By Ali Amin
Speak to me with your tongue while it is still free,
while your body is still yours.
Let your words travel through the air,
tumbling through clouds of dust that dim the sun.
Until they reach my ear
and so many ears, spilled onto the table,
Speak the truth while it is still alive, while lips, cracked and bleeding, can still move.
Time is beholden to neither lover nor tyrant.
Say what you must.
I will listen.”
Excerpt From: Samira Ahmed. “Internment.” Apple Books.
Although, I have conflicting feelings about Samira Ahmed’s book, Internment, I believe in its message that the wrongful imprisonment of marginalized communities is always possible.
Oftentimes, we look back on historical injustices like the incarceration of Japanese people and see them only as “things of the past”. Our neglect, indifference, and ignorance has caused these events to happen over and over again–though I do want to say “history is NOT repeating itself,” no, our lives are functioning within a predetermined spiral.
I have always hated the phrase, “history is repeating itself.” It’s overused, cliché, and implies that to a certain extent–that this “repeat” of history was escapable. However, if all these things were escapable, why does the oppression of people of color continue to prevail? Why do we have detention camps for undocumented children? Why are there re-education camps for Uighurs?
As long as we continue to reject that these events are happening because of the way we let society function and oppression thrive, these events will continue to happen. It is not something as simple as a “repeat.” These things are happening, over and over again, regardless of how hard we try to stop it because we are still trying to function within the same “spiral”. Until we break free of these predetermined futures and the spiral we are trapped in, we will remain stuck within the same cycle of oppression.