Once upon a time, there was an eggplant named Floyd. One day, the veggie squad broke into his house and burned it down because he was accused of using fake shells to pay his groceries but really it could have been anything else because the veggie squad did not really treat the eggplants like they treated the potatoes. Maybe it was a call from a potato lady claiming that she was threatened by an eggplant man… No one really knows…
Back to the story…
Floyd the eggplant opened the door and did not resist. He knew that resisting the veggie squad could only bring him problems. But it did not work this time, the veggie squad burned Floyd’s house down and let him burn inside. He begged for its eggplant life but its eggplant life was not important and ranked very low on the veggie squad scale. So they let him die and his house turned into ashes. He repeatedly said ” I can’t breathe ”
So, Floyd, the eggplant was no more, and witnesses who were there managed to record everything. It was not the first time, eggplants got killed and got their houses burned down… Floyd was just the most recent victim…It was so gruesome but for some almost uncanny reason, those men from the veggie squad just got fired and did not get charged. Eggplants felt their lives did not matter. So, my fellow eggplants and I started saying that #eggplantshousesmatter and some eggplants got really mad and angry.
Then my potatoes neighbors Mike and Rosie came up saying, #allveggieshousesmatter too… You should talk about all houses, all veggies….
Rosie then added
Honestly. I’m struggling. I can’t keep it together. There are all kind of rejection. Plus I need compassion. I don’t want to feel guilty. I don’t want to be silent. But I don’t know what to say…really…The world needs compassion”
I was disappointed with you, my potatoes neighbors because I know you. You have a good heart, you call yourself spiritual persons and talk about peace love, and oneness on every occasion. But strangely, you chose to talk semantics instead of helping your eggplants neighbors or instead of doing anything for eggplant’s houses. Because let’s be clear here, there is only one kind of house burning down here and they are eggplant’s houses.
So I told you this :
” Mike and Rosie, right now our eggplants houses are all burning, yours is fine and could not be better and the veggie squad will ever set it on fire, so what’s the point of you asking for more attention and needing to highlight that you also feel pain and rejection in your life? You are the Queens, and Kings of fries so do you seriously need more attention right now? Do you feel uncomfortable because of this massive flashlight on our eggplants’ houses? Are we disturbing your peace? Why do you feel insulted? Why do you take it personally? Why do you need to share your own pain when we talk about our eggplants’ houses? Why do you need to make the conversation about you? Why do you need to throw spiritual bypassing into our faces? Does it make it easier for you to remain silent and give us the patronizing speech about me being triggered? Does it make you feel less guilty to blame us and explain to us that we should not be triggered?
Let’s put things straight for the record Potato Friends …
When you reacted that way, ignoring or diminishing my pain, as if it was not legit or relevant, by comparing it to your own pain, I felt triggered, my inner child felt triggered, violated, not respected, humiliated again and I RECLAIM the right to be triggered because I have so much pain stuffed in me that I denied for so many years.
You can call me angry eggplant. That’s an easy one…It works for any situation. But I won’t apologize anymore for being angry, sad, or for being in pain. Why should I? When women started talking about the rapes and the abuse. You, my potato friend, were so loud and came up with the #metoo movement, inciting all veggie women to speak up…
Maybe we should do that, maybe every single person who has suffered from racism and rejection should post on social media. I bet potatoes would feel overwhelmed… It’s my guess when I see that the overwhelm is already so big when I dare to express my pain and you just want me to stop talking because it makes you feel uncomfortable.
Well, that’s what I used to do… Yes, I have been doing that … what you are advising me to do, I remained silent …I focused on forgiveness and buried the pain, the anger, the resentment deep down.
But my question is :
How will people ever change if they never acknowledge the issue… ? How can we all heal as veggies if we refuse to feel the issue? How can we all heal as veggies if we don’t want to feel uncomfortable? Being uncomfortable is part of the growth process.
It’s not anymore about racism … It is about veggie rights… Do you get the difference?
When you deny my pain after denying me so many privileges… It crushes me because I feel that :
“ MY PAIN IS NOT AS VALID AS YOURS“
“MY LIFE IS NOT IMPORTANT AS YOURS”
So, yes, I might overreact to your words even if you didn’t have any ill intentions… I might feel crushed to witness your silence.. because at this stage silence is complacency. Period. Silence is being complicit.
Truth is my heart broke because I thought you were my friend Rosie, an open-minded spiritual friend.
We had a dream … Do you remember? I joined the adventure…
We had this dream to build a better world, do you remember? So, why the silence now about my eggplant house?
Benjamin Franklin one of the Founding Fathers of Veggie Land used to say:
“ Justice will only be served when those unaffected are as outraged as those who are not”
Saying nothing is just contributing to the problem. Saying nothing is being in denial. It is as enormous as saying the sky is orange when it is obviously not orange.
