Tag Archives: voices

All people have voices

I posted the first version of this a bit over two years ago after I spoke about the work of advocacy at the orientation for the Presbyterians attending the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. This is edited a bit to reflect additional insights gleaned since then. The phenomena happens every day. Every day. I post this today, October 5, 2018, because in the public forum of the United States Senate, the voices of survivors of sexual assault – female, male, trans, people of every sexual orientation and gender identity were ignored, forced to the margins, oppressed, repressed, suppressed, and silenced. 

All people have voices.
There are no voiceless people
because
all people have voices.
Some people have voices we choose not to hear.
Some people have voices we ignore.
Some people have voices we force to the margins.
Some people have voices we oppress, repress, suppress.
Some people have voices we have silenced, sometimes for a long time,
but
all people have voices.

Our task is
to uncover the voices of people
whose voices we ignore, drive to the margins, suppress, or silence
to hear their voices
to listen, truly listen, passionately listen to their voices
to heed their voices
and then to work with the people whose voices we ignore, drive to the margins, suppress, or silence
to amplify their voices
to bring their voices to the halls of privilege and the tables of power
to invite and call and challenge all people,
particularly privileged and powerful people,
to hear the voices of those whose voices we ignore, drive to the margin, silence
and to demand that all people,
particularly privileged and powerful people,
listen, truly listen, passionately listen
and heed those whose voices we ignore, drive to the margins, or silence
because
all people have voices.

Yes. We can her and listen and truly seek to understand what someone says without agreeing with what that person says or doing what they ask. But to refer to someone as “credible” or “sincere, painful, and compelling” and then accept a truncated, orchestrated investigation, demonstrates, to me at least, a lack of hearing and listening.

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