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(From the October/November Zephyr) Sowing Clover: How to Be a Witness…by Tonya Stiles

An excerpt:

Lately, I’ve been thinking about St. Louis. It was surprising how long the news lingered on that Midwestern city this summer, after the shooting of Michael Brown. Surprising that we all lingered there, as a country, for a span of a couple weeks, to witness the anger and the confusion of a community that had long been broken, but only now had managed to push that brokenness into the sightline of the larger American culture. We witnessed it. I heard that word–”witness”–so often in the aftermath of Brown’s death. “A witness reports seeing x;” “Members of the press witnessed the police doing y;” “We protesters are bearing witness;” “Our viewers are witnessing this tragedy;” How passive it sounds, to witness. To just happen to see something. To be standing there, in the line of sight, as an event occurs. To consent to see what’s happening in front of you. Not to change anything. Not to stop anything. Just to see.


To read more of Tonya’s article, click the image below:



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