- rhetoric of anti-oppression (specifically around racism, sexuality, and gender identity) analysis will be requited later today. Any takers?
As I looked down the bridge I could see that both sides were completely packed. No room for bikers. Cars would drive by and honk people would shout. It last only a short time but it felt good; to be there with four thousand people all holding hands. To me it was non-violent conflict resolution on a city wide scale. I went with the QRC. Everyone left feeling empowered. I am curious to see if the media (other than Just Out) will print anything about the event. I know it is also spurring the QRC to take on regularly scheduling more self-defense and deescalation workshops. And other groups around town. I know this is far from the first hate crime that has happened. Far from the first beating of another for queer PDA (Public Displays of Affection) but I think this one was really brutal. Also it wasn’t around a bar.
On Saturday, I went out to a bar. This is something that rarely, rarely happens with me. But it was afterwards when we go food at a food cart that this guy came up and was super aggressive to the cart owner. He also kept talking about “these queers” that I guess saw him pissing against a building and supposively commented on his size. I was with a baby gay (and enduring term used in the community to denote someone who hasn’t been out long and is usually under 23.) He was having a hard time. I don’t think he was use to the language. Another point of conflict was that he is just learning about racism and the man was black. So I took it as an opportunity to talk with him about how intersecting oppression particularly plays into the black male community. And why alternative language is used in the black community often. (MsM, & M4M… means Men who have Sex with other Men & Men For Men. WsW, & w4w… means women who have sex with other women & women for women.)
It was interesting that as I stood there and calmly and at normal decibels to my friend about what the context was of this man’s aggression, my friend started to calm down. The agro guy became more agro but it was never directed at us. I think this is one of the best methods of deescalation/ conflict resolution I have been able to use. When in crisis with another person and I suppose violent acts and behaviorisms of homophobia would be a crisis; I have noticed there is something different about the way I handle the problem that makes it be ok. I have been trying to deconstruct it for many years.
The best I have come up with is that I can hold space, meaning that in my head I can meditate on “I am not afraid” and “You are not going to hurt me because I will hurt you.” I have lived in some pretty rough places. People always how could I live there, it is so dangerous. And it probably is for them but I think to the people I live around I am akin. I live there. My economic status is equal to there’s. I do not symbolize entitlement. So I am not a threat. This, I believe, is key in any conflict/ crisis: to not be a threat. If I do not see this other person as a threat, maybe they won’t see me as a threat. Determine why the other person is perceiving you as a threat and then analysis what you are willing to compromise. Sometimes I have even found that which we are being asked to give up is a part of ourselves we also wish to give up.
who am I said the he that was not me.
when the day ends who still finds you important.
When the birds fly high, who flies with you.
The fields were barren. the plants withered.
Yet still so beautiful.
Like the end of winter.
Spring is coming.
you can see the field full of flowers.
But right now everything is dead.
do you see the dead that is in front of your eyes
or the life that could be.
what waking dreams of who I am suppose to be
do you bind me to.
what images, labels, projections must I fend off.
What is my cost?
my sense of self.
too high. much too high.
I am not poor.
I am very wealthy.
I have a huge spirit.
I have pride.
I have courage.
But why I should I give freely of these
and get nothing in return.
why should I allow myself
to be bought and sold for scraps.
you want champagne
on a beer budget.
your price is too low.
You won’t even attempt to up bid.
You say my value is too high.
I am asking too much.
But it is not my problem
if you don’t see
the value of the merchandise.
tomorrow it will rain.
and we will be
but separate. distant.
I don’t think you will call.
I don’t think I will hear from you again.
Two ships passing in the night.
Has the story already been written.
Again and again.
forever retold.-Smitty Buckler
May 29, 2011, 11:22 GMTNew York - Gill Scott-Heron, the influential poet and musician, has died in New York aged 62, his record label said Saturday.
Scott-Heron, a black American best known for his song The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, was pioneer of a spoken word musical style which many saw as the precusor to modern-day rap.
As well as albums spanning four decades, he published various books of poetry.
Born in Tennessee, he moved as a teenager with his mother to New York, where he was influenced by the works of the Beat poets.
Reacting to the social upheavals of the US in the 1960s, his 1970 spoken word rap The Revolution Will Not Be Televised satirized consumer culture, as well as race relations.
After years plagued by ill health, various addictions and a spell in jail, his comeback album I’m New Here - his first in 16 years - sold well.
Scott-Heron died on Friday.