Today is the day women of color document the silence. Today is the day they get to talk about the violence that is so much a part of their lives. Violence without apology. Violence without repercussions for the perpetrators. Violence without recourse for the victims.
And to make sure people listen, they will be wearing red. To make people sit up and pay attention, they will be flaunting their redness. To make people notice. And so will I. "Listen to my sisters," I will demand. Listen to my sisters who have been silent for too long. I will stand beside them while they document their silence. I will make my own broken body a wall for my sisters so that no one can rise against them wherever we are together.
We will cry with one voice, my sisters and I. We will sing together and croon our nightmares to sleep. We will grant no space to ignorance, no space to fear. We will link arms and stride into a new day. Like long-legged horses, we will run over hills that hold up a sky full of crimson clouds full of tears of joy that women of color will be silent no more.
At 8:00 p.m. (CST), women of color and their allies all over the United States will read the following litany aloud. Feel free to don red and join us and report to the organizers of this national action that you have done so here. And then, whatever else you decide to do, you might choose to watch the film above about Samburu women in Kenya who created a village named Umoja (Unity) after they were cast out of their families because they had been raped. Maybe you would like to share it with others who would appreciate knowing that this is really not just a national movement, but is the dawning of a new sun. Around the world. And it is red.
Out of the Silence, We Come: A Litany
Out of the silence, we come
In the name of nuestras abuelas,
In honor of our mamas
In the spirit of our petit fils,
In tribute to ourselves
We come crying out
Documenting the torture
We come wailing
Reporting the rape
We come singing
Testifying to the abuse
We come knowing
Knowing that the silence has not protected us from
the physical pain
the emotional shame
the auction block
Once immobilized by silence
We come now, mobilized by collective voice
Dancing in harmonious move-ment to the thick drumbeat of la lucha, the struggle
We come indicting those who claim to love us, but violate us
We come prosecuting those who are paid to protect us, but harass us
We come sentencing those who say they represent us, but render
Out of the Silence, we come
Telling our stories
Fighting for our lives
Refusing to accept that we were never meant to survive