Halsey: 'Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues', A Story Like Mine, Women's March 2018

22 January 2018, New York City, USA

This speech/poem contains graphic descriptions of rape /sexual assault.

I was in DC last year, and I came back to do a speech this time, but I don’t really know how to do a speech unless it rhymes – so I’m gonna do a little poem for you guys.

It's 2009 and I'm 14 and I'm crying

Not really sure where I am but I'm holding the hand of my best friend Sam

In the waiting room of a Planned Parenthood

The air is sterile and clean, and the walls are that not gray, but green

And the lights are so bright they could burn a hole through the seam of my jeans

My phone is buzzing in the pocket

My mom is asking me if I remembered my keys 'cause she's closing the door and she needs to lock it

But I can't tell my mom where I've gone

I can't tell anyone at all

You see, my best friend Sam was raped by a man that we knew 'cause he worked in the after-school program

And he held her down with her textbook beside her

And he covered her mouth and he came inside her

So now I'm with Sam, at the place with a plan, waiting for the results of a medical exam

And she's praying she doesn't need an abortion, she couldn't afford it

And her parents would, like, totally kill her

It's 2002 and my family just moved and the only people I know are my mom's friends, too, and her son

He's got a case of Matchbox cars and he says that he'll teach me to play the guitar if I just keep quiet

And the stairwell beside apartment 1245 will haunt me in my sleep for as long as I am alive

And I'm too young to know why it aches in my thighs, but I must lie, I must lie

It's 2012 and I'm dating a guy and I sleep in his bed and I just learned how to drive

And he's older than me and he drinks whiskey neat and he's paying for everything

This adult thing is not cheap

We've been fighting a lot, almost 10 times a week

And he wants to have sex, and I just want to sleep

He says I can't say no to him

This much I owe to him

He buys my dinner, so I have to blow him

He's taken to forcing me down on my knees

And I'm confused 'cause he's hurting me while he says please

And he's only a man, and these things he just needs

He's my boyfriend, so why am I filled with unease?

It's 2017 and I live like a queen

And I've followed damn near every one of my dreams

I'm invincible and I'm so f***ing naive

I believe I'm protected 'cause I live on a screen

Nobody would dare act that way around me

I've earned my protection, eternally clean

Until a man that I trust gets his hands in my pants

But I don't want none of that, I just wanted to dance

And I wake up the next morning like I'm in a trance and there's blood

Is that my blood?

Hold on a minute

You see I've worked every day since I was 18

I've toured everywhere from Japan to Mar-a-Lago

I even went on stage that night in Chicago when I was having a miscarriage

I mean, I pied the piper, I put on a diaper

And sang out my spleen to a room full of teens

What do you mean this happened to me?

You can't put your hands on me

You don't know what my body has been through

I'm supposed to be safe now

I earned it

It's 2018 and I've realized nobody is safe long as she is alive

And every friend that I know has a story like mine

And the world tells me we should take it as a compliment

But then heroes like Ashley and Simone and Gabby, McKayla and Gaga, Rosario, Aly

Remind me this is the beginning, it is not the finale

And that's why we're here

And that's why we rally

It's Olympians and a medical resident and not one f***ing word from the man who is President

It's about closed doors and secrets and legs and stilettos from the Hollywood hills to the projects in ghettos

When babies are ripped from the arms of teen mothers and child brides cry globally under the covers

Who don't have a voice on the magazine covers

They tell us take cover

But we are not free until all of us are free

So love your neighbor, please treat her kindly

Ask her story and then shut up and listen

Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian

Listen, listen and then yell at the top of your lungs

Be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues

For the people who had to grow up way too young

There is work to be done

There are songs to be sung

Lord knows there's a war to be won

Source: http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/halseys...

Cory Booker: “When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it's a dangerous force in our country”, response to Kirstjen Nielsen amnesia about Trump’s ‘shithole’ remarks - 2018

16 January 2018, Washington DC, Senate Committee, USA

I wanna just turn, though, and you'll have to forgive me. Listening to the testimony has changed my line of questioning a bit, because this is very personal to me. I sit here right now because when good white people in this country heard bigotry, or hatred, they stood up.

Cory BookerMoving into my home community, we were denied housing because of the colour of our skin. There was white Americans from Burgon County who banded together to fight against racism, to fight against hate speech. To fight against people who had broad brush generalities about people based upon their ethnicity, based upon their origin, based upon their religion.

