February Food for Thought: On Fear, Race, Change and Borders

On fear: Focus on believing in yourself. Everything else falls into place.

When you give people the power to set time-lines on your life, you lose.

Fear isn’t a sign of defeat necessarily. But having that fear dictate your actions or inaction is certainly defeat.

On race: Yay for Black History Month. Isn’t it so great that all the minorities get their own month here? Nothing like a month to make us feel equal.

We can give away months to minorities, but whitey still owns the calendar!

On change through new media: Most social change is the not-so-novel idea of one person fueled by the actions of many in various mediums.

On borders: Borders are human-made, geo-political constructions that should neither necessitate the deprivation of basic human rights nor cast people as outsiders. In our world, they function as a specific form of colonial domination that necessitates the delineation of an inside and outside, the marking and categorizing of certain bodies as alien and foreign for specific political purposes such as the “national security” project.

Even the Fear is Gone

“The more I’m afraid of something, the more I know I have to do it. I figured that out when I was a kid. I can lead a protected life, hiding away from the scary world. Or, I can take on the things that scare me the most. The more it might hurt, the more I might die doing it… the more worth doing it must be.”

-Marlee Matlin

I am officially as out as I can be and it’s actually a downer. People somehow think I am brave. What? There’s nothing brave about being yourself.

Is it lack of fear or just downright recklessness? Maybe a bit of both. I am so numb that I no longer care. At the same time, I realize that I have nothing left to lose so it doesn’t matter.

I actually don’t understand what all the hype and fear is about. It’s actually quite like being ‘gay and closeted’ — nothing really happens after you come out, besides the occasional slur, marginalization and deprivation of basic civil rights. But we knew that already.

Why do we give the state so much control and power over our lives? Why do we stoop to the terrorists at ICE? When we fear the system that oppresses us, we have lost already. And I don’t do losing. Despite several layers of systemic inequities, there are some things that I can control–being open, direct and honest about myself is one of those things. Not supporting a bureaucracy and system with my hard-work and taxes is another one of those things.

Now, if I have to stay true to myself, I have to find something that really scares me and just do it. Leaving everything I know is scary–I must do it again.