Let me be clear

What I do do is pro-human work…

Aminata cairo

Let me be clear… I don’t do anti-racism work. I also don’t do anti-sexism, anti-agism, anti-LGBTQ+-phobia work, or any other anti-ism work. What I do do is pro-human work and try to engage and reach and stir that what makes us human and hope to inspire us to be the best and most decent human beings we can be. And IF I do my work right, it will inherently be anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-etcetera. That does not mean that I am not affected by these isms, just like anybody else. On the contrary, I have lost count of the number of people that have come and shared stories of marginalization and dehumanization over the past 5 years here in the Netherlands, students as well as staff, and not only from my own institutions. Each and everyone of them painful, heartbreaking stories. Because dehumanization is not limited to encounters with the police, but is inherent in our health, work, education, financial, recreation, and any other aspect of our lives. As it is normalized, it is also relentless everywhere, every day, year in, year out, generation in, generation out. And it is not just limited to the United States. There is not one person across the globe who does not know what I am talking about. We might be sad, hurt, and angry, but we are not surprised, because these structural systems have a centuries long global legacy. And if you don’t get the outrage or the violence, that just means the systems were effective, because you were not meant to notice. But for those of us feeling it every day we knew, we know, and we feel. There are a lot of ways to respond. I myself have been to the point of wanting to put my fist to somebody’s throat, my foot up their a** or do some physical damage, especially if it was concerning any of my human babies (ask my former students, momma don’t play). It was my dance, my singing, my education, my ancestors, or dear ones who pulled me of that ledge. So I get the outrage, I have been there. All this to say to all those humans who have spoken out about what is going on, I see you, and I thank you. And to all those humans who are still in shock or silent, educate yourself. We are not invested in your guilt, but waiting on your courage to step up and do something, anything to join the human fold so we can effectively dismantle these systems once and for all and create a different story, a new normal.