Responding To Violence
This conversation seeks to unpack the many ways in which we, womxn of color, engage with and confront violence. Joined by Parissah Lin, Jamy Drapeza, and Tsige Tafesse we discuss how violence manifest itself in our day to day, the effects of language, as well as our individual and community responsibility.
Tsige: Hey y’all! My name is Tsige Tafesse. I am an artist, organizer, and I’m a part of a collective called BUFU. Y’all heard yesterday from Jasmine, one of my partners in crime. And I’m excited to be here and be part of this conversation. Thanks y’all for inviting us.
Parissah: I’m Parissah Lin. I am also a member of a collective, Yellow Jackets Collective, which is in family with BUFU. It’s a queer intersectional East Asian collective doing different kinds of work to renegotiate violence in ways and the other thing I do is teach kids, try to frame kind of music and arts education around anti-oppressive organizing and politics and anti-racist pedagogy.
Jamy: Hey, I’m Jamy Drapeza. Pronouns she/they. I do a little bit too much. I come through as a Filipina women’s organizer with the National Democratic Movement with Gabriel of New York. I came through yesterday with some of my amazing teens, all girls and femmes of color who come through Soul Sisters looking for ways to organize as youth, they’re 14-17 year olds coming from all the boroughs. I come as a forensic social worker, someone who responds to violence with dismantling the systemized oppression particularly within the incarceration space. And I come really glad to be here.
Sienna: Could we talk about what violence means to each one of you right now, because you mentioned violence can be very nuanced in the context of women of color and so perhaps what you’re thinking about in terms of violence in this moment and then we can talk about day to day reactions.
Tsige: I think there is all types of different violences. There’s physical violence, spiritual violence, political violence. I think we live unfortunately in a really violent world which is the inevitable conclusion for the systems of oppression that have been in place for a really really long time. I think we talked earlier before this panel started about something that I’m really interested in talking about on this panel is looking at responding versus reacting. I think a lot of us are really conditioned to react react react react. I know a lot of the work that I’ve been engaged in really came from a place of reactiveness and that can be really spiritually and emotionally exhausting. I think right now especially and the last couple years partially do to my health forcing me to but I’ve been really interested in building rather than destroying and really trying to move away from reacting to violence and just thinking about what types of world we want to see and fighting for thos and envisioning those and creating spaces that we can try to better grapple with that. That's sort of an answer but also kind of a ramble at the same time.
Jamy: Saying violence, my tongue just got really buzzy and heavy and then the next thing comes to mind is profiting versus progressing. And I come at that looking at economic justice or militarization where I see violence as taking and opposing rather than collaborating working respecting and seeing folks work together as opposed to stepping on someone to move up. I think yesterday there was a lot of speaking around ancestral and intergenerational practices or lens on how we view ourselves as women of color and people. And I think that comes to mind when I think about violence too, how that definition for me wasn’t said to me in the words of my mom or grandma or anything but in terms of just living their lives and seeing how they felt even in this space now I’m coming up through living in the belly of the beast that’s what comes up for me when I hear the question.
June: Jamy I know that earlier we were talking about something specific and if you can touch on that recent experience or what is on your mind because I think it is so important to place some context around the idea or notion of violence and that was a really good example.
Jamy: Yeah ok. So I mentioned before one of the spaces I work in is I’m a secretary general for an organization called Gabriela New York. We’re a pro-people national democratic movement and what that means in layman’s terms is we believe that the people know what they want. It is up to the people to decide collectively how to move forward. And part of that is how we say no. A few weeks ago there was a AZN conference hosted in the Philippines by our president Duterte who’s been really popular in the media lately for his sanctions of extrajudicial killings of anyone who is allegedly involved of drug use or drug trafficking. So far the reported numbers are like 13,000 people. Women, children, men, supposed communists and thats a loaded term for whatever reasons there. Most recently and what's heavy in the heart of my kisama which in Tagalog means comrade, we lost 10 beautiful people. Three of them were students, one of them in particular, Joe, she was a really sweet girl. She was a science student. She was organizing the Vagina Monologues in the Philippines which, it’s one of the few countries where you can not get an abortion, where reproductive health is a combat to touch upon. She lost her life fighting for the people, calling for what we call a fact finding mission, an investigation on the militarization of our indigenous folks. The increased militarization even in Manila which is our capital city, especially after 45 touched down to be there to say that the US backs the Duterte administration. And today this afternoon after I left the space which is why I’m so thankful for this space, it smells good, y’all look good, this afternoon many of us at least 50 of us are mobilizing at the Philippine embassy to call for a continuation of her work, of what she was trying to do to expose the system sanctioned violence in these communities. If you look at Fox or CNN and they’ll say that “Oh the Malawi ISIS situation is contained, we save the people.” we had folks that got off a plane last Friday who were staying in these makeshift, I can’t even call them shelters, just makeshift roofs who are there not because of ISIS they're there because the military has pushed them out, they're there because multinational corporations have pushed them out, there there because these children, these amazing children, make their own schools. The acronym is ALCADEV and they’re taught the ancestral ways of their people and they’re taught to not forget that they’re there because of violence. Because of violence because of what they have and what they have is land. And for a 10 or 7 year old to do, when I was 7 or 10 I was playing hand games, pattycake, rockabye, they’re doing things like when we get rid of the trees we get rid of the mountains the guards of our homes. And I feel myself reacting so much more to, all the things it took to even be in this space to connect with y’all, reacting or responding to violence if anything that I’d like to know especially being here is that we’re not alone when we do it. And for any individual to respond is a call to share who else is already doing the work and that’s a very comforting thing.
