Friday, December 5, 2014

This is Ours.


These last few weeks have been devastating.  I find myself at extremes—on the verge of tears or boiling over with anger.  I do not understand the range of responses to the loss of human life.  I cannot understand the lack of civility, accountability and respect for the sanctity of human life, regardless of technicalities, action, inaction, past action, body size or skin color… 


But what has been most devastating is the silence.  The silence of my colleagues, my students, my profession….Never have I found so many of us with so little to say.  And while the silence may be benign, it certainly does not feel that way.  I cannot explain why the silence seems so deafening, so sinister, so dark, so loud, but it does.  The silence feels like indifference or defeat.  


And I understand that we are silent for so many reasons.  Because we aren’t ready to, aren’t sure how to, don’t want to talk about it.  Because we don’t want to offend, admit, deny, accept, acknowledge or be complicit in it. Because it’s complicated, nuanced, jumbled, overwhelming and there are just no clear solutions, resolutions or easy answers.  


But silence cannot be the answer, especially not for us.  


This is ours.  We create it, sustain it, perpetuate this system.  We are not outsiders, on the periphery, the borders, or the edge.  We are in the belly of the beast; we are the beast.  We are in it, we are it.  It is us.  This is ours.  And so it is our responsibility to act, to fix, to change, to remedy.  How? There is no clarity here, the path undefined, hazy.  But we start by owning it.  This is ours.   We own it and we march.  We talk, we debate, we blog, we discuss, we bring it to light – in forums, in conferences, on the news, individually, in the classroom – we are unceasing.  We use our tools:  facts, precedent, policy and logic.  We.Do.Not.Stop. Because this is ours.

Community Organizing, Current Affairs | Permalink


Oh Inga - thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Is is so much the essence of you. For me the 12 year old boy in Cleveland (I went to college near there and visit often as my mother is still there, I have sons and grandsons, and for many reasons) is the one of all these horrible stories that keeps me up at night. Like so many others, I agree there is no clarity, no defined path - but to say it is ours! that I can do. thank you for saying it

Posted by: Liz Ryan Cole | Dec 5, 2014 8:00:57 PM

Well said, Inga!

Posted by: Warren Binford | Dec 5, 2014 8:08:07 PM

Hear Hear!! What a painful, but also beautiful post. We need to act.

Posted by: Ann | Dec 5, 2014 11:57:56 PM

Well said!

Posted by: Joe Fortunato | Dec 6, 2014 1:59:41 AM

Beautiful and so true. I hope Gonzaga will change this story.

Posted by: Genevieve Mann | Dec 6, 2014 8:27:01 AM

Thank you, Inga, for putting into words the pain we are all feeling and reminding us that inaction is unacceptable despite the lack of a path forward.

Posted by: Patty Roberts | Dec 7, 2014 5:31:47 AM

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