candle-light-vigil

So I went to a candle light vigil in remembrance of Michael Brown and all the victims of police brutality today. And something one of the speakers said really stuck with me.

He is a black man and said that he was specifically speaking to all the black people at that particular moment. He said that he wanted to remind them that they were not always guaranteed the rights they have now and the only reason they have them, is because they fought for them. 

I thought about that and realized that as a white person, I have always had these guaranteed rights. At least as an English, French, German and other western Europenean-descended person, I have always just been handed many of these rights (now as a woman, that is a different and whole other story). But nevertheless, I have always been in a place of privilege. I have come to realize this more and more over the past few years (especially since entering college), but what that man said really hit home today. The way he phrased it, the feeling behind his voice and the simple bare truth of his words really made me realize not only just how lucky I am, but how much harder it can be just to be born with darker skin.

So, on behalf of my ancestors who were taught discrimination and prejudice towards anyone who was not a straight, cis-gendered white man, I am very sorry for how they probably treated you. I want to work to make sure I am part of a solution and not continuing the problem in wake of the Ferguson movement that is currently gaining momentum and bringing awareness to this ever-continuing problem. I’m truly sorry that my ancestors really sucked as humans sometimes.

I actually searched quite a bit on the web and found only one website (that doesn’t look legitimate) on this subject so I need help 

Are candlelight vigils permissible? Or could it come under the hadith “Whomever imitates them is one of them”, as narrated to Abu Dawud r.a." 

Its just for my own knowing because there is a vigil tomorrow and as much as I would like to show support and what not, I don’t want to fall into something that is avoidable. 

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This is a speech I made tonight, off the top of my head, about bullying & Jamey Rodemeyer at my school’s Candle Light Vigil, presented by the GSA. As a part of the executive board for my college’s GSA, I was asked to speak in front of about 60 people at this event. And so this is what I had to say.

The video cuts off at the end but this is the majority of what I said.

P.S. There was only candle light which is why you can barely see me.

Day 77/365.

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Zubuyer Kaolin:

An eye on #Shahbag.

Shahbagh has turned into a radiating sun for me. Instead of giving off heat, it radiates positive energy and a hope for a better Bangladesh. It makes me feel uplifted beyond the sky and gives me constant goosebumps. It is indeed a powerful feeling.
So, Who ever you are, I invite you to stand in the crowd of Shahbagh and busk in its glory. Hope it inspires you to be a better person and to do the most from where you stand. 

Joy Bangla!

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The speech I gave last Thursday at the Diversity Walk/Candle Light Vigil for the Laramie Project at Sinclair. It was broadcasted on the local NPR culture segment this Sunday.

Transcript

In between the time that I was born to right now, we have come to matter. Before 1969, there were no laws protecting LGBT people and no national organizations supporting us. In 1993 Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell became law. A year later I was born. In 1996 the Defense of Marriage Act was signed by President Bill Clinton. It wasn’t until 2009, that sexual and gender minorities became protected under the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Yet here we are in 2012, openly celebrating diversity, mourning our losses, and reflecting on the hard path it took to get here. I may be too young to enter Club Masque (our local gay club), but I am finally old enough to give a voice to those who are afraid to come out of the closet. Figuring out that you are different, and then having to announce it to everyone can seem scary, especially when you are young. Sometimes it feels like nobody understands, but take a look around you. Everyone you see here is an ally and we are all here for you. We want to give you a place where you can feel at home and belong. You will always find somewhere in UD’s Spectrum, Sinclair’s BriTe siGnaL Alliance, and Wright State’s Rainbow Alliance (our local college-level GLBTQIA alliances). You have PFLAG, youthFirst, and the Trevor Project. You have Dayton. Hate is not a Dayton value and bigotry will not be tolerated.

And to those, to those who say we need to change, I say to you, you’re right. We do need to change. We need to change how the public sees us. To people that think they can ask a girl like me, to a man like that, that happy same-sex couple over there that we need to change, I say to you, we are here and we’re staying. No longer in hiding, no longer in the closet, and no longer ashamed of who we are.

We live in a country now that has equal marriage rights in 8 states. If this can all happen in less than 8 years, imagine what will happen in the next 8. We have shown the world that we are here and we we are not stopping until we get equal rights for everybody.

It will get better. We matter.