Sienna: Yeah I was gonna ask, and you can either take the reigns or someone else can take it, in taking about all of that I know that there’s a strength behind being able to talk about these things and I wonder who has motivated you or given you some of that strength or what is giving you strength in this moment to fight for what you believe in?
Parissah: Kind of what you're saying reminded me of, I was talking to some folks because my day job is in the art industry which is im sure as everybody knows is vile and violent. And I was talking to osme folks about it and I’m at a job where I’m the inly woman of color even thogh my boss is a queer man kf color and he’s extremely violent. And we’re like everybody, all of our heroes, all of the people who come to this city, all of us who are drawn leaving different small or large scale forms of violence coming to the city to find a queer space, a woman space, spaces that feel safe or at least they have possibility, is that all of the people we look up to are often so complicit in that violence that once you become visible you probably have a hand in violence either on a small or large scale. I was talking to one of my coworkers who’s an art student and he was like all of my favorite artists are my friends right now and I was like yeah all of my heroes are my community and my family and my friends right now because those are the only people that I can at least see. It’s not like we all don’t create small forms of violence or large forms every single day but the people that you’re close to that can kind of account for them to heal you with them which I have not seen people with tremendous amount of power doing. And one of the things that’s become, and I think all of us have known deep inside of ourselves for most of our lives really visible is how many interconnected circuits of power and violence there are just keeping people moving all the time. Every new exposee every new scandal every new form of violence exposes how many poison roots go deep. How in the US we have all these interconnected forms of violence and racism and incarceration and economic violence and trauma and how then the US is the biggest player of imperial violence in the entire world, itms literally poisoning the rest of the world, it has itms fingers deep in all of our homelands and the spaces that our families fled from in order to survive. And it's really kind of been at least for me paralyzing for the last few months. Thats been one of my problems around violence, it feels like the more that I learn about it the more frozen I am and the only people that actually keep me going are my family and my community. It’s not seeing somebody who has a large name or backing behind them announce power in a very public way. That has not been making me feel any kind of safety or any kind of liberation because all it does is make me feel like those who have access to power are learning our language and learning how to snap it up and turn it around and use it against us. And it's making me more and more distrustful and more and more afraid and the only things that pull me out of my shell are loving hands that remind me of the violence that's out there but remind me that there is still life moving between us.
Tsige: Can I add to that? I really really really really strongly resonate with that. All of my heros are people that right now I know and have been intimately around me in my life, like Parissah, I love you. But also I just wanna name a couple important contemporaries, just like black femmes that have really changed my life. Like Adaku Uta from Harriet's Apothecary and also Beatrice from Harriet's Apothecary and Love Circle Song and and Daniel from Love Circle Song and Adrien Marie Brown, if you don’t know about her work please look into her work, she’s lit she’s been out here for a minute. She’s one of the folks who put together the anthology with Walita called Octavia’s Brewery which is a book of Afrofuturist short stories from different organizers across the country just trying to envision new futures. And she just wrote this incredible book called Emergent Strategy which is the book that is giving me hope it’s kind of mt political bible right now. There’s hundreds of people quoted in it, she’s been channeling I Octavia Butler for a really long time and looking at her work as a way to move forward and also she's looking at nature for different ways of organizing and different structures. She’s an amazing person she’s does a lot of stuff with using sci-fi and speculative fiction as social justice tools I’m continually blown away by her and they are just some really powerful femmes who are out here doing it for me, helping me through. In 2014 it was a rough year for all of us. I'm sure many many of us in this room were in the streets and protesting. I really wanna unpack the trauma of that time and what that was like because I think I’m still reeling from that, those years and I think, I believe that the revolution is nigh so I think that shit will come back not necessarily a bad thing I think revolution is interesting, we can talk about that. So that was a really really really painful time at least for me and I think a lot of us and my body just started dying. For anyone who knew me it was not a pretty sight. My hair was falling out, I had psoriasis I was having acid reflux, my anxiety was worse than it’s ever been in my entire life and the direct action work was truly killing me and part of it was Itms a lot to feel every single death that happens in the world, it's a lot ot feel all the violences that's happening every single day and at that time I was just taking it all in and had no way of processing other than hitting the streets. I think that’s really necessary and important work. I also think the way I was doing it was really unsustainable spiritually, physically. And I went to every doctor to get tested for everything I had two EKAGs done on my brain because I was having weird migraines too like my body was not good. And I got pulled into this retreat thing at this place called Blue Cliff monastery for organizers of color and I wasn’t a particularly spiritual person before and I am still figuring out my relationship to spirituality but it was one of the things that definitely helped me survive violence, finding some kind of practice. And also trying to think again how to build new futures how to envision new things and not just be in this place of reaction and this place of truly killing myself. I think that this world it can be a really dangerous place not just for these particular physical things that might happen to our body and by the state but also emotionally and spiritually. It's a tough thing to live in a place that so not equitable.
