TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 10 – July 21, 2020
Dedication: My fellow Alamance County people who are fighting against White Supremacy in all kinds of different ways. (If you live in Alamance, sign my petition to safely remove the statue: https://www.change.org/GrahamMonument)
I dedicate this to my dear friends Katie and Nik Cassette, whom I had the privilege of joining their hearts and lives in marriage. They are making awesome, radical art and noise in the streets of Graham in protest of the racist, Confederate monument (<–NPR story). It stands there breathing down the backs of my Black and Brown neighbors and family, as a daily reminder that this country has been built on their backs, yet still glorifies their racist oppressors. My dear Saxapahaw family with whom I have been standing daily in a vigil, are lifting up the struggle for Black Lives on the street corner here in Southern Alamance County. My online friend community is not backing down from the sharing and uplifting of melanated voices and marginalized communities. Those neighbors in Alamance County, many of whom I don’t know, who have signed our petition to remove the statue (mentioned above). Lastly, those of you who are silent and don’t know what to do but want to do something. You are brave. You will find your footing. You have support. We hold on to our values and each other in this revolution.
Quote: “Precisely at the point when you begin to develop a conscience, you must find yourself at war with your society.” – James Baldwin
Song: “Stay On The Battlefield” -Sweet Honey In The Rock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9xQ44T-TNw Album: Sacred Ground – Track 8 – Year: 1996 Composer Lyricist: Bernice Johnson Reagon (Thank you Rebecca Sandiford for introducing this song to me years ago when we use to exchange CDs of music…)
“I’m gonna stay on the battlefield, til I die…..
I had come into the city carrying Life in my eyes, amid rumors of Death. Calling out to everyone who would listen. It is time to move us all into another century, time for freedom and racial and sexual justice. Time for women, and children, and men. Time for hands unbound. I had come into the city wearing peaceful breasts, and the spaces between us smiled. I had come into the city carrying Life in my eyes. And they followed us in their cars with their computers and their tongues crawl with caterpillars, and they bump us off the road, turn over our cars, and they bombed our buildings, killed our babies, and they slaughtered our doctors maintaining our bodies and their courts changed into confessionals, but we kept on organizing, we kept on teaching, believing, loving, doing what was Holy, moving to a higher ground even though our hands were full of slaughtered teeth, but we held out our eyes, delirious with race, but we held out our eyes, delirious with race….
I’m gonna treat everybody right, til I die.
Come, I say come, you, sitting still in domestic bacteria, come, I say come you standing still in double breasted loins, come I say come and return to the fight, this for the Earth, this fight for our children, this fight for our life. We need your hurricane voices, we need your sacred hands, I say come, sister, brother, to the battlefield, come into the rainforest, come into the hood, come into the barrio, come into the schools, come into the abortion clinics, come into the prisons, come and caress our spines, I say, come, wrap your feet around justice, I say, come wrap your tongues around truth, I say come, wrap your hands with these and prayer, you brown ones, you yellow ones, you black ones, you gay ones, you white ones, you lesbian ones, come, come, come, come to this battlefield called life, called life, called life, called life, called life, called life life life life life…
I’m gonna stay on the battlefield, til I die.”
I cry and feel strong energy when I hear that song. I cry when I read the words of Langston Hughes speaking his peace on the 4th of July in 1852, “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?…What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.” and it is still JUST AS APPLICABLE to today. I growl with contempt when I read about federal, unidentified men kidnapping people off the streets in Portland who are standing for racial justice. I ache with despair when I hear about the mortality rates of Black and Brown communities versus White communities, before COVID-19 and exemplified further now during the virus’ wreckage. I am stirred at my core and I am tired of the growing economic inequality, scraping by to pay my bills and to feed myself… tired of it all. I cannot even begin to imagine how indigenous people around the world and people of color feel about it all.
HOWEVER, let me tell you, I am PROUD to be marching with my neighbors. I am GRATEFUL for the privilege of keeping my job and my position being such that I may share this consciousness with others with this platform. I am ENERGIZED by the movement we are seeing now and I am SOBERED knowing all the days, months, years, pain and deaths ahead. The days in which I know we will see worse events than we have seen up to this moment. I am taking a graduate level course right now called “Teaching for Black Lives”. It is my hope to bring that training to Alamance County teachers. I’m reaching out to the school board and Alamance Community College leaders to offer the idea. The idea, even in its infancy, is exciting.
A cornered dog will not go down without attacking with all his might. We are cornering many dogs. These dogs represent grave problems. The problem of fascism. The problem of White supremacy. The problem of inequality. The problems are patriarchy and capitalism. The problems are SYSTEMS of inequality put in place to protect the powerful White elite. The problem is greed, the problem is Christian hypocrisy, and the problem is complacency. The problem is perpetuated by consolidation of power and media, consolidation of ownership and resource hoarding. There’s enough to go around. I do not need to argue that point. What I seem to have to argue with people is that we actually HAVE a problem. Fucking people, regular people, who live on my very own street, see NO PROBLEM AT ALL and want to keep it as is. Below you will see the faces of some of our elected officials who would rather “keep everything as is”, to silence half their people and defend a rock slab versus protecting the peace by safely removing the racist symbol (and risk pissing off their Confederate flag-toting base).
Last night, the Alamance County Commissioners had no comments, whatsoever, when scathing reprimands were brought to them by their constituency.
Tim Sutton (his contact info is below) asked of the protestors making noise outside, “Is that legal?” To which I said in response to a speaker’s social media post mentioning his foible,
“I loved it when he asked that. Showed his detrimental ignorance about the Constitution. Reminds me of how some in my family never allowed for healthy debate of issues. Children/teenagers even as adults were not allowed to do anything or say anything that went against their own beliefs without being shamed or gaslighted. Alamance County homophobic, racist, White people who are never challenged need to be. Every day. Until they see it or until they are gone.”
Upcoming Shows: Tonight at 8:30 Livestream on Insta and FB
Sunday, guest for speaker series (private)
Wednesday, 29th, virtual guest for Jonathan Byrd’s Shake Sugaree residency at the Kraken! (HUGE HONOR! BIG SURPRISE IN STORE!)
If you would like to call the Alamance County Commissioners and speak your opinion, here’s their information: