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Rock WILK: Blog

The day I get to meet Sean Bells family... and my head is full...

Posted on February 23, 2012
Photobucket As I prepare to perform at The Sean Bell Center in Queens this evening with the Bell family in attendance, there are so many things weighing so heavily on my mind, and as much as a lot of it is perhaps random to the complexities of the Sean Bell shooting incident of a few years ago, to me, it's really all related. How we continue to use words that perpetuate the discomfort that exists between different cultures, the underlying FEAR that is just sitting there beneath the surface of so many people, this energy that often turns to hatred and eventually violence and often times death, and we just keep it moving. We use words that keep this cycle moving forward with the force of Hurricane Katrina, and the result is equally as devastating, or perhaps it's worse because it never ends, it doesn't stop, and it gains power with every passing moment. I am wondering when seemingly intelligent and evolved people will stop using the "N" word, there is no justification for it, you can rationalize all you want to anyone willing to listen, or even to yourself, but at the end of the day, that word is simply no good, of no use and, in fact, allows the continued racism, sometimes overt but most times, and perhaps more dangerously, not so out in the open, it simply keeps up apart. I just don't understand how people simply won't let it go, they won't allow themselves to understand that although plenty of people use that term as a simple greeting, almost like saying, "what's up, family?", it is also used in the most violent, hateful and disgusting ways, as well. I KNOW I don't need to explain myself here, history has documented what I am talking about all too well, and certainly, Sean Bell is a good example. How many people around the city, or the country, or around the world do you think used that word when they heard about the tragic death of this young, soon to be married, 23 year old? If he were white, and the same thing happened, would there be a word equivalent to the "N" word to describe a young white man being thrown around? I'm thinking not. But I guess the REAL issue is that, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that anything like what happened to Sean Bell WOULD ever actually happen to a young white man. Being shot 50 times. But that's a whole 'nother story.

When are women going to stop referring to each other as "bitch"? Is it OK for a man to refer to a woman that way? I mean, why is this degrading term OK sometimes but not others? Why can't we just get rid of it? Isn't it true that rape is an issue of power and violence and not sex? And so, the perpetrator of such a heinous crime certainly must be dehumanizing the victim, and I wonder how many times that person has referred to his victim as "bitch"? It just makes me feel uncomfortable to hear it, these words, they carry such power, we step away from EQUALITY in all cases of the use of verbiage like this, it keeps us apart, it doesn't DEMAND change, it ALLOWS for it, and so, I'm not with it, ever. At all. Not even for a moment.

And so this has me often feeling isolated, because I can't be close to you if you speak this way, it's not me judging you, it's my hormones, it makes me physically sick, and it pushes me away from you, and so, my life can be lonely, but I feel like I have to be who I am, I can't help it, and so if I can't have many close friends, if my life is about bringing these "issues" out into the open all the time, then so be it, there is nothing I can do about it, I accept it, the fact is, I can't keep my mouth shut, but know this..... if you can't get close to me, this may be why. And I probably won't even explain it to you because I have learned that it is healthier and more productive for me to do this through my art, there has been too much cost in my personal life, which is OK, except that it hurts too much to deal with this on a one to one basis, and so I will continue to be open to every person I encounter, hopeful that they really want a better world and are walking through their life in that way, proudly, and I will continue to shield myself, in my personal life, from those who don't. Who, in my opinion, are willing to allow for the atrocities around the world to continue, against people of color, and against women, and although perhaps they are not directly responsible for these horrors, they, in my mind, at least energetically, are allowing, enabling, or maybe just ignoring, which, at the end of the day, is just as bad. Be about something. It's the most important thing you can do in your life. I am writing this in a very lonely moment, but I am strong in my resolve, my belief, and my faith in those who can simply put an end to those "small things" that make a HUGE difference. When I performed at an event called "Femicide" a few years ago, remembering and honoring women who had been murdered and in many cases mutilated simply because of their gender, I didn't hear one person say anything like, "that poor b*tch". And I'm wondering, tonight when I stand before Sean Bells family, is there going to be ANYONE in that room stupid enough to use the "N" word? You never know.