by Chris Heuer
I’ll never understand all of these people who keep saying that either the protestors must back down or else JKF must resign so that we can all “begin healing.”At every rally I go to these days… all I ever see is people hugging. People of all colors, shapes, and creeds, of every level of deafness or hearing.
I have never high-fived so many people in my entire pre-protest stay here as I did yesterday. In fact I’ve been high-fiving and hugging a growing number of people every day since we started school in August. I’m now good friends with people I barely knew before this whole thing began. And I’ve been able to bury a lot of hatchets. There are people in this thing whom I didn’t like all that much before, but I understand even them a lot better now, and the events that led up to how they became who they are. I understand their stories. I respect them more, and have thus become willing to live and let live.
And this is why…
… I, personally I can’t understand any “leader” who isn’t out here with us, and never has been, whether he/she “agrees” with us or not. If I ever become the leader of anything, I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to go to where it’s at. I’m going to mix it up with people. I will come to really know them, even if we can’t live with each other in the end. That’s the only thing that makes either victory or defeat worth it.
I think that if I were Jane Fernandes, I would go down to the hunger strikers’ tent, huddle up in a sleeping bag, and sit down and communicate with these people. I would talk with the families–entire families–who are involved in this, whole generations of people who have come out her to join their children and grandchildren and stand up.
All I ever see these days is exactly that–people standing up. People who have become prouder in the best of all possible ways, people who have rediscovered their faith in people again, who have tasted some small bit of real hope–and are savoring it. People who feel their pain sharply now instead of denying it and covering it up with layers of dirt so they won’t have to deal with it anymore–yet now it gnaws them hollow. I see people becoming braver. Sharing each others’ burdens. People supporting one another. People apologizing, or having long-overdue fights, releasing things repressed for years.
Whatever happens with JKF: she resigns, she stays, whatever… I don’t think it’s that decision that will advance or delay our “healing.” I think that healing has already been happening. This protest has already been a victory on several fronts, and healing is one of them. In other words, healing won’t happen despite this protest.
It’s been happening because of it.