Silence is the breeding ground for injustice in society. Silence allows things unspoken to build up in our society, the perfect breeding ground for injustice to go unnoticed.
There is a stigma of being a victim of oppression. Whether you are a black woman to a black man. A white woman to a white many. A woman to a man.
A black person to a white person. A black woman to a white woman. A black man to a white woman. A black man to a white man. A black woman to a white man. Earth to a human.
The above mentioned are dualities that exist within our identities as humans. Around these dualities, we have formed cultures, religions, education systems, government systems and laws. Around these dualities, we have etched everyday life.
So now that we have had to pause from these everyday functions. It is in plain view that in fact life is not run by the clicking of the modern-day clock.
The wake-up, go to school, go to work, go home, go to sleep and go back to where you were yesterday. Except for weekends and holidays, of course, we are not complete robots. The loudest apparent truth has hit us for the first time in a long time, that how we have been going on is not working. Not for everyone anyway.
This truth threatens the silence that keeps the above-mentioned dualities in perfect harmony. A well-oiled machine clicking its teeth in the background of our lives. That annoying noise that you try to get used to else it would drive you crazy.
Silence envelopes us in a blanket of safety against the big bad world. That your uncle that comes to visit gropes you when he hugs, but you convince yourself you are thinking too much about it.
How do you tell anyone without alluding to the fact that you were thinking about being sexualized? In fact, you felt sexualized. A feeling that most women cannot put into words. So we pack it up in an unlabeled container and plaster it up with silence.
Till the boxes pile up and threaten to topple over. In the way that black South African’s voices chanting in streets and screaming in pain from flying bullets, toppled an apartheid system that had run for about 50 years. Yep, FIFTY YEARS.
That is a span of three generations to be born in one family. How did the world come to be divided into a duality of black and white? That claimed that white is better than black? How did this come to shape a system which in turn would shape the realities of individuals based on whether they were black or white?
Silence envelopes the pain that comes from the Violence which comes from splitting one group into two. Basic psychology claims that when a group of people are split into two groups, the two groups band together against the other.
Collective identity is ditched and the idea of the “us and them” comes into play. A very crucial part of human communication comes from empathy. The “us and them” is a loss of empathy between the two groups.
The “other” is seen as an object rather than a subject. Add to this little recipe a hierarchial system that says one group is more privileged than the other.
Here we find ourselves today. Men and women, black men and white men, white men and white women, white women and black women, white supremacy to the “other” races.
Lesbian women to straight men, homosexuals to heterosexuals. Disabled to abled people. Animal to man. Earth to humans. Here we are, oiling the old machine with our silence. Feeding it so that it can go on.
Women are maimed and raped and beat on, we are numb to that. People of African descent were picked and sold off and spat upon for centuries, oh that’s all in the past right? Right, tell that to Ahmaud Arbery’s parents. Humans take and rip through the earth faster than they can give back.
When conversations about injustice come up, does it feel like chewing spoonfuls of sand? Does the noise hurt your ears? The answers lie only within you.