My friend asked me last night:
If you were threatened and told to stop writing about something, would you stop writing about that ?
What ever ‘that’ might be.
Living where I live, I never ever thought of that as something I would have to consider. But after the events of this week the least I can do out of respect is consider this question.
It’s a reality. People are killed for their thoughts and ideas and opinions. And expressing them. That is beyond my comprehension. People believing they have the right to kill another human being over disagreements and differences is beyond my very basic sense of right and wrong. I can’t, cannot, grasp this. But it’s real.
If I was threatened and told not to write something, would I write it anyway. Is this a reality, for me?
I don’t have an easy answer. The ‘how dare you’ part of me would want to write and write and write.
The part of me that sits stunned watching the news thinks I don’t care how ballsy I would wish to be, people are mourning the loss of people they love, right now, because others feel they have the right to kill over differences and disagreements and written words.
I can’t get in to the politics and world debate about all of the terror and horror circulating us right now. I don’t know enough. I don’t understand enough. But people are dead.
I wanted to immediately respond ‘hell yes!’ but I didn’t say that. I just looked at him.
I wanted to answer with a brilliant response that put everything in to perspective and made sense out of insanity. But I can’t find sense in any of this.
I tried to talk it out. If I got an anonymous threat that came from half way across the world posted anonymously in some vague way vs. a hand written message handed to me, or a verbal message given to me-face to face. Would that change my answer to this question.
I want to say with the courage and conviction of what ever it is I am writing about that I would. Yes, indeed, I would write about what ever it is I want to write about.
But then I see that people have died. Again. And it makes me keep thinking before I answer hypothetically.
I want to believe that I will very nervously write, speak and support my truths. I may be fearful, but that’s okay. I may tremble more than I admit to, or maybe I’ll freely admit to trembling so badly I can barely walk. Or maybe, possibly but less likely, be brazen and full of piss and vigor and express myself with nothing but pure energy and security in what I am saying. To hell with the threats.
I know that expressing I had been threatened to not express my beliefs would garner me support. Even from those who don’t agree with me but support my right to speak freely. But can howls of support deafen a whisper of a threat?
The only answer I can come up with is….yes. Yes. Yes I will want to write, or speak, even if threatened not to. But like all things in life that we don’t know unless it happens to us, I don’t and won’t know, unless it does happen to me.
And hope I never have to answer that question in reality.
And to those who have I support your right to do so.