Home by Warsan Shire, 2011
no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
and even then you carried the anthem under
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
go home blacks
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
or the insults are easier
than your child body
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here
Friends, please stop assuming things can’t get any worse. We got to this nightmare through complacency. Let it stop now. Things can and WILL get worse than this. We need to be prepared and act accordingly as soon as possible to stop this crazy train. I’m glad to see some resistance starting to form now, in …
Continue reading "This is not the bottom"
We have got to stop acting like Republican greed, deceit, and cultivated ignorance started with Trump! Here’s a Bush advisor in 2002:
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.”
Continue reading "Trump didn’t create this empire"
There are a lot of good reminders being shared today about how you can reach out and help friends who may be struggling with depression. This week’s news is also a good reminder that you can never know what other people are going through. So cut them some slack. Hold people accountable, but do it …
Continue reading "Compassion"
Who told you only the soft could be good mothers? That mothers could not be dragons in disguise? That women who teach their daughters how to preserve themselves by breathing out lightning were any less than wild, magical things when teaching their young about war and love’s terrible lies? – Nikita Gill, Mother Maleficent
Continue reading "Who told you only the soft could be good mothers?"
I was disgusted to learn today that progressive tech leader Clay Johnson has been harassing women he worked with with almost no repercussions for years. I’m appalled that I never knew about any of this in spite of being in his professional orbit the entire time. I even know some of the people quoted in the story, although not very well. We have to learn to tell the truth, shut it if we have to, and stop covering for people.
The fact that this stuff started so long ago and that even Clay seems to agree he should have been fired from the Dean campaign, but instead he was able to build an entire successful career on it while continuing to abuse people is such a great illustration of how tolerance of chauvinism systematically holds women back and keeps us out of leadership positions while simultaneously reinforcing itself by promoting these men ever higher.
Continue reading "Stand up against the jerks, no-one else will do it for us"
If you made a screwball comedy (or a surreal farce) about an inept mafia don who accidentally starts a race war, nonaccidentally rapes women, and fails all the way up to the presidency, it would still not be as far-fetched as the country we are living in today.
Continue reading "Truth is much, much stranger than fiction"
I stand with UNC PhD student Maya Little who was arrested today for pouring blood and paint on Silent Sam. Here is her statement: I have been an organizer for the Silent Sam Sit-In since September 2017, when campus police confiscated the belongings of the 24 hour occupiers. Every weekday we provide context around the …
Continue reading "Confederate context"
Lots schools have been shot up. Lots of people have protested. But it really is different this time.
Continue reading "A national turning point"
This moment reminds me of when the Greensboro Four sat down at a lunch counter in 1960 and captured the nation’s attention, largely because it was covered on national TV and the timing was right. It wasn’t nearly the first sit-in of it’s kind, but it had a bigger impact than most before it.
These young people have a national platform and they’re using it SO WELL. They’re increasingly intersectional, and they’re building a movement. I think this will evolve beyond guns and really help to energize the actual majority of the country that is sick of Republican greed and corruption.
In the Drupal diversity and inclusion working group, we are often asked how people can improve the diversity of their tech events. I wrote up some thoughts about this today and thought it would be useful to share here as well.
The most important thing you can do is have your leaders look how you would like your speakers and attendees to look. No matter how well intended, a group of men is going to be less successful recruiting women, and an all-white group will not be able to recruit as many speakers of color.
Representation in leadership matters both because people can do outreach more effectively within their own communities, but also because even strangers will look at that and get more of a sense that they would be comfortable and welcome at the event.
Continue reading "If you build it, they won’t come"