“I am not only a casualty, I am also a warrior.”
– Audre Lorde
Reflecting on today’s readings, I am reminded of how many voices and how many truths are silenced and devalued in our society. Throughout history, marginalized and oppressed individuals and communities have been silenced and made to feel invisible. As a woman of color, my voice has been silenced more often than not, my experience has been dismissed, and my truth has frequently not been heard or acknowledged.
My experience is not unique. We live in a time and in a society when black and brown bodies are on the line. A disproportionate number of people of color are the most severely impacted when it comes to issues of police brutality, homelessness, and health and educational disparities. When we call for racial justice we are calling for a transformation in the white culture that dominates this country, which harshly impacts people of color and dehumanizes us all.
We can no longer afford to sit back and be silent. As Audre Lorde says, “Your silence will not protect you. We can sit in our corners mute forever while our sisters and ourselves are wasted, while our children are distorted and destroyed, while our earth is poisoned; we can sit in our safe corners mute as bottles, and we will still be no less afraid.” Since we are all created in God’s image, racism is a direct offense against the dignity of the human person.
This reflection is a call to be unafraid in speaking your truth. I constantly have to remind myself that my words are powerful, my truth is worth being heard and I am worth being seen.
We must fight to be visible.
“And that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.”
– Audre Lorde
- When have you not spoken your truth to power? What have you endured, allowed, or tolerated when you didn’t speak your truth?
- What will you do, and who will you be in the face of racism in order to be visible, not silent?
Katheryn Crawford, LMSW is the Associate Director in the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice at Fordham University.