Maidan Garhi Diwali

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Here in Delhi, taxi drivers are academics; economists, cartographers and historians, to be exact. They are the ones who tell you where a neighborhood is, how it has evolved, and the economic reasons why its demographic is the way it … Continue reading

Beyond being Bait

I am not the anti-activist. I understand the hoods. I understand the occupation. I get the gesture, the action, the symbolism and the solidarity. It serves a purpose in our society – to comfort survivors, to empower ourselves. To feel in cahoots, to be on the right side of justice. I struggle to participate the way I struggle to vote. Believing that you all will do my bidding with your overwhelming majority. You all, who stand there and speak as if you know the pulse of conviction, have a better understanding than I. You scream louder, you buy king sized skittles. Your signs are higher hoisted and more colorful.  You all look good out there, together.

And I see you from here and I’m not sure I have a role to play. Other than to see to it that I know where my children are, so that they won’t harm yours. Other than to remind my boys that they are loved and thus hunted; not because they are harmful, but because the act of emasculation is a pendulum – often boosting the self worth of the worthless. Other than to tell her that she is the most beautifulest thing in this world. And perhaps to remind you all of the possibilities beyond what you can see with your own eyes.

My brother got older, a mentor left this earth, Trayvon was shot and bled out. And I… dear hearts… was there for none of it. Your presence is a present. What you choose to do with it is your business, literally none of my concern. But, I don’t wear a hood today for a rally I can’t see, the same way I wouldn’t wear a gown on the date of a wedding I can’t attend.

We must be powerful – wherever our environment.  We must be fully present, wherever we are. I urge you to do whatever you feel best, I trust your judgment. And likewise, trust that you will understand my absence. But I hear you, even from here. I will convey your message, honestly, when people ask, “Have things changed?”

Before I go out there and give our response, I just want to clarify with you. I believe I can relay that our President is a man and not a superhero.  If I hear you correctly, you are ok with my saying that in order to understand the progress of change, one must punctuate the historical timeline correctly. I understand from your message that the civil rights movement was, perhaps, a start. What I believe you want me to say is that what you are looking for is an end.

Correct me, if I’m wrong…