Why, after centuries of injustice and violence, are we still pulling up statistics and stories to explain the existence of said injustice and violence? Why do I have to find articles to explain that humans deserve to live and have basic human rights? I have literally sent friends and past partners articles, including graphs, because they did not believe that people of color experience racism or that white privilege exists. Apparently, my words, or the words of the community, are not enough. Apparently, a picture or video taken and seen by the masses is not enough. The “profits over people” squads asked us for the facts and figures, and now those are not enough. Is this not bizarre?
Why do folks find so much difficulty in believing us when we are screaming from the rooftops and asking for drastic change? How many people need to become statistics, how many books have to be published, how many films have to be created for folks to be convinced? We have repeatedly seen that tragedies have to occur and become commodified for our family members, let alone those in power, to even send a generic tweet.
I do not need to provide you with the facts when you have access to the internet and books. Marginalized groups do not have to defend their experiences by quantifying themselves when you could easily do the research on your own. At this point, an unfortunate plenty of people have relived their traumas just to send a message to those who will never understand, and their stories are easily discoverable. Beyond that, how many facts and figures do one need to realize that people are suffering, and we should be doing something about it?
I often think about the number of papers in which I have been required to discuss a human rights issue with the standard of “if you can support your claim, you will receive a good grade.” If one really thinks about this concept, does it not seem a bit twisted? Our first instinct is to question one’s credibility instead of simply believing them and finding a solution. At the end of the day, how much is the millionth dissertation on the prevalence of racism, for example, going to differ from the hundreds of thousands before it?
The dependency on research, when so much has already been conducted, to enact change is honestly disrespectful. It erases the experiences of so many people, let alone the people themselves, and only pushes them and their communities further into grief.
We are all exhausted and we do not have any more words. I have mulling with frustration over these thoughts for a while, and of course I know that folks do not believe us because they do not want to believe us. I feel as though a lot of you will relate.
Yadirah Martínez GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/get-yadhi-home?utm_campaign=p_cp_url&utm_medium=os&utm_source=customer
COVID relief in India: https://twitter.com/Sherinapoyyail/status/1385478140261068804?s=20 & https://www.khalsaaid.org/