On Concealment, by Nora Alwah.
When someone withholds information from others. Usually, information that needs to be known. It breaks my heart.
It’s a form of lying that no one wants to talk about.
Concealment creates an incongruence in the environment.
Noticing incongruence is my superpower. It was a survival skill for me growing up with an alcoholic dad.
We know concealment all too well around the world. History purposefully not being told.
Growing up in Denmark, I was never taught in school that we were the seventh-largest slave trade nation. No, my blissful ignorance thought “Oh Denmark makes good sugar”. Not the horror conditions that enslaved people endured working on sugar fields for over 250 years.
This concealment creates harmful unawareness.
So I decided to feel into my White privilege. My colonizer ancestry.
Last week I stepped onto St Croix, now US Virgin Islands, previously colonized by Denmark.
Three Islands and thousands of human lives sold at $25 million in gold coins.
As I passed Danish flags and street names like “Dronning Tværgade”, I felt that bittersweet n’between of both feeling at home while feeling the shameful pain.
When information is not named, we are deprived of choice on how we respond.
Not sharing certain information is how oppression functions.
Or as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls it: the danger of the single story.
Oppression takes from people. It restricts people. It inhibits people.
And so often it is denied or made subtle by those with power. It happens in housing systems, educational systems, our own justice system.
Concealment strips you of your resources and autonomy. You start to lose control over your environment. Over your reality.
It’s time to make what has been concealed explicit. To bring awareness on what’s been hidden, to acknowledge what needs to be seen.
As n’betweeners we move in and out of experiences of oppression and privilege. It is our job to feel into what might be kept from us to create a better change.
Knowledge is power and it should not be gatekept by the privileged.
It is my hope you reveal truths all around you, even the painful ones.