I am deeply disappointed in my dream self.
A video about how history is taught, how it sugarcoats slavery and racism (and I’ll add mostly deletes Native history, especially as I was 23 before I came across any Native authors)- even though people who experience racism learn because it’s a part of life- triggered my dream from last night.
I was in a room. A bunch of people came in with textbooks. They saluted nazi-style, and left. All I did was stand with a shocked and angry expression. I brought no light to the hate I knew was harbored in those dream people. I did nothing but stare. I was faced with hate and I did nothing.
Would I have done the same thing if it was real life? Would I have hoped my facial expression would have been noticed and sent the people filled with hate into a similar existential crisis that I’m feeling now? Or would I have used my words? Words have amazing power.
Can enough words of love counter the words of hate? Can words of knowledge bring wisdom to the ignorance within racism, sexism, all the other forms of oppression?
I don’t know. I hope. I hope love will win. Hate has been sitting latent for a very long time.
I remember I was sitting with my friend, and a friend of her brother walked over and said, out of the blue, “I don’t have a problem with black people, I just don’t want any to move in next to me.” And that statement has come back to haunt me periodically throughout my life. It is an incredibly dehumanizing statement. Partly it haunts me because I was too shocked to say anything. I sat with an angry expression and words too jumbled to come through my mouth. Just like my dream self last night. Partly it haunts me because it was a thought that someone had, and that he thought it was worth words.
So I make a vow to myself. I will use my words. Written words are easier because I can think deeply about them before setting them out into the world. I will speak my truth, and my truth says there should not be tolerance for intolerance. My truth screams justice for all, for each life, for people and fish and birds and plants. My truth is words of love that are meant to compost hate into something useful.
Imagine a world where justice for all was a thing. A real thing where evidence was obvious. Where rhetoric wasn’t used to keep others down. Where opportunities to bring the gifts our souls carry to this world existed for each of us.
I’m a dreamer (rising above how disappointed I currently am with my dream self), and I’m not the only one.