This is not even about racism but about being selfish and not caring because it does not affect you, it is about spiritual bypassing…
You know, I was wondering if any of you potatoes friends would have dared to mention to the asparagus friends when their kids got killed in their school, and when they wanted to talk about their pain, that there are different kinds of losses and of grieving … And if you would have dared to start talking about losing your potato dog… instead of firmly condemning the school attack and the racism behind it.
I bet not because each of you potato friend would have felt in his or her flesh that the pain of losing a child was not to compare to just any loss…
But when I talk about what happened to Floyd, you give me the compassion card and tell me about your own way to live rejection… You answer to my pain by throwing your pain to my face. I am not denying it, just saying, it might not be relevant and helpful.
Think twice now… Does it feel aligned? Is it so difficult for you to relate to Floyd?
I believe it’s not even about that… cause you’re my neighbor and I know you are a very good heart. It is just because you don’t want to feel uncomfortable. You don’t want to feel guilty, just because you are potato and oddly the guilt feeling is there… and your body rejects that emotion. And that’s where you enter into cognitive dissonance.
I get it… You don’t want to feel uncomfortable. You don’t want to be the bad guy…or to feel that way, just because you are a potato…You don’t want me to disturb you fake pinky rosy world.
I get it… but please understand that this is called DENIAL. Don’t even notice I am lying…
I get it… but please understand that I am crushed when you serve me the Peace and Love mantras instead of calling a stone a stone…
I get it… but please understand that you telling me that my inner child was triggered could just look like spiritual bypassing to me.
I get it… but I can’t help but being dead inside when you tell me this.
“It’s horrible that an innocent eggplant was killed and his house burned down in the daylight but eggplants must stop destroying the gardens”
“ It’s horrible that gardens are being destroyed by angry eggplants but killing innocent eggplants has to stop”
I am not advocating violence and yet you know that these are the inevitable ripples of injustice. Martin Luther King, an eggplant pastor and luminary coined this by saying ”a riot is the voice of the unheard” so let’s make that voice heard, listened to, amplified, expanded, and supported, as much as we can without violence.
So this is what I would like to tell you today with all the love I am capable of right now:
“It’s time to wake up. It’s time to open your eyes and to stop pretending to be deaf. There is no turning back. This is the blessing brought up by Covid-19. It forced all of us to experience the law of one because corona does not spare any veggie… Thanks to that hidden blessing, I see all kinds of veggies all around the world awaken and opening their eyes and unblocking their stuffed ears and it makes my heart warm. It makes me happy and I thank from the bottom of my heart all veggies who are standing with the truth.”
Because it is not about racism. It is about TRUTH, POWER and PRIVILEGE.
“So please use your voice, say something, use your potato privilege with intention. Be the change you pretend to be in this world. Be the change you want to be in the world. Walk the talk… In the supermarket, in the drugstore, in your family, on the bus, at work, in your communities, and tribes, everywhere… Accept to be uncomfortable and accept to face your shadow…”
You, potato woman, might claim that you are not racist but how would you really feel if you found yourself alone with an unknown eggplant man. Ask yourself if you would feel safe or if maybe our cultural conditioning led by ego would not take over and fear would start to cripple in… It is ok. Nothing to be ashamed of but it shows the depth of the work that needs to be done to morph all of those toxic beliefs and conditioning.
You, my dear potato friends, you can go and buy a doll for your potato girl who actually looks like a potato. You can find bandaids that match your potato skin. You can drive your beautiful car in the garden and you won’t get pulled out by the veggie squad. That’s potato privilege. UNEARNED ACCESS, AUTHORITY, AND RESPECT.
Do you finally get what I am talking about?
Please try to feel it to heal it. There is no other way.
So I am urging you to get to know eggplant people, to educate yourself about racism, about colorism, about potato privilege. I am praying for you to get to know an eggplant for real, and for you to ask questions and to honor their difference.
Word of caution here about the untold rules:
-Please spare me the usual “Eggplants are not different. They are like us. I don’t even see you or her as an eggplant.” because that’s just denying my identity. I am a veggie and yet, I reclaim my right to be different, to be the only eggplant in the room. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, it won’t be my problem anymore.
-Never make the statement “there is no such thing as ‘races of veggies‘“ without following up with “racism is alive and well and must be dismantled.” You cannot skip to the “we are ONE” utopia (soon to be a reality, sorry I am an incorrigible optimist) without acknowledging that we still exist in the 3D matrix where veggies are treated according to categories and privileges (sex, color, shape, taste,…).
-Next time you choose to center on your reactionary pain or say “I’m not racist but…” and refuse to participate in the conversation instead of just feeling the discomfort, of being part of the white collective, think twice and ask yourself why you had to add that you are not racist but. That could maybe mean guilt and maybe shows a bias and that you have been triggered. Know that it is a big trigger for us, eggplants because it implies that you feel guilty and that you will of course deny the actions of potato people because it would mean that you are bad. It kills any possible conversation.
