Do You Know What Strength It Takes To Survive On Rainwater Buried Under Concrete?
One of the first stories I recall is the one where my father told me about the day he decided to donate blood.
After shortly arriving in this country, as a Haitian immigrant, he had seen a commercial imploring everyone to come together and donate blood as there had been a severe shortage. My father, being O+ (the most sought after blood type) and never being one to pass an opportunity to help, went directly to a blood donation center and offered up his time to best assist others he would never meet. He introduced himself to the technician in the soft timbre of his accent. Immediately, the technician remarked, "Where are you from?" My father answered "Haiti." The technician shook his head and stated quite plainly :
"We don't take your blood, your people have HIV."
In one swoop, my father received a blow to his ego and his value in the community.
Words are not "just words". Words are not invisible. Words are not action.
Words are a tool.
We use them to build things. Relationships. Dreams. Connections. Plans.
Much like we can use a hammer to destroy,
we can use words to deconstruct.
Let us always be mindful of words we use and what we use them for. Even when others in power are not. It is to their own detriment as they don't respect the tool.
For those of us who struggle (all of us!) words, stories, poetry, narratives are sometimes the only tools that we have.
Let's use them to build a wall and keep the ignorance from shit-hole bigotry out.