What went on in the White House, what went on in the Oval Office, is profoundly disturbing to me. I'll tell you this, I heard about it when I was in Puerto Rico, when it happened. Here I was, there, trying to help a community dealing with savage challenges. I can't tell you how many Puerto Ricans brought up that conversation in the White House.

I returned to Atlanta, to go to the King Centre Awards. And from the greatest luminaries from the Civil Rights Movement, down to average Americans, this was on their mind.

I returned to Newark New Jersey, and I talked to African-Americans, from Africa. I talked to Central American Americans. I talked to regular Newarkers. This was top on their mind.

Yesterday I talked to the Ambassador from Haiti. And to see all that they're doing as a result of this conversation. I've been in the Oval Office many times. When the Commander in Chief speaks, I listened. I don't have amnesia on conversations I had in the Oval Office going back months, and months, and months. I've had individual meetings with the President, and I've had group conversations where there was, as you said, crosstalk.

Why is this so important? Why is this so disturbing for me? Why am I, frankly, seething with anger? We have this incredible nation, where we have been taught that it does not matter where you're from. It doesn't matter your colour, your race, or religion. It's about the content of your character. It's about your values and your ideals. And yet, we have language that from Dick Durbin, to Lindsey Graham, they seem to have a much better recollection of what went on.

You're under oath. You, and others in that room that suddenly cannot remember. It was Martin Luther King that said, "There's nothing in this world more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." And so here we are in the United States of America, and we have a history that is beautiful, and grand, and also ugly. Where from this nation to others, we know what happens when people sit by and are bystanders and say nothing.

When Oval Office rhetoric sounds like social engineering, we know from human history the dangers of that. Our greatest heroes in this country spoke out about people who have convenient amnesia, or who are bystanders.

King said, "A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to stand."

Elie Weisel says, "We must take side. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

Gandhi said, "Silence becomes cowardice." Cowardice, when we the occasion demands speaking out like Lindsey Graham did, and acting accordingly.

This idea that the Commander of Chief of this country could, with broad brushes talk about certain nations, and thus cast a shadow over the millions of Americans who are from those communities, and that you could even say in your testimony, the Norwegians were preferenced by him because they're so hardworking.

K. Nielsen I didn't say-

Excuse, let me finish.

K. Nielsen Happy to.

Let me just draw a connection of why that matters. I'm sure you remember the six words from our President, the six words that he said after Charleston Virginia, last summer. People marching with tiki torches and hate. When he said, "There are very fine people on both sides." "Very fine people on both sides."

When the Commander in Chief speaks, or refuses to speak, those words just don't dissipate like mist in the air. They fester. They become poison. They give licence to bigotry and hate in our country.

I know you're aware of a 2017 GAO report that found, and I quote, "Out of the 85 violent extremist incidences that resulted in deaths in September 12, 2001, far right wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 73%." When I go through the Black Belt in the south, Atlanta, black churches in Newark, they're concerned about Jihadist Islamic Terrorism. We watched the Twin Towers from Newark go down. But since 9/11, 85 violent incidents, 73% were with people that hold bigoted, hateful ideas about minorities.

One American, killed in Charleston Virginia, dozens injured. Nine Americans killed in a church shooting in Charleston South Carolina by a white supremacist. An American killed, and another wounded in Kansas after a white supremacist targeted them for their ethnicity, saying, "Get out of my country." Six Americans killed, and four others wounded in Wisconsin, where white supremacists targeted individuals for their religion.

The Commander in Chief, in an Oval Office Meeting, referring to people from African countries, and Haitians, with the most vile and vulgar language. That language festers. When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it is a dangerous force in our country.

Your silence and your amnesia is complicity. Right now, in our nation, we have a problem. I don't know if 73% of your time is spent on whit supremacist hate groups. I don't know if 73% of your time is spent concerned about the people in fear in communities in this country: Sikh Americans, Muslim Americans, Black Americans.The fact pattern is clear of the threats in this country.

I hurt. When Dick Durbin called me, I had tears of rage when I heard about this experience in that meeting. And for you not to feel that hurt, and that pain, and to dismiss some of the questions of my colleagues, saying "I've already answered that line of questions," when tens of millions of Americans are hurting right now, because of what they're worried about would happen in the White House. That's unacceptable to me.

There are threats in this country. People plotting. I receive enough death threats to know the reality. Cond receives enough death threats to know the reality. Maisie receives enough death threats to know the reality. And I've got a President of the United States, whose office I respect, who talks about the country's origins of my fellow citizens, in the most despicable of manner.

You don't remember. You can't remember the words of your Commander in Chief.

Source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1733277