all those crazy mean peoplePosted: 17/02/2010
big questions today. i’m too tired to address them in much depth, but i thought it might be nice to ask y’all what YOU think.
so i’ve been planning a vigil for tomorrow, for work. it’s this big action to protest some bum stuff going on in Minnesota. This means, we get to name, in a public space, things like this:
- “We reject the false notion that some must give their lives in order that others need not give from their pockets.”
- “We abhor the thought that a human’s worth might be designated in dollars.”
- “When so many human lives are endangered by a lack of access to health care, we fail to uphold human dignity.”
This is powerful stuff. Saying this in public, in a sacred, communal way: that is power. At least I think so.
But, someone disagreed with me today. And damn, sometimes I wish Minnesota Nice didn’t have such a firm grasp on me–or who knows, perhaps it is just civility that I have. But basically, I was told a vigil is worthless. No good. In particular: “The Civil War freed the slaves NOT little vigils.”
Now, as B pointed out to (a very frantic) me over dinner tonight, it is TRUE that this “little vigil” i am planning for tomorrow is not likely to change any minds. Just as even large rallies don’t change minds. (I protested the Iraq War in Washington D.C. with tens of thousands of other people before the war even began. It didn’t change that irreversible course of history.) But, as he also said, this doesn’t mean that we should not DO them.
I don’t know, i am just CONVINCED that LANGUAGE is essential to human life. furthermore, it is essential to a CIVIL and CIVIC human life. we humans have very few ways of communicating, other than the breath and vocal chords and tongued consonants and humming all jumbled up into organized words and grammatical structures and poetry. Language is imperfect, but it is ESSENTIAL to life, essential to lived experience, essential to communication, to moving forward. To say that language is not equal with action, that naming injustice is devoid of power, is untrue.
The old addage sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me of course comes to mind.
And yet: what changes a person’s mind more? Yes, the Civil War ended slavery. And it should have happened earlier; slavery should have never existed. But where did the political unrest come from, to fuel energy for a Civil War, had not the abolitionists, with all their little words, not paved the way?
Oh boy. I’ll hate reading this tomorrow… I’m sure my logic is flawed and I sound like I’m comparing myself to abolitionists. Uffda. All this is just me trying to say: PEOPLE ARE CRAZY AND MEAN.