I have become skeptical of most national holidays,
because of what they must be silencing.
Why these cause for national pause,
while forcing those most in need of a break,
to continue to work for the scrap that they make?
We attempt to subvert these hegemonic practices in varieties of micro-aggressive ways,
but what happens when the push-back is just as harmful to those oppressed
by the normative commemoration of these holidays?
Oh, how we silence the violence and fear that comprises the origin of most of these celebrated days of pause,
We are trained to rise above the pain and all the harm to find delight in the fact that our country vaguely, with bias, remembers the cause.
What do we do then,
when our minds are filled with confliction?
How do we subvert without
marginalizing, instrumentalizing, and exploiting
the very voices and bodies we aim to support?
On these nationally sanctioned days of rest,
think about those who cannot.
Think about those who are being instrumentalized and violated,
and think about what you’ve been taught.
Think about those who suffered and who caused suffering
in the generation of these nationally celebrated days to remember.
Think about all of those who would like to have this day to rest,
but instead is forced to work in service of those privileged enough to pause, celebrate, and remember.
Think about all these things while you enjoy the people and pastimes that bring you peace on these holidays,
A more dynamic perspective of these national pauses might be what we need
to realize the harm in the complicity of our ways.
* * *
This came straight from my heart to yours.
Until next time, comrades,