Award-winning slam poet Guante talks about how the things we don’t say are the things we should have said.
This poem makes me think of one sentence, one I’ve heard and spoken more times than I can count.
“I don’t want to cause drama.”
It’s true, I don’t. Most of us don’t. But sometimes I wonder how much rape, how much bad behavior, how much evil has been casually empowered by that sentence. It can mean a lot of things, but one of the things it frequently means is “I know something is wrong, but I’m not going to speak up about it.”
The problem is that we’ve come to use “drama” to mean “people being upset.” That’s the trap we fall into, because yes, it is often a good idea to avoid people being upset. But sometimes being upset is appropriate. Sometimes being upset is the right reaction. Sometimes being upset prevents a bad thing from happening.
That’s what Guante’s talking about when he talks about silence. He’s talking about all the times we just decide not to talk about it, all the times we successfully avoid causing drama.