The Sum of a poet is in the experiences we have that give us the ability to give these words to the people. Just as Maya Angelou, one of the greatest poets of our time was an unwed teenage mother and later a madam. Just as Gwendolyn Brooks’ electricity has been shut off when she won the Pulitzer Prize, and was the first Black person to do so.
Behind every poet, every writer, every artist is a life lived and words developed from that life that we plate up and serve. The composition, the nutrients of those words are not sullied by our lives but flavored by them.
I remember growing up in the ’90s and ” Can’t we just get along” was everywhere it took on a life of its own and was EVERYWHERE. People forget that that snippet, that quote was part of a larger conversation that came directly because of violence, because of oppression.
For reasons as big and old as America itself the oppressed is the one who is put in a position to educate, and in a lot of cases beg for basic humanity. Because kink is a microcosm of the larger world, we have that here in these spaces, we have an undercurrent of folks fighting, begging, asking for their humanity. Women, Black and Brown Folks, MaGes.
I think it’s important to underline that oppressed folks should not have to unify with and get along with the people who oppress us. It should not be an expectation. There is a HUGE difference between disagreement and a person who truly does not believe that you are as human as they are. That is not disagreement and we cannot agree to disagree about people being equal and human and worthy of basic respect.
At the end of the day, NO we can’t all get along if getting along is me ignoring or turning the other cheek and allowing people to disrespect me and who I am or any part of what makes me me. No, we can’t get along if my gender, or my race, or my spiritual belief, or who I love goes against your small-minded sensibility.
I’m not willing to sacrifice who I am to make room for folks’ bigotry. I’m not willing to make myself a soft place to land for bullshit so if someone feels I am inferior or unable to lead because I’m a woman We CAN’T get along. If you feel I’m less than or need to hush because of my experiences being Black and the 400 years of Ancestral experience I am the descendant of then no we CAN’T get along.