June: I was gonna ask you to talk about, I know that we were talking about China and your time there and just placing context around not reacting but the work that we can do right now, so maybe if you talk about the time you had in China and what you realized in coming back and how that has changed your approach to resistance.
Tsige: Yeah, man I have bad memory about what I’ve said. But yeah I mean so I work with this collective called BUFU, Jasmines right there, Jasmine Jones, Catherine Tom, Sonia Choy and myself and our friend June Quan who passed away two or three years ago at the start of this project was with us in the work. So yeah there’ll be a whole documentary about what our experiences were. We’re looking at the relationship between black and Asian folks politically and culturally around the world and also trying to put local conversations and global conversations and local people and global people in conversation, thats a lot of conversation, again there’ll be a documentary to explain it. We just came back from a month of shooting in China about a month ago. And I guess how that’s shifted my resistance work… this is like a big big big question. I think one thing that I found really challenging, I’mma be 100% I should do more research in general, in life, but I think one thing that we really didn’t understand going into this particular bit of travel, we filmed in places that had like, we were in Ethiopia which had a state of emergency so that means there’s not a lot of free press right now so we had prepared ourselves a little bit politically for what that reality would be like and we also put measures in place so if we weren't able to shoot because there wasn’t a lot of information getting out of the country that Jasmine had travel insurance ao if she couldn’t come, she was gonna go and I went earlier to see what the situation was gonna be because we weren’t getting a lot of accurate info. And I’m really familiar with Ethiopia because I’m an Ethiopian person, my dad wa politicized for a very long time he was a failed political revolutionary of a movement that never really took off for various reasons. It’s hard to be anti-imperialist when you have no support from the outside world because you have really thorough politics. So we really didnt understand what communism really looked like going to China and what that would mean for a lot of different things. One, we tried to do a panel conversation in Guangzhou which ended up being a shit show. For one, something that I like to do when I have conversations with folks about just a basic thing is trying to tie the personal to the political, trying to tie that our everyday interactions snowball into these much larger things that we are cocreating at various degrees these larger systems of oppression every single day and trying to activate folks in that and help them to see their agency and that’s part of our interest in the work, trying to activate people across different backgrounds. That was a really challenging thing to do to talk to folks about the urgency, while we’re in Guangzhou, Guangzhou is home to the largest African population in Asia and in this room there were no African people. Down the street you could literally walk and it was all black folks. Various ages various backgrounds all over the continent. And these are people who live in the community trying to be like ok what’s your relationship to these people? Also what is the government’s relationship to neocolonial things that are happening on the continent and that was a really challenging thing to do. One thing that came up a lot was folks talking about “Why does it matter, my relationship to this person? I have no choice, I have no vote in the government. That’s a totally different thing that’s nothing to do with me.” Which is a really complicated thing to deconstruct. So I think for me maybe it shifted me trying to have a more complicated and nuanced understanding of how to have that conversation and how to bring people into the room. Someone told me something really important and scary yesterday, somebody here was talking about brands and corporations and money, money scares me so much, capitalism scares me so much, and just talking about how do you divorce people from seeing their political relationship being to the government and seeing it as other things, money being one of them. End rant.
June: So maybe bringing it to microaggressions, could we talk about that for a second? How you respond to microaggressions on a day to day basis, if you wanna give an example or sort of something tangible for us to equate the conversation of waking people up to their politics and the government then on the day to day smaller scale.
