race and space

What Land Is Made For Us?

It is the day after the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the country is embroiled in racial tension, escalated by exposure. Whether the tension involves bombings in a city known for live music and craft beer, or if it sits around demands for council members to step down following the death of a constituent, no city remains untouched by the dominant narrative’s dismissal of marginalized communities. At the end of the day, those same down-trodden souls who clamber for recognition have been told, “There is no land for you, and you would be better off not contesting the matter.”

Living in society requires following the rules of engagement and following up when atrocities occur. Race, class, and culture determine what the rules of engagement are, but for those who are excluded, not knowing the rules can mean the difference between life and death. For example, respecting personal property can mean one thing for those in the upper echelons, while it can mean something as basic as personal space for the rest of the population. The problem lies when some people are punished for not engaging properly, and others receive compassion while being given leave to trespass again.

Unfortunately, what constitutes an atrocity is defined subjectively. While some people believe that singling any group of people for any particular behavior is abhorrent, some people recognize that as a price worth paying. Others feel that excessive surveillance is distasteful, while others treat it like a fact of life. All people will never agree on what is considered an atrocity, which is what continues to complicate retribution. However, all is not lost.

Most people are recognizing that if the earth is to continue, people will have to come together in a way that acknowledges the inherent worth of all, not merely those in power. The distressed have gathered their communities, and have various platforms which encourage multiple methods of engagement, and the rules are changing. Exposure to atrocities is leading to communal outrage, and more are being held accountable for their apathy and complicit behavior. Under the circumstances that everyone deserves to be in a place, all land could be made for everyone, and a conscious, motivated society works towards that end.

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