beyond the green: collective of middlebury voices

a student-run publication that seeks to provide space for voices that are not being heard on our campus. we are grounded by politics that are radical, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-transphobic (against all forms of oppression) and that reject the structural neo-liberal paradigm that characterizes middlebury college and its official publications

All This Talk Of Free Speech

By Dionne Thornton ’00

A racist was denied his recently and now we have all this talk of free speech.

To twist and turn in negotiating his right with mine. Mine is real. It is real…matter weighted with blood and bone. It is. But then to him it is is not enough…is not weighted more than his ideas. And so we have all this talk of free speech.

Oh the fury and outcry of frustration! Oh the sense of violation!

But it is mostly for him…for his ideas and for the liberal dispositions that have begun to fear.

They still seem slow to realize that we have had enough. Enough of existing in times and spaces where our humanity is fodder for their consumption. Where, for some reason, our freedom must compete with theirs and, therefore, be constantly weighted, waited or just snuffed out.

The validation of your righteousness will not be hewed from living sufferings and so, because we have had enough, there is all this talk of free speech.

Of his free speech but not of mine.

Mine mattered not when slaves were deemed workers in a 2015 McGraw-Hill textbook.

Mine mattered not when no textbook given me named Thomas Jefferson a rapist.

Mine mattered not when I was taught this was the home of the brave but know it house the savage.

But then to him, I am the savage and my fight for liberation is debatable…

…like the true histories of African civilizations and American greed

…like pipelines and Native lands

…like black bodies and militarized police

…like trans women and gendered violence

…like Muslims and Sikhs and real white terrorists

…like justice in courts of law and freedom in prisons.

From primary and secondary, to higher and graduate, education has never been mindful of the marginalized. It has never been mindful of me. But a racist has been denied his platform because we have had enough and now there’s all this talk of free speech…

…because liberal dispositions have begun to fear my liberation. They desire to play with fire they are ill prepared to touch. They burn themselves in the process and are embarrassed. They suddenly realize their flesh wounds matter more than the equity of my existence and leveraging their injuries, they deny my liberation again to say let’s talk of free speech.

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This entry was posted on March 16, 2017 by in Uncategorized.
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