So, that was for you, my potato friend, I hope you could feel the truth wrapped in love. Please keep trying even if you are fearful of not knowing, or of not being understood, or of saying something wrong. Because if you choose to opt-out of the conversation because it is too difficult, it is only because you have the privilege to do it. If you don’t know what to do. JUST LISTEN AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAIN. It will be more than enough and it will always be aligned. LISTEN AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAIN. Don’t try to fix or to justify or to bring up your own stories of rejection. LISTEN AND ACKNOWLEDGE EGGPLANT PAIN. You will never go wrong with that.
My turn now TO GET ON THE GRILL.
Let me tell you what I intend to do as a PROUD and CONSCIOUS EGGPLANT, owning each tiny bit of my shades of BLACK here.
–I will speak and rise. Unashamed. Unabashed. Please don’t tell me to shut down in the name of forgiveness, compassion, and love because it defeats its purpose.
–I will not PLAY anymore the role of your assimilated eggplant and wear daily my potato dress. Do you know that the veggie squad officer who burned down Floyd’s house and killed Floyd used to work in the same club with Floyd as a security officer? The former owner of the club said: ”the veggie squad officer would have shown mercy, had he recognized him…” Well, it is even worse because it just shows that in her mind there are acceptable few chosen eggplants and a mass of ugly eggplants…
–I release the need to be good and to be politically correct…I CHOOSE TO BE THE VOICE OF TRUTH INSTEAD. There is no opposition whatsoever between spirituality and activism. We can be spiritual and stand for what we believe. Stand for the truth. Every day.
–I will heal and educate as many veggies I can on this issue. Change mindsets. HEAL TOXIC SELF-TALK. I am committed now to create a sanctuary to help all veggies to heal. All veggies need to heal and potatoes and eggplants have to heal too. I will commit to heal and mend the wounds in my community.
-Lastly, I will also fight colorism and communitarianism in my own eggplants’ community because it does not matter if we come from different parts of the garden. We are all eggplants and what happened to Floyd in the oversea garden is also our problem. The Fairer Aubergines should also be concerned by eggplants. We are all in the same boat and no one has a monopoly on racism and colorism…Unfortunately, because it somehow transcends the issue of veggie race. It is just that no one wants to be the most disliked vegetable.
Sorry it is long but I am getting close to the end …
Dear Potato friends, the last thing I want to share is that #yourpotatovoicematters because it will be heard MORE than mine and those of the other eggplants (yes that’s called the potato privilege). Because you will be able to reach the potato tribe in a way I can’t. You can reach the potato community within the inner private circles of friends and family. Your potato voice matters because you have the power to change the garden because potatoes are the kings and queens of the garden.
Lastly, and this is the most important reason, your potato voice matters to me and to each eggplant because when you speak out, it warms my heart…in a way, I can’t explain. It warms the heart of all eggplants. A part of us is still not believing it but when I see you fighting and standing with us… It makes me FEEL VEGGIE AGAIN
And it feels damn good.
Remember that potato supremacy is not some trendy word used by eggplants to complain. It belongs to the history of this garden. Everything started because of eggplants ‘ “de-veggizing“. How could potatoes ever turn other veggies into slaves? Only by declaring they were not veggies. Even the veggie Church validated this so that the ugly trade could happen with veggie peace of mind. Eggplants had no souls. Simple. Problem solved. So, KNOWING this, no one can ignore that “eggplants being less than potatoes” is ingrained in the entire garden cultural scape. That’s called potato supremacy. That’s just the truth. The garden needs to be a sanctuary, a safe place for all veggies. Shape, taste, and color must be irrelevant.
I understand that maybe it triggers shame but try to move beyond that shame. You could not do better before because you did not know, now you DO. Now you know LOVE is an action verb.
SO THANK YOU. FOR BEING HERE. FOR READING THIS. FOR LISTENING. FOR ACTING TODAY. FOR ACTING TOMORROW. THANK FOR ACTING IN YOUR COMMUNITY. THANK YOU FOR HELPING JUSTICE TO BE SERVED. THANK YOU FOR USING YOUR POWER FOR CHANGE. THANK YOU FOR BEING AS OUTRAGED AS WE ARE. THANK YOU FOR RAISING YOUR VOICE. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING EGGPLANT VOICES, EGGPLANT TALENTS. THANK YOU FOR HELPING US REACH THE CRITICAL MASS NEEDED FOR CHANGE TO HAPPEN. THANK YOU FOR WILLING TO SHARE SOME OF YOUR PRIVILEGE AND POWER. THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE.
It is just the beginning…
TO MY FELLOW EGGPLANTS, KEEP FIGHTING, KEEP MARCHING, KEEP STANDING AS ONE AND KEEP SPEAKING UP. #yourvoicematters
Let’s write the end of this tale …ALL TOGETHER, SHALL WE?
Join the sanctuary.
#Ifnotnowwhen? #ifnotyouwho? #truthilluminates #yourvoicematters #thesanctuary
Share this far and wide.
Love and Light to all
N’dèye Fana Gueye