This is a very short piece in response to the Aurora, Colorado rampage shootings that occurred in the US on July 20, 2012.
There are micro-violences that are perpetrated every day, every moment. These micro-violences accumulate.
Trafficking of mixed-race Japanese kids from Japan to the Philippines, from the Philippines to Vietnam; the trafficking of mixed-race women from South Korea and Japan to Rumania or Russia. The rapes and the torturing, the incarcerating; months and months in and out of court for a small violation like stealing candy bars from a convenience store.
Then there are the covert operations that all the big governments and corporations carry out everyday, crushing smaller and weaker people and ideas, using resources to control people, to coerce, to threaten. Hypnosis, truth serums, torture, falsifying medical records, switching information, trafficking weapons to both and all sides of a conflict, giving white-collar criminals a green-light to maintain their criminal tactics that continue to create the world’s poverty——–on and on and on.
The Black Pacific, along with the other configurations of power and injustice, continues to live. This is why I write about it, reveal it, think it. Injustice and violence and the contours of abuse continue to circulate and be made invisible and normal by dominant society.
Today, I continue to watch, as I have for the last few days, the countless news shows and talk shows and opinion pieces, that seek to “understand’ the shooter James Holmes, tracing his childhood and family history and showing what he was like. There are arguments about gun-control. There is fear about going to movie theaters. There is the continued sentimentalizing of victim-ness, the horror of living through it. There is the need to make James Holmes into a monster, by so many. But right now, that can’t happen, or has already happened. For many, it doesn’t matter how, it only matters that he did.
This is the fear I have, and also know, about mass society. We must seek out people who think and feel deeper and broader, who want to be creative enough to think of a better society. People who think that the good society is created only by “good” people, are not for me. There is no such thing as a “good” person. So the “bad” person also is a misnomer.
We are all responsible. We are the society. Our gaze, our questions, our normally and dominantly-proposed ideas for punishing, killing, incarcerating, psychologizing, fearing, hiding, ignoring—these are all the things I hear again and again. What has to change is violence, yet we continue to say and do the same things, rely on the same truths and techniques, rely on the same silences and ignorances, rely on the same institutions and ways of thinking. So I listen and see the same things over and over. There is no change if people think and do the same, without change.
I, without anything happening, was often put into the position of the irrational, the outsider, the abuse-able. So I seek to understand social justice and social change FOR ALL PEOPLE and living beings, in general.
We are all responsible to the violences that are happening. And if you think that we, as humans, are f**cked up and bad from the start anyway, I ask that you think of internalized Christianity–you know the idea of original sin? Divest yourself from that idea. Humans are immensely creative and strong. But we are headed toward a society that is controlled by people who want people to be thought of as “weak”—simply by relying on institutions and experts to lead the way. We are lazy (bourgeois). But that is not completely us. We can shift.
Where is the will?
When I write and express the Black Pacific, i speak to the entire notion of ignorance and small-mindedness and laziness having to end. Anti-intellectualism comes from the same thing. In the US, simple-minded people are valorized because the complexities of what we really think don’t want to be dealt with. I hope that we can move past this internalized fear and smallness, and to become creative and strong, compassionate and wise.
James Holmes, and others who will come in the future, express all of our rage and concern and how we ignore. When we ignore, it festers. We need to take care, not control. Controlling people and ideas with pre-determined notions is one of the strongest culprits of violence. Let us be more creative and caring. It takes strength to do this. Freedom is not an escape. It is a facing of ourselves and each other and the state of things. We must decolonize ourselves and each other. It is a painful yet must-be process. To do this, and to truly heal, beyond the crisis-to-crisis kind of healing, and to the deeper sustainable kinds of healing, we must look at how we repeat over and over, some things we think are “normal” or “good” or “right.” These ideas may contain blocks to a freedom of relating—which is different from our current forms of freedom—to escape.
My prayers go out to the victims of Aurora, the family of James Holmes, and James Holmes, in whatever way. I do not want peace, pacification. I want social change, social concern, social justice for us all.