This Voice Will Be Silenced
May 15, 2000
It is chic and "done" to proclaim loudly on all manner of personal websites that this voice will not be silenced, nor repressed, nor told to sit down. Repressions being rebelled against run the gamut from being forced to go to Catholic school to having to take standardized tests to having Republican parents.
So, you'd like to talk about repression and being silenced? We will talk about Elian Gonzalez. We will talk about Elian Gonzalez appealing to the court for the political asylum which is granted nearly every Cuban refugee, including--already--the other two survivors of his escape over the ocean. We will talk about a law which was in his favor, and a government--no, two governments--which disapproved of that law.
We will talk about the statement Elian signed stating that he requested political asylum, and the court date set for the judgement in his case. We will talk of a government which saw this as subversive to its political gains. We will talk of a government which breaks into a private home without warning, with guns, to break doors, to beat bystanders, to threaten occupants, and to take a child at gunpoint.
We will talk of the child's voice screaming into the night as he is carried away against his will.
If you like, if you are well-disposed to proclaiming your right to be heard, then we will talk of a child kept without legal counsel excepting that of the lawyer of the side which wishes to return him to a country which will persecute him for having escaped it.
We will talk of a voice silenced for speaking up. We will talk of these things, we will talk of repression and persecution. We will talk of the little boy whose voice was silenced and of the 10 million Cuban voices who speak through him.
And since you like to proclaim that you will never be silent, never sit down, we will talk, too, of 250 million American voices.
This article copyright © 2000 by Kate Blake and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.