(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 100)
Through more than five lifetimes across the American continent, even after the genocide and enslavement of our bloodlines, from the rainforests of Brazil to the mountaintops of Canada, and through this dizzied land of war-songs and bombs, Indigenous, African and more descendants of colonization have still managed to live, love, and laugh in America. We still do. Some days we only manage one of the three. But we get close enough. Each day we fight to keep living.
Most of all, we continue to push past heaps of winds threatening to slow down our progress. Let it not be forgotten that as hostility for our communities rose, our communities chose to rise up in power, guided by love, not by hatred. Let it not be forgotten how this pandemic has shown the whole world the way we keep rising. The way we refuse to be put down.
As one student I worked with last year put it in her first spoken-word poem:
“We broke them damn chains.”
We continue breaking them today. What has also lain exposed after three months of “Pandemic in Los Angeles” is that while the people’s elected leadership and representatives have largely failed in their duties to serve our communities, the people themselves have not. The land forgets nothing. And we are the land.
More than as just Americans, we have acted as global citizens with the world for our localities. In marching, outraging, and organizing, we have done so not just for the benefit of ourselves, but for the benefit of all people, for the 21st century and beyond, if our global pueblo can manage to see it.
We have done an immeasurable amount of teaching, and even more learning. Consistently in our discourse it’s become apparent that our teaching and learning has been most of all for ourselves, to continue uplifting our youth, families, and elders for the sake of one lifetime.
If white Americans have been able to grow in their perspectives from our teachings, which have been offered to all since the first day, to become more than “not racist,” but actually anti-racist, then great. If not, that’s fine as well, because what’s also become abundantly clear for our communities is that it’s not our responsibility as the oppressed to consistently guide our oppressors into behaving more humanely. Moreover, it’s clear that in any case, whiteness is breaking itself down, collapsing under its own fictitious weight, exposing its brutality through the baton for anyone who dares to challenge the inequality it has created as anything but just. One way or another, white Americans need to come to terms with this, which is likely not the end of “whiteness,” but the end of white supremacy.
As for our communities, which still need to see to the development of at least the next generation of great teachers, artists, critical thinkers and more to expand on this great, axis-turning shift in consciousness:
We have an incredibly long way to go. But that’s because we have incredibly long ages to live for.
As I witness the brilliance of our people despite fractured roads before us during these last few months, I think of all the societies lost, burned down by the greed of the colonists and slave-masters; of all the great minds, kidnapped and broken into by the infectious lust for power. But the fact of the matter is that their minds never wholly died, just as their societies never entirely vanished. The land never forgets; its roots are here once again now, speaking through only more of our voices as we reclaim a world we know we’ve been given to uphold.
Speaking of which, this makes 100 blogs from yours truly in as many days for “Pandemic in Los Angeles.” Thank you to each and every reader and supporter, and please expect more soon after a small break to refresh the sound and keyboards.
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