Both COVID-19 and fascism destroy by de-storying, and are successful in this effort because they weaponize the most powerful tool we have as a human species: words, language, communication.
You see, the sounds you release happen at the tail end of a process where your mind, body, and voice sync together to emit an energy cocooned in a word, and liberated through language and expression. Your words do things. How you communicate — -verbally and non verbally — transforms the energy of ‘me’, of ‘we’.
As we emerge from the trenches of 2020 to enter into the unknown of 2021, we must bear witness that it is not just a virus that is killing so many of us, in the same way it is not just one political figure who spawns insurrection and fascism. No. The genesis, the omnipresent culprit here is language and words.
Inequality lives in language. From a human rights lens, words are what fueled an insurrection that almost destroyed and de-storied the United States and the votes of more than 70 million people. Communication — or the lack of representation within it — is being used to destroy and de-story the inalienable rights and protections of black and African American communities in the United States; and minority groups worldwide from Syria to Kashmir to Myanmar.
From a health lens, COVID-19 continues to de-story our communities by robbing our species of physical ways to communicate, listen, and heal. Healing needs the very things COVID weakens: socialization, communication, community. Some used words to falsely equate mask-wearing with giving up one’s rights. This cost lives, more than 2 million of them. COVID, in another parallel to fascism, is hellbent on killing black, brown, and indigenous communities at a rate 2 to 3 times higher compared to other communities, according to the Center for Disease Control.
#MeWeIntl remain focused and privileged to foster spaces where all people may exercise communication as both a human right and a component of health.
Throughout 2020 and the beginning 2021, lockdowns from COVID-19 in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan persisted, and Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon lived with relentless and increasing socio-economic instability from COVID. In Honduras, our #MeWeHonduras have been grappling with back to back hurricanes and flooding, and increased poverty from the COVID19 lockdowns.
Despite these threats and disruptions, our local implementing partners (Questscope, Mercy Corps, DARB, WSA, Zenobia, Oye, Honduras Social, Tejiendo un Sueno) have managed to innovate with us to ensure our community programs and trainings continued uninterrupted through virtual interventions using WhatsApp and Zoom. In some cases we are funding the mobile phone stipends to ensure those with financial or technical barriers to programming can have a chance. We have also been funding 1:1 psychological support and newly designed self-care trainings to our community facilitators.
What we are witnessing from our #MeWeIntl networks is nothing short of extraordinary, and we are determined to keep pushing forward.
Read the full article here: https://meweintl.medium.com/2021-words-are-all-we-have-71310a52b19a