Communication is a human right according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We cannot pick and choose which Human Rights matter more. Being silenced through othering, aggression or violence, whether it be physical, emotional, systemic or institutional it is a method to deny someone the right to communicate.
I believe everyone should feel free to speak up about the adversity they or their ancestors have experienced without feeling shame or guilt, because of a social categorization as a model. The Model Minority concept propagates an erasure of experiences, shame, or guilt, and further entrenches trauma. I do not want to participate in Oppression Olympics. Reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis must continue, because what we have done so far as accomplices is not good enough. And Black Lives Matter. Point.
Each person who has experienced trauma should:
not have their experience denied,
not be denounced, or
not be deprived of the opportunity to find peace.
We do not have to keep our heads down and our mouths shut.
We each as individuals, regardless of culture, have the possibility to act as JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) leaders. At the same time, we must be accountable that daily we have unconscious biases that cause harm. We can be vulnerable and willing to accept that bias when it is recognized. We need to unlearn where those behaviors and thoughts came from. We need to relearn a new way to do less harm. According to the Haudenosaunee Seven Generations philosophy, our actions will have repercussions for seven generations to come.
I want my children to be ancestors that I can be proud of. I want them to be audaciously visible in speaking up and speaking out against oppression, but it starts with me breaking the silence and engaging in difficult conversations.
Collaboration:JE SUIS MTL x JÉ T'AIME
June 25, 2021