Parissah: One thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is all the lies that I’ve been taught about directions of power and directions of violence. Of them being unilateral and direct and things you should be able to see really easily, you should just be able to identify it. So Yellow Jackets Collective, we’re all East Asian folks and I’m half Iranian which is why I’m brown but both Iranians and Chinese folks, I’m Chinese via Taiwan but Chinese colonizers, are colonizing folks. They’re brown and we have our own systems of oppression that we’re navigating here by virtue of the way that my body looks there's a whole different set of things that happens but one of the things that we’ve been learning and what I’ve been learning in Yellow Jackets which has been kind of a hard thing for me to negotiate because my yellowness was really violent for awhile because of my family shit, I didn’t really see myself as yellow until I wa sin the Yellow Jackets, is how hard it is to see ourselves as complicit in violence, not only complicit but participatory. China is colonizIng a lot of other parts of Asia and now Africa and the world in a neoimperialist in kind of a new economic framework that’s different than the colonialism of the 15th-19th century. And I think that that’s something, microaggressions have started to mean something a little bit different to me now because a lot of times, before microaggressions because of being a woman, being queer, being brown and having two legacies of ethnic folks who have complicated relationships to whiteness to say the least were about my own body. And I feel like I learned a lot about that from white feminism like, Grace has been talking about how white feminism is limited by the extent their bodies. And now through Yellow Jackets one of the things that I’ve seen is how often things that we feel as violent are often reflective of a larger violence that we’re participating in, how Grace kind of taught me a lot about lunch box politics and this language around exclusion. And then we had a really long talk about that around a panel where we were actually called out for participating in violence where we realized that all of the language around East Asian American and particularly Korean and Japanese and Chinese trauma and not any of the ethnic minorities that fall into that is about exclusion and about how our inclusion was always predominated on the oppression of black, brown and indigenous folks. And so like how young yellow folks like teens would come talk to us about how frustrated they were with whiteness and then they would fail to identify that even in their language they were writing themselves as exceptional, as people of color or as different or as something how we’re left out of the black/white binary and how that’s not necessarily an oppression in a way that we wanna think about it it’s actually a participation in violence. And thats been hard for me that's been really difficult because you go into different attack modes, and i'm a very angry person, when your goal is to make someone feel enough pain inside of themselves so that they have to sit with it for a long time and really assess the way that they are negotiating the world which is often my tactic with folks who have a tremendous amount of power like rich folks, white folks, men, straight people. But it’s different with folks that I share some amount of vulnerability with or I don’t share any vulnerability with that if my mode of wanting them to realize that they're causing pain, and I truly don't wanna hurt them, I don't want them to be lost in pain in a way that paralyzes them that demolishes them. You wanna hold other folks of color in your heart, you wanna hold other queer folks in your heart, you wanna hold other migrants other people with the same histories as you or different traumas a little bit closer and a little bit more tender because the chances are that they are experiencing violence constantly is very high. So I’ve had to learn different modes of essentially storytelling have been really important for me. Trying to figure out how to mourn as a tactic of becoming woke. Mourning both your own failures and your ancestral failures and your triumphs and the people you’ve lost through them. Trying to identify like yes it is really important to see our migration history to see these oceans where we’ve lost people to see the deaths that we have suffered at the hands of US imperialism and then it’s also important to see the deaths that you've caused by virtue of being able to move into neighborhoods because you were identified as a good worker. I think that that’s been really important to me. Me and Tsige both talk about mourning a lot about how it both kills us and is something that we need to keep moving on. And I’ve been trying to figure out how to metabolize mourning into a forward moving thing or at least and orword moving thing as opposed to something that collapses me inward. I don’t know if that answers your question because mostly I just don’t talk to men anymore honestly that’s the way I deal with that.
