I was talking to someone the other day and he asked me, “Do you ever smile?” and it caught me off guard a little bit. Then it struck me: It’s really hard to be happy when so many of us are dying out here. It’s hard to be happy when the government who is supposed to answer to us hits us with bikes, clubs and fists; drops flash bombs on us, sends drones after us; arrests us for speaking too long in council meetings because we have more than two minutes of problems with this system; shoot us, chokes us, shatters our spines; to suppress the voicing of our grievances. It is hard to be happy when I come to learn that everything I have been told is a lie.
But, if there is one thing that I have learned by studying history and focusing on social movements is that, like Tupac’s “The Rose that Grew from Concrete,” they cannot stop life. It is a force to powerful for anyone to control. And the more they attempt to suppress the life of a movement for justice the harder it fights to live!
So, this is where I have been living, in the constant struggle for justice and for the first time in 14 years, I let my anniversary slip past without my notice, but I have to give thanks and credit where credit is do. On May 2nd, I had 14 years clean and sober! A true blessing and gift from god. Grace is an undeserved gift, and if you knew me before then you know I did not deserve this gift. I would not be here today, let alone be who I am, if God had not intervened in my life 14 years ago, and I would not be standing shoulder to shoulder with you all in our fight for justice.
I heard once that, “My rent for living on Earth is my activism.” Maybe I was spared so that I could help our people find and achieve justice… IDK What I do know is that I am here and I am grateful to be here. It is still hard to be happy when our people are being killed every 28 hours, and that is only the Black people; what about the Latinos, the First Nations, the Transgender People, the Mexican People, African People, Serian People and so on?
I do have a lot to be grateful for, but I also have a lot to be angry about. I just did not want to let this anniversary completely slip by without giving thanks.