One of my social media strategies is to always keep a few people I am diametrically opposed to in my feed. I have this irrational thought that I can break any spell I am under with information from the opposition. Why I think this is necessary? Some strange addiction to integrity. Integrity really means virginity-when virginity means unbroken or whole.
But I was born into a world of duality and triangulation. A world of tension and competition-how can completeness be possible in a world that struggles against itself?
So I had this dialogue w/a woman who supports Black Lives Matter. I may write more about this. It was actually quite painful for me on many levels that would take too many words.
I asked her what she wanted. This is confusing for me. Again- I know but another post. She said she wanted to be heard. She said that black people (I don’t believe she meant all- but many) feel less-than. To be ‘heard’ is imperative. After that-there is not a lot of definite direction. They are hurt. Granted. All living beings are hurt. It’s the deal.
Bc I was a linguistics major-or maybe I’m just saying that to prop my theory up- I thought of a story that I can’t remember the source of atm. It was of a white man in Africa last mid-century. He wanted to record and define a variety of African languages. You know- in a dictionary. He made friends with the locals. He recalls being asked why he had an English dictionary by two friendly women. Wasn’t English his language?
He responded affirmatively. “Then why don’t you know all the words already?” was their basic response. They knew all the words of their language as it lived only in them.
This story ran in my head as this black woman relayed the NEED TO BE HEARD to me. I tried to explain that when white people hear you-we tend not to respond in a dramatic way. YT takes in information- processes it internally and searches for solutions. But making a big noise is looked down on and suspicious in our culture. That does not mean we don’t hear or don’t care.
When YT came to Africa- the Africans did not have written language. Why would they? We developed in a land of privation-while they developed in a land of plenty.
Therefore to what purpose would Africans have sitting in their huts configuring reference manuals when life was so plentiful to them? None. They would however need to pass down certain charms-medicinal treatments-cultural norms. If their tradition was oral vs. written- the best way to do this is repetition. There is no reference manual. Your children’s health and well-being is based on repetition. Your immediate concern would be referencing the past.