeling like you could float to islands unknown

Where sweet fruits and soft sands await

It is in this distance between you and I, my love,

where I meet myself

And realize that I have always known you

Always loved you

It is in this distance that I

Realize that goddesses could die

Empires could fall

Worlds could crumble

lovers could move on

And I will still be here

Loving you

As hard and as fiercely as the day we met

Regardless if we are fucking or not

Because you are my family

And if we aren’t there for each other

To celebrate our victories

Or

When the distance between hatred

And our bodies close

Than who?


Post the Fifty Seventh or Familia

They lay next to me

The both of them

One dark

One light

And I somewhere in Between

Their skin pressed up against the other

Each of us holding

Those parts of ourselves

That needed to be held

In that silence

I could hear their blood pump

And I wonder

What does it mean to be family?

Is family

Those with whom you share

Ancestry

And blood?

Is family

Those with whom you share

Spirit

And Narrative?

Is family

Those people who

Make your soul sing

With concertos of beauty

Who still the cacophony

That governs our lives?

Is family

those people who

Birthed you

Raised you

Held you when you scraped your knee

Who sweated, bled and cried so that you

Could have a better life?

Is family

Those with whom you

Are rooted

In common struggle

Or common land?

But how great is the difference between

The blood that runs through my veins

And the blood that courses through my lover’s?

Family is the blood that we

choose.