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Black Lives Matter

I Will Not Be Silenced

Earlier this week, I shared photos created by a student artist with the demeaning words of PEOTUS painted on women’s bodies. The photos had been shared widely via BuzzFeed and Huffington Post articles. I posted the photos on Facebook and learned that sharing photos of a woman’s body (including an image showing her nipple) did not meet the community standards set by the social media platform. I was suspended for 24 hrs. Today I logged in to find I was suspended yet again because of the caption associated with the pictures, though I don’t remember what I wrote and I did not capture it before it was removed.

I do know this: I have said way fucking worse.

I use Facebook to talk about the oppression of black folks. I use it to highlight the hypocrisy of race, class, and gender in this country. I use it to beat down patriarchy and to uplift women. I could use it to share cat videos or talk about what I ate last night for dinner. But I don’t. I have a very special use for this platform. It’s to educate and to amplify important but difficult subjects.

So to whoever it is that keeps reporting me, I will not be silenced.

You want me to stop talking about race and oppression—ain’t gonna happen.

You don’t like what I say? I do not care.

Until black folks are free and y’all stop killing my people I will show up every day.

Every.

Damn.

Day.

Art By Jennifer Davis

Did I hurt your feelings? You don’t like the language I use? You find me offensive? Good, because I find lots of shit about how we treat folks in this country offensive. I find poverty, sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism, and patriarchy offensive.

Your emotional comfort will never be more important than the liberation of marginalized people in this country.

Not today.

Not tomorrow.

Not ever.

We had better learn to recognize, name, and call out oppression whenever we see it, because trust and believe we will see more of it over the next four years.

We had better learn to engage with folks that do not look like or think like us instead of trying ignore, wish, or anonymously report them away.

Our fragility is killing us.

Just like our secrets and our pain. We can have no reconciliation without truth. We can have no reconciliation until we acknowledge and shed light on all the myths and fallacies we continue to promote about who we are and how we treat one another in this country.

Being suspended from Facebook does not hurt me, it just affirms that my work must continue.

This article originally appeared on medium.com.

By Desiree Adaway

Leading difficult conversations on race, class + gender. Building resilient organizations and cultures at The Adaway Group.