For the mp4 of this speech, contact me at LiannShannon@gmail.com
Yesterday's Occasion speech by Dr. Sherri Benn of Texas State University
"Walk your talk. In you has been the kind of revelation that has captivated students, staff, and faculty alike because of our collective and insatiable hunger to make our dream of revolutionary transformation into a collective reality of inspiration for the purposes of pressing towards the mark of liberation because like Sister Angela Davis said, 'Freedom is a constant struggle and revolution starts in your hearts.'" See, the stronger-together folk we squandered because we really were not with her. I guess it has finally woke us up to the indisputable fact that the liberation of one of us is inextricably connected to the unshackling of all of us, whether we are the oppressed or the oppressor and believe you me, we are both.
To break that down just a little bit further, we have gathered here today in holy matrimony to witness the beloved union between Asian folks and brown folks and black folks and queer folks and different-abled folks and indigenous folks and white folks and poor folks and you get the idea. And so in the sight of this great cloud of witnesses and God as in your higher being, be that Allah or Buddha or Jesus or Yahweh or the One, or your twelve-step program…what I'm trying to say is that this holy matrimony that we have gathered here today to witness is a union of solidarity between 'awoke' folks and in solidarity with our Asian family, as in Arab, as in Muslim, as in Buddhist, as in Hindu, as in Sikh, as in Lao, as in Hmong, as in Sri Lankan, as in API (Asian Pacific Islander), as in South, as in East, as in Southeast, as in Oceania and so, so much more.
We are gathered here on this day to ponder upon, to meditate on, to reflect upon, to think upon, to set our heart, minds, and souls upon and press courageously into, to make manifest, to make actualized, to make obvious, as in to make evident that the collective protest of all of us working in concert to free each of us from every 'ism' whether it is the model of the myth that is helping on tyrannizing, subjugating, harassing, afflicting, oppressing, tormenting, confining, and unfreeing us. I'm talking about radical liberation, ya'll. As in the deliberate act of interrupting, disrupting, confronting the efforts to pit yellow against black and black against brown and brown against red and queer against disabled and the hijab against the cross and the turban against the tie and poor whites against all of the above. Ya'll know what I'm talking about. The ubiquitous domination of oppression-based social location. Even when the minority myth is the model, it is still subjugation.
See ya'll, liberation takes the collective opposition of all of us in order to truly, as in for real ya'll, free each one of us from the systems of 'isms' that keep coming after us. What I'm trying to say is that liberty, freedom, and justice for all is inseparably linked to liberty, freedom, and justice for all, as in all those who continue to be rendered as dangerous and criminal and uncivilized and invisible and forgotten and even expendable-- you know, the other-- when we are making America great again.
And so at this time and in this place, we have gathered here today in holy matrimony, as in a union, as in a sacred covenant, as in we are all in this thing together, ya'll. To understand and embrace how we have a mandate to be part of, this never-ending liberation movement even when it is under attack and it is under attack. You see, blood, sweat, lives, and tears was the price that was paid and maybe will be paid again because the vote that we squandered is now helping on making America not so great again. And so now we are living in a sacred moment and when I say sacred moment, I mean in this time, in this place, in this season, and in this new generation…in this new generation of the young which has ushered in the fullness of this historical instant which has been carved out in time for the long-awaited for-real, real revolution.
We are gathered here today in holy matrimony to press against whatever forces exist within us and outside of us that are conspiring against liberty, freedom, and justice for all because within us, as in us together, is the innate power to discover and make manifest the hidden liberation that is actually and in fact the connection between two, three, four, or eight million rising of us. When we let our collective inspiration touch the world's hunger and thirst for liberty, freedom, and justice for all so that we can finally give birth to the reality and beauty of a new kind of us.
We gather here today with Equality U as our holy matrimony to converse, press, stretch, risk, and struggle our way together to that promise land called Freedom. Oh, and we will bring the Deplorables with us because when the script is flipped, they too are us.
Equality U is a vision of love, which grounds itself in liberty, justice, and freedom for all, the kind of revolution that imagines us drawn not merely to one another but deeply into one another, carrying, bearing, sharing courageously the burdens of our pain, our wounds, our hope, our fears, our love, our triumph, our victory, and our collective liberation because this nation, this state, this city, and this place has two lives; the life we are living and the life within us clawing its way to freedom. Remember ya'll, Equality University 2016, like Equality U 2015, 14, and 13, is a creative intellectual and organic inspiration as birthed as a revelation of an ongoing expression of radical diversity, radical inclusion, and a call to action, as in that that's why you're here. Thank you."