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Guest Editorial: “How to Show Up with Grief” – Blogtown – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2020-12-28 13:00:31 –

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[In an effort to reflect on a very tumultuous year, the Mercury asked several Portlanders to look back on their 2020 and share how their lives have changed and what they’ve taken away from their experiences. Dr. Marisa Zapata the director of the Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative at Portland State University. Here is her 2020 story.—eds]

As a kid, I remember observing Brown, an older woman in my life, including my family, neighbors, teachers, and mentors. They stood in such power, and I just saw them and found that they endured pain, violence, and loss. But they also lived in joy, loving and laughing, until I thought they might burst. I was intrigued by them, respected them, afraid of them, so much emotion, so much strength, and so much control of your being.I drew them like this Curandero, A Mexican healer who harnessed knowledge from Spanish and indigenous medicine. They were the power of our community.

In the brown and black communities that transcend time and geography, we’ve seen so many people of different colors doing this. Sit in pain and despair. Enjoy the joy, laughter and love of life. Stand in the power to live, exist and experience in any situation. The pain, loss and fear of our lives could not be denied. However, he had the ability to experience the beauty of his family, friends and peers.*

Now, in 2020, I’m starting to feel what I saw in those women.

Over 300,000 people have died in my country. They died alone and became ill desperately, but some shrug because the victims are disproportionately black and brown. My country continues to sanction police violence against blacks and browns. We witnessed the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. He wasn’t the only colored person killed by police this year. Some parts of the country stand up and say “Black Lives Matter”, while others wield a sign that says “Blacks and Indians come first”.

It is clear that not all of us are working towards the same future in this country. My thoughts on what good democracy looks like, how people care for it, and what it means to end racism and misogyny are inconsistent with most of the country. Despite the death toll, some people protest against protecting the basic health of others. What does this mean for us as we work towards a racially just future? How do you appear and how do you stand up together?

First, we need to be aware of the despair of the moment, sit down, and be honest about it. 2020 is a very painful year and we cannot move forward without experiencing it.

Whites need to continue the work they started, learn from black and brown life, listen, and focus, even if it’s no longer a headline.

It also lifts each other, shows love and compassion, and thinks about how you are manifesting to defend your cause. It confirms that your advocacy does not mean destroying other movements. For social welfare agencies, do not fight each other. Instead, demand more from everyone from your leader. For companies, in the long run, fight for you and your customers to survive in 10 years.

When I remembered the women I respected when I was a kid, I thought there were things that the world didn’t understand. However, they found that they had the power to feel and experience many things at once, and instead of being overwhelmed, they were able to find power in the pain and joy of life. And when you see them together? Friends, family, strangers (which wasn’t a problem), color women hold all the emotions and experiences and push them the next day, the next meal, the next march, the next day I was impressed to see the party.

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We do not know the depth of pain that many have suffered this year. I have never lost someone close to me. I never know what pain the elders have, and my white skin means I don’t experience some of the same scars that my contemporaries do. But I can reject the cognitive dissonance that Whiteness expects — I divide pain and joy. I want to be a woman who overcomes wounds and joy at once.

I don’t pretend to have a neat bow to connect 2020, nor do I want a rainbow-filled future for 2021. I will get up tomorrow and be full of anger, sadness, and anxiety about the next day, week, and moon. I also laugh, love, and care for future-believing family members, friends, and people who enjoy basic human rights, we have the right to live a lifetime, and the people of color have the right to live. To do. A life not threatened by racism or police violence.

* Words from women such as Anzaldua, Brown, Cisneros, Delicotte, Fuerta, and Moraga gave me words of joy as acts of resistance, rebellion in the face of power, and the strength of the power of being.

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Dr. Marisa Zapata

Dr. Marisa Zapata is an associate professor of land use planning and director of Homeless Research & Action Collaborative at Portland State University.

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