I heard a phrase today used to describe the work of the civil rights Freedom Fighters. They were described as “bearing witness with their bodies.”
When I heard the phrase I immediately thought about the Vietnam War. The war was ended at the demands of the people because the media were witnesses to the truth and they showed it to the world. I thought about Rosa Parks who allowed the movement to use her as a witness for discrimination. The result was a bus boycott that’s de the world take notice. I thought about the 3 sisters who dared to oppose Trujillo and gave their lives in, what seemed like, ambiguity. But their disappearance inspired the people to overthrow his regime. All of these people took notice of what was going wrong around and they exposed the truth and made the world accountable.
It’s easy to ignore reality, to cowardly turn our heads and pretend there is nothing wrong with the world. But a struggle needs a witness. In a world full of apathy, someone has to care enough and be brave enough to look the horror in the face. To let it see us watching and know that we will not suffer the injustice. This is how movements begin. This is how revolutions are started. We have to bear witness.
I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,
An Angry Black Man