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The Highlander

Creative Corner: We in Solidarity

Taylor Rupp

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You will not silence us, not again, not after we have had our taste of rights.

You will not own us, not again, not after we have had our taste of freedom.

You will not stop us, not today, not tomorrow.

We will fight.

We’ve outgrown you and your great way,

Which might be revolutionary, but it’s nothing new.

You might scare us now, but not for long.

We have already won many fights against you.

You can’t fix all you deem wrong.

We will not go gently into this cold night,

Not when our freedoms were within our sight.

 

You have shot us in the middle of our Times Square

And no one cared.

Kitty Genovese cries while being beaten to death over there,

And the community watches in awe or indifference,

Squandering their responsibility to care.

Why doesn’t she speak up? They say,

As she screams and reaches her hand their way.

Why does she have to be so loud? They say,

As she lies lifeless on the ground in the middle of the day.

More acts of violence we once suppressed

Are done by those who were impressed

By the painfully honest words within the lies,

The only truth being what you want to hear.

You accuse us of the same but refuse to listen.

Another great fracture is near.

 

Lovers’ hands unclutched each other in shock

Separated indefinitely

Taught to hate themselves,

Stripped of their identity,

Recreated in your image,

Electrocuted into compliance,

Or perhaps that is just silence;

The difference is slight.

Molded into a different type of sinner,

Trying to rearrange their inner soul.

Yet they receive forgiveness just the same.

 

They tell us:

Be respectful!

Peace and Love!

They want to quell the riots

In our hearts.

Unity!

They now echo our old cry.

Unity now?

After you’ve told us to die?

You want us to join you,

When you have degraded us, want to ban us,

Will fix us.

You can fix us much like you can fix a cracked egg,

We were so unpleasing until now, but you want to absorb us?

No.

That is not unity.

They want us to accept rejection.

They want us to feel safe in danger.

They want us to speak about our silence

By speaking up for them.

We will not.

We will band together without you.

We will keep each other safe from you.

You will not control us.

 

If you want to do away with safe spaces,

You should at least know what they are,

Especially if you want your words to be heard.

Or you will do away with the places

Where calm explanation and education

Can talk about how every person is as complex as you.

Ideally, you will be able to see,

With a bit more empathy

The importance of rights in people’s lives.

Rights you should not only protect for yourself,

But for others, who are as alive as you.

These spaces are meant to keep you away

From a hive mentality

And keep you grounded

Within reality.

What people really want?

Safety from violence, not from ideas.

A place where anger can deescalate.

It is not a place where people berate.

It is meant to liberate.

These are places meant to be protect

Everyone

From hate.

 

Temper tantrums sell.

And now it is our turn.

You don’t get to throw one and then tell:

Respect! Peace! Love!

When you have supported none.

A silent majority for silencing minorities.

But if you are silent, you will never silence us.

Now that we have a voice,

There is nothing that can be done.

 

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Creative Corner: We in Solidarity