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Fears & Films

Last night I watched12 Years a Slave. It was upsetting and disturbing, and rightly so. Based on a true story, it chronicled how Solomon Nor thup, a free black man, was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1840's.

I found myself hiding behind my scarf.

They're actors, I told myself, This is a movie set. They're acting. That is not real blood.

And then the next voice jumped in.

But it really happened. Maybe not exactly like this, but worse. To more people. Who weren't actors. This isn't pure fiction. And this isn't over..

I feel a bit ill today, thinking about it all.


About who I might have been if I had been born two hundred years ago and what I might have turned a blind eye to. About Grampie and last week's blogpost, about this photo series, about my friends' documentary on sex-trafficking & prostitution, and the horrors of sexual violence:


I fear many things for my life, but I do not fear being enslaved.
I don't fear being victimized repeatedly without any means of escape.
I do not fear living in fear for my life or my safety.


I fear being too loud, I fear being too pushy,
I fear forcing my perspective on others.
I fear that I'll talk too much about one thing and people will stop listening to anything I say.


More than that, I fear being a silent bystander while evil unfolds.
I fear that the little things I do are not enough.
I fear that fear will hold me back or that a lack of hope will prevent me from doing anything.

I fear that my perspective on the world will only extend to my own backyard, that I will be like the kind-hearted slaveowner played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who, when confronted with the truth of Northup's past, backed away, saying, "I can't hear this! I can't hear!"

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