At some point one has to declare a cease-fire, be it by choice or not. Some will declare it after deep reflection, others through surrender and others, having waited too long, via death. Today I declare a cease-fire on my active state of being partially purposeful and partially responsible. No one is such a thing. No one can be partially anything when dealing in a revolution, especially this revolution, our bottomless well of a revolution. This revolution being the very same one our ancestors participated in and fought for but which now bears new faces, newer dimensions and many more missed opportunities. It is the revolution of naming an action, capturing the image and documenting the present.
In my absence, I became a random star floating in a vast galaxy. I become a mere pixel assisting in the whole. I am among the many who forgot their role, who ignored their own value and lost sight of what was important. I am one among the many who believed that existing could be enough; that my action of nothingness caused no harm until I realized that the revolution continued despite me, affecting my offspring in ways I hadn't fathomed possible; that the revolution was losing ground by my silence and inaction.
Neutrality is a farce. We all have an opinion. We all have a reaction. We use the term 'being neutral' as a defense. We are scared. We are hiding from the fear of not harboring the popular thought. We are hiding from publicly being wrong or perhaps, we're not hiding at all. Perhaps we're just plain lazy. Whatever the reason, we are failing. We are failing the cause. We have consciously put down our arms and allowed our enemies broader range into our spaces, into our minds and into our lives. We have allowed them easier access into mass persuasion. Essentially we have been, I have been handing over my power.
Is it not true that a picture does not stop being a picture if one pixel becomes obsolete? And is it not true that the galaxy will carry forth despite the absence of another stars beam? Therefore, it is true that the issues will continue to manifest from the palms of trouble makers (intentional or not) despite the absence of a fallen comrade. THIS comrade has decided to get up. THIS comrade rises, grabs her weaponry and while she may be incapable of stopping the bullets from being fired, she can certainly join the front line alongside her fellow bloggers. Sir William Shakespeare once wrote "many wearing rapiers are afraid of goosequills." Well I say, be very afraid! I have risen and have decided to right my wrong by rejoining the revolution. I have a voice, therefore I am obligated to respond, to teach and to document.
I am making a "come-back" because it is needed, because there is a circus of situations feverishly showing their heads like some surreal Jack-In-The-Box that just won't quit. I spent my days observing from the sidelines as sideshow after sideshow developed. I witnessed the arrival of SB1070 and HB87 and did very little about it. I witnessed earthquake after earthquake torment our brothers and sisters in Haiti, Chile and Japan and all I did was change a Facebook status. I did the same with the news concerning the growing epidemic of homelessness and cholera outbreak in Haiti. I followed quietly as police rattled the lives of innocent civilians here in the states and caused havoc on teachers and students in Puerto Rico. I followed the news of questionable budget cuts and continued injustice against both women and children and of politicians gone drunk with power and on and on and on and nothing. I watched and read as children continued to fall through the cracks of the public school system and just simply felt sad. I watched families struggle with the idea of assimilation when they didn't need to go through it at all. Why have I stopped teaching? Why haven't I taught survival was possible bi-culturally? Why wasn't there talk of acculturation instead? I can no longer stay quiet. My silence does more harm than good. It protects no one. It helps no one. It betrays.
To witness and follow is not enough. Indeed it is a wise move to be informed, but with knowledge comes responsibility and I need to get my act together concerning the latter. This post is not only a confession and promise, it is also a call for all my fallen comrades! Pick up your quills!
In the words of Audre Lorde, "Your silence will not protect you." You WILL be held accountable, if not by me then by your own child, your neighbor, an elder, your sister, your mother, your best friends father, your neighborhood baker, your community members, the whole. Let us be the Whitney Young's, the Alberto Korda's, the Pedro Albizu Campos and the Juan Antonio Corretjer's of our generation. Perhaps those are tall glasses to fill but fill it we must, be it through photographs, media, essays, protests and/or literature.