If You Ain’t Healing There Is No Place for You Here -Gracie Berry

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If You Ain't Healing There Is No Place for You Here -Gracie Berry

Response to a friends facebook post about the image above

Thank you Crystal F. I’m not well versed on ‘the black men in dresses/ Omar Epps controversy’. I will look into that. In my opinion it is a form of black on black crime for one black person to tell the other how to be black. I don’t understand the reference to African culture based on this image. A picture not of an inanimate object, but of a real live human being (go figure). Do we even know what gender pronoun this person prefers? All of you may not understand this fellow, person of colors choice to dress scantily, nor does your lack of understanding justify your opinions about them. It is not this person responsibility to help hold your ignorance. It is your ignorance and yours alone to cope with. Everyone’s comments seem to stem from some arbitrary beliefs rather than from actual facts. Do we know this persons first name? Your laughter negates any real grounds for an argument that I’m not sure you all even understand. For the one person to say that men should be men as intended is like telling a child with ambiguous genetalia they are not human because they are neither male or female. Clothing traditions are wildly different across the continent among men and women. And in many African societies, men and women are responsible for different stages of cloth production, native styles, and customs.

The dashiki pictured under Crystals comment derived around late 1950’s from a Hausa word danchiki, an inner dress worn under a flowing gown. Natives men wore it as a shirt covering the entire chest as well as in a much longer version called the grand boubou. They were loose fitting but light enough to offer protection for the sun and heat. If the dashiki from the late 1950’s is our standard for ancestral ‘honoring’ then we are all lost and missing a good 300 + years of traditions, practices, and clothes. All of the views here are heterosexist in nature. Heterosexism is a system of privilege based on sexual orientation with the overt subordination of any other group outside of heteronormative communities around the globe. You all are not only practicing internalized racism, you’re using your privilege at the expense of homosexual communities in this circumstance. All of the loose and hateful comments about the assumption of this persons sexual orientation and their lack of honor for their ancestors with no facts, creating a discriminative dialogue in a public forum for others to feast upon this innocent person is blasphemous in my opinion. And who gives you all the right? I say, IF YOU AIN’T HEALING THERE IS NO PLACE FOR YOU HERE! We are making each other sick, harboring hate like this that even modern medicine and ancient homeopathy can do nothing for us. This is a people process that we are all capable of partaking in the healing of. An opportunity to hold space for others and their differences within each others own worlds. To grant acceptance into a world other than ones own. That is the love and safety all living beings deserve on this planet.

IF YOU AIN’T HEALING THERE IS NO PLACE FOR YOU HERE!-Gracie Berry

ImageThe assumption that one’s behaviour, and gender, is pre-determined by one’s genitals doesn’t add up. For you to say that men should be men as intended is like telling a child with ambiguous genetalia they are not human because they are neither male or female. In other words, one’s genitals really has nothing to do with how one performs sex. And while you may find this hard to believe; there is gender outside of sex. If you didn’t know heterosexism is a system of privilege based on sexual orientation with the overt subordination of  any other group outside of heteronormative communities around the globe. You consider yourself heterosexual therefore you have used your privilege at the expense of homosexual communities in this circumstance. Colonization, the violent taking over of land, wealth, people through domination, superiority over another group is very real, and happening systematically everywhere as we speak. You make loose and hateful comments about the assumption of another persons sexual orientation with no facts, creating a discriminative dialogue in a public forum for others to feast upon innocent people. And to add insult to injury your best defense was to proclaim that you are not afraid of homosexuals and that you have no problems with them as long as they don’t come at you. As if this suddenly justify’s their existence or experience under pre-determined circumstances created on your terms. Well I must be honest that statements like the ones you made have everything to do with you and nothing to do with the very real and underlined systems of violence you perpetuated against them by making assumptions, damaging, and demeaning with your words, rallied hateful against them.

Let me tell you, that pussy you called him birthed nations including you. You need to find another word to insult your phallic counterparts. Pussy is my genetalia, never was weak nor powerless. My pussy is femme in flesh, defiant, breaking down the male gaze, and using my hand-dandy, electronic megaphone to shout, IF YOU AIN’T HEALING THERE IS NO PLACE FOR YOU HERE! It is my life’s work to oppose oppressive systems by honoring all bodies, all sexual preferences, those voiceless, those most vulnerable in this world. And I share my views deliberate, so that others that may need them can take from them. Because even in the midst of all of the trauma we each experience, accountability is the responsibility of those on the entire planet. By denying each other this basic virtue we are making each other so sick that even modern medicine and ancient homeopathy can do nothing for us. This is a people process that we are all capable of partaking in the healing of. An opportunity to hold space for others within each others worlds. To grant acceptance into a world other than ones own. That is the love and safe space all living beings deserve on this planet. As the earth travels in orbit, so does my soul. Mama Zora Neale Hurston said it best, “If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say that you enjoyed it.” I will never enjoy a painful silence. I will practice my right to non-silence to combat vigilante style oppression. I believe that this fire that lives in my chest (amazing grace) will ignite til divine overpowers my senses, submitting me to myself. In love spirit this morning.

-Gracie