Sunday, 23 March 2014


Certainly it might be politically correct for me to say, "Sawbonna and Being Who We Are;" but, Sawbonna is not about being politically correct. Sawbonna is about being. It is about voicing. Voicing from a place that sees each of us, each and every single one of us choose to speak our story. At a recent conference, an individual shared with me how trying it was to listen to content that did not reflect her needs, her insights, her experiences. What I said was, "Tell your story." When I share my talks and workshops, as I have also written about in my Master's Thesis, I often use expletives. Cuss words. And boy oh boy do cuss words stir folks. Many, more that might be assumed (yes I said ASS umed) are elated to hear someone express their exact sentiment. Rest assured ("blushing" for I said, ASS ured) I am not speaking in an effort to preach, pontificate, and least of all paralyze anyone from speaking her own story. Not a chance. In being who I am, I am honouring the every essence (ESS no cussing here) that is Sawbonna's voicing of justice as a lived and living experience. I have witnessed how some folks find it normal, acceptable, and justified for "offenders" to use expletives. Supposedly the "bad guys" are all rage and fire. I have witnessed how some folks find it abhorrent, offensive, and wrong for "victims" to use expletives. Oy vey, as a dear friend of mine is wont to say. Living justice is about voicing. It is about not only knowing your audience. It is about inviting all audiences to think and to feel in ways that can make us squirm. Seethe. Simper. Sing. And otherwise celebrate. Celebrating that if all we do is attend to and nourish status quo and status symbols, and suffocating perceptions of how we are supposed to be based on the "crimes" we have committed or the "crimes" committed against us, we are not living justice. We are in fact simply simmering the same thin soup of self-congratulatory habit. If the word "fuck" annoys you, make short list of how it is that you respond to notions of "tough on crime" posing as victim services, and then ask yourself which annoys you more. Do not be alarmed if you find yourself and your salty tongue asking what the (fill in the black) are we really being told when we hear the government speak about "tough on crime."  Ask yourself how exactly the human and humane values of: Respect, Responsibility, Relationship, and Wonder are being addressed as justice as lived and living experience.

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