Unarmed by Aiya

It may seem simple

A flipped switch

But when you ask me not to code

This is what I hear


Risk your income

your job

Risk safety

security

Risk sole provision

family

Risk reputation

standing

Risk rumors

retaliation

harassment

blacklisting

trust


You’re asking me to stand against a system stacked against me

against friends

against family


a system that’s a path

a ladder

a means for you


For us

It’s trauma

psychological scarring

unsafe

potential death

It's afraid

to take my children to buy groceries

It's hate


It’s about life

And wanting to protect it

It’s about seeking equity

While fighting the myths of equality


It’s not just

a hard conversation

It’s a hard living

This is not about feelings

Mine are on the back burner

Curdling

This is about history

And choice


I come from a history of being fired for speaking

Of being punished for self defense

Of remorseless

retaliation

harassment

Policies of we don’t, not ‘I will’


I’m not daunted

I’m denied

frustrated

undermined


I’m less concerned about hierarchy

When every step is focused on

Walking through minefields

Of white fragility

What about mind?

Mine is constantly

Outnumbered

Obstructed

Overwhelmed


Check the Times

Psychological safety doesn’t exist

Where I’m from


Have you ever felt 100% unsafe

disarmed

bare?

Maybe there are no stupid questions

But there are dangerous answers


Do you dissect language?

Examine each phrase

‘In case’

Ideas fall from your mouth

Or do you walk around with words

Not knowing they are weapons