When I first worked with trafficked women and children in other countries so many years ago now, I was startled

by how, among innumerable injustices, there were only a narrow few that privilege picks out and calls crimes, and usually only crimes of individuals accountable to society.

When there are so many wrongs heaped upon whole peoples, you can no longer think ONLY in terms of individuals’ responsibilities and culpabilities. That is the refuge of the comfortable.

Where to start
when your mother was stolen from her parents and put in an institution with all the other brown children to be made ‘civilized?’ And then she became drug addicted by the men who sold her for sex, and then the same state took you away from her for being such a bad mother?

Where to begin
when your schools are trash, when there is no fresh food or water, when your parents’ property is deemed less valuable because they are not white, when you are treated with deadly force because you are not white
when you are supposed to compete on the “even playing field” of the world with the legacy ivy kid who did his paid internship at his Dad’s multinational corporation in France?

Where to look, when a future, if you get to one, is leased at an exorbitant rate, with mounting fees attached to finding a dwelling, transportation, food, learning.

When addiction and suicide rates are soaring. When many kinds of violence are subsiding only for the white among us.

I think more now about injustice and justice in systems
rather than only about crimes of individuals accountable to society.

I think about how our social and legal systems are accountable to the individual.

I ask which system, what people, hold the power of institution, of practice and I ask–how are they doing in service to the brown or black girl–because that always startles me with the truth of
what needs to change for us all.

Written on July 9th, 2016 , Uncategorized

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JAC Patrissi's Blog – Growing A New Heart

JAC Patrissi is a Communications Specialist who uses writing, performance art, training and collaborative facilitation in order to support healing for women who are questioning the health of their relationships or who are healing from destructive relationships. This is her blog.