By Faye Bird Winer
Our world is choking on lies. They are the stones upon our collective chests, and they are the very breath being stolen from our collective lungs. And through this darkness that runs thick like blood, there are still those whose eyes are clouded of the truth, whose veins thud and scream with the shattering words “I do not believe.” This same darkness pulsated in that courtroom twenty-seven years ago, that courtroom that voted in darkness over believing with a vote of fifty-two to forty-eight, even after Anita Hill’s lone voice of truth echoed and began to weave its way into silently shattered hearts around the nation, cultivating those first, quiet, and small “me too’s.” But today, followed by these crucial days and weeks and years to come, we have the chance to fight for light once more. We must hold sacred the truth that these stories are all of our stories, that blaming the victims is breaking us all, and realize that this unfathomable pain is a shared one. We must become the wind in the sails of the ship first set foot on by the unfathomable courage of Anita Hill, propelled by the unwavering strength of Christine Blasey Ford, and be the message carried across every current, together. Promising. Promising. We believe. We believe.
And as for all of the souls today reliving their pain so deep in their beings that it seems it will never end, we believe you, and we too are holding your pain as if it is our own. We hold your truths with grace, leaving no room for disbelief. These stories are all of ours, this case is all of ours, Ford’s testimony is all of ours, and this breaking and this rising is all of ours, too. For the soul who’d never even drank before, who just wanted to make friends because she missed her mom, whose clothes didn’t ask for anything. We believe you.
Your story is our story. For the girl who wore pigtails and loved her second grade teacher, who now can only see and feel the memory of her small hand pushing away his big hand, crying tears of a child. We believe you. Your story is our story. For the woman who hasn’t spoken her truth in thirty years because the shame felt as though it would crush her alive, whose only proof resides so deep in her chest, knotted in fear. We believe you. Your story is our story. And for every woman trying to heal only to be broken over and over again by the unwillingness to have your story validated, your pain acknowledged, and your safety prioritized, know that you are worthy beyond words and we will never stop fighting for you.
As Glennon Doyle wisely spoke, “She is all of us. We are her. That’s why we can barely breathe right now.” But let me tell you, we will not cease until we drown these lies in the storm we are. We will not cease until we can feel truth in the air like warm sunlight upon our cheeks, and we feel safe enough to step outside again. We will not cease no matter the vote, no matter the disbelief, no matter the pain that wreaks havoc amidst our hearts. We will not cease until truth prevails.
Fake New Essay Contest:
In the fall of 2018, the English Department at Berkeley City College sponsored a school-wide student essay contest calling for well-written, compelling essays offering a socially-responsible and original stance on the theme of “Fake News.” Faye Bird Winer and Lillian Maheu tied for first prize and were each awarded $200; Brian Figueroa was awarded $50 for third place. All three essays are published in this special edition of the BCC Voice.
About the Author:
My name is Faye Bird, I’m twenty-one years old, and this is my first semester here at Berkeley City College. I’m nothing special, really, just a girl who plays the ukulele and believes that words are the fabric that hold this entire beautifully terrifying mess of a life together. I hope to transfer to Smith College in January of 2020, and I will never stop writing.