My Parlae: Julia
Fact – the social, political, and economic systems of this country are inherently racist.
Our societal constructs consistently trivialize the lives of millions based on race, gender, and sexuality. This land of the “free” and home of the”brave” runs on justice for some, while others fight daily to be heard and truly seen. I admire the acts of those who fight to ignite consciousness in the vast majority of Americans who are blind, ignorant, naive, or uncaring of the lack of justice rampant in these “United” States of America.
I myself fell prey, for a time, to apathy concerning this topic. I thought because I was highly educated, from a “good” family, and “well-spoken”, that this issue did not truly affect myself or effect my everyday life. However, when I began teaching, I realized how wide the venom of iniquity has spread throughout our social fabric. I watched as young children of color were taught to assimilate to a culture and society that repeatedly rejects their very essence.
My gaze has since shifted inward, and I feel ashamed. I know that I am aiding the process of indoctrination and brainwashing. I am tired of seeing young black children cooped up inside of dark buildings all damn day, forcefed the history of other cultures, and receiving watered down versions of who and what they come from.
Just like their black identities, the reality in which society lives in is absent of equality. The notion of equality, in and of itself, is a myth. It is a story that reflects the values that shape a culture or people. This culture, this people – they look nothing like the children I teach.
My children are more than the pacifists we celebrate one month out of the year. My children are more than Jim Crow and Black Face. My children are more than the “first” Black president. My children are descendants from great empires that sparked life, created language, and touched the stars. Yet, their story is written by the descendants of those whose used chains and force to snuff out their existence.
The problem is that millions of Americans believe the myth of freedom and equality.
I can no longer live within this lie, and thus Parale is born.
Parlae is important to me because it means that I am joining the fight that ignites consciousness. As an educator, it is my hope that through continued discourse around the debilitating assumptions we make about each other, ourselves, and this country, this lie will be exposed. Knowledge is and always will be power, and is spread through the exchange of ideas, and I am beyond ready for that exchange.
Parlae to me: Shamira
The systematic inequity that black people face every single day in America should seem both foreign and unfathomable. Unfortunately, it is a reality that has gone on so long that is silly to be surprised by the continuous injustices.
Notwithstanding, I find myself marveling at the idiocracy of our nation and at times completely confounded by the lack of empathy and respect. It’s easier to understand when I’m being real with myself; for I know that there are far worse things that have happened to our people than the atrocities that we hear/see/read about and/or fall victim to today.
Malcolm preached that if you’re black, you were born in jail.
Jail being representative of the slaughtering of Tamir Rice, Freddie Grey and Sandra Bland.
Jail being representative of mass lynchings that took place in the south in the 40s/50s/60s.
Jail being representative of what the white people called sharecropping.
Jail being representative of slave ships that docked on the Native Americans’ land in the 1800’s.
And, truth be told, right now feels like the worst. But I guarantee that nothing can be worse than being dragged from one continent to another, in shackles, forcibly sold and then working til death.
So maybe there’s light at the end of the dark, scary, and sometimes lonely tunnel that we call life in the United States of America.
Harriet saw the light.
Rosa saw it.
Malcolm and Martin saw it.
Barack saw it.
ParlEy by definition means to discuss. ParlAy by definition is a stake that is groomed and grows into something worthwhile. Parlae provides opportunities for productive discourse on the daily iniquities of marginalized groups of people.
Parlae is an opportunity for discussion, an outlet for frustrations, and highlight of shortcomings. It is an avenue for wanting something greater – and willing it true.
In order to “be the change,” you have to address the change.
Find the light; be the light; be the change; parlae the change.
In a world filled with injustice, hate, and false hope – Parlae is the light.