Jamy: I guess in regards to how to handle microaggressions, I wanna lift up stories of my youth that I work with through Soul Sisters. Our mission statement is very specific where we aim to be in spaces where girls and femmes of color who are systems involved, and I think about microaggressions how I deal with it as a women of color is to also validate our youths who see these microaggressions but they call it something else, they don't know that they could label it or they have the right to label it. For example we were working in a juvenile corrections facility and the youth there were like “Oh it’s another program we have to go to, there are POs sitting in the front.” There’s a chair in front of the door, you have no choice you have no space you’re a juvenile you broke the law you’re here. So when I come into contact with my youth it’s already there, these microaggressions are this is my identity, I earned this, I was supposed to be here. And part of our work when it comes to responding to them living trough these microaggressions and telling them straight up like we’re here, and you have the right to say no to absolutely everything that we’re gonna bring in here. And that in and of itself telling another person, someone who’s going through different oppression or similar oppression, is to tell them that you’re going through microaggressions, macroaggressions, emotional aggressions, systematic aggressions. And if the only thing I can do for you in the ten weeks I can be here for you is to tell you that you can say no, starting with saying no to me is why I appreciate Soul Sisters as a collective, why I appreciate being able to be in that space with all my degrees and my experience to have this 14 year old bash me for 9 weeks until the 10th when she’s like “I wanna collage about what I wanna do when I get out of here cuz I really wanted to be a nurse and I never really thought about that I like green, I don’t like purple.” I’m like fine. And that's what I think about when I think about battling microaggressions. Being willing to educate in the sense that, to model what “no” and waiting for looks like. And I think as an older person who works with younger people, I think that's part of my reaction like growing up when you’re in a family or culture that’s like, elders period. You have to age into your power. It comes to me that I respond to microaggressions by leveling that out in ways that I know that I can. And for the most part its scary and it’s exciting and also cathartic to know that combating microaggressions is shutting the fuck up, and waiting to receive direction for whoever needs it more.
Parissah: Sorry to jump back on but you just reminded me of the work that I do right now where I actually makes me feel good is working with kids. That's pretty much the only thing that doesnt make me feel depressed all the time honestly. Through the music program that I work with we basically stole away a program that was transplanted in, one of my best friends Lizzie Connor who is not here and is not a woman of color, is a white woman from Tennessee who came up with a bunch of white women from Tennessee with the goal of teaching people music. And over the years of living here was like this is extremely fucked up. So she just took their structure, expelled all the white folks and has tried to in really little ways and really big ways make it a space that is actually useful to the black and brown folk who have been doing work in Brooklyn forever and ever. And one of the things that we realized is how much military language is just embedded in shit that we talk about all the time, even us like well meaning folks coming in to do things is using things like “target” and “opposition” and “fronts” in ways that are harkening to not a communist front but a militarized and what that means having that language embedded in kids. And this year it was really important for us because we were working with a lot of kids who have sexual survivor stories that consent was really important and how much we realize that teachers are taught that they have an absolute power in the space so things that we have learned from a lot of other collective work that folks have done like calling people collaborators, that kids have absolute veto power over their body, their stuff, and their words, and having consent go down to the core of everything because thats one fucking way that everybody has absorbed a lot of microaggressions is being told until you’re 18 that you have no autonomy over your body, and how much violence, racialized violence, imperialized violence, sexualized violence has happened around that because you're just supposed to not know better and that shit is just so hard to decondition inside of me. Like when I see two little sisters like poking at each others faces and I just wanna push them apart and that was something that we had to watch each other and remind each other that we have no mastery over their bodies, we do not own them they belong completely to themselves no matter how young they are, and that’s something that I’ve had to remind myself also that even though I have to monitor my body moving through the world that down to little things that I think I don’t have permission to do with my own body and that I then kind of repurcuss onto kids are not normal, they shouldn’t be normalized and the reason that there normalized is because of the way that policing and the police state have drilled into our cores and drilled into our intimate spaces. And that has been something that’s really important and really uplifting to me because kids from ages 6-17 could understand that. There's a lot of times we talk about consent and sexual violence on campuses in ways that make them seem like they’re really obscure and opaque and that “Kids can’t understand this, and you can’t talk to them about it without talking about sex.” And the same thing with racism and the same thing with police violence, we’re told that they won’t understand it but one thing that everybody understands is how fucked up it feels to have no control over your body. And that’s been really important and uplifting for me to realize js how quickly folks adapt to that. How quickly your worldview can change and how quickly boundaries of race and class and gender can actually acknowledge the way that they are participating in these violences. We're working with a bunch of kids that came from the old program who are mostly white and middle class and then a bunch of black and brown kids who are mostly poor and have grown up with a lot of different kinds of violence around them. That was one thing that could get through to everybody and everybody helped teach us new words which was really important.
Tsige: I was thinking a little bit about, I think Paloma is her name, we had a really quick conversation afterwards all together and god they are beautiful inside and out, they were talking about something that I thought was really interesting. We had this back and forth around, and it wasn’t intentionally about microaggressions but around what does it feel like to put words and theories to the microaggressions that we feel? And how does that affect how we move in the world when we can understand that these things are not just isolated incidents in our lives but actually follow them to larger systems of oppression. And how grateful we are to different theorists and folks who have put in that work to help us identify those things. As a strategy for microaggressions that really helps me to stop for a moment and be like oh this is actually part of a much larger thing this is nothing that's isolated happening to me in this moment and that can help me from losing my head. But then Paloma also said something that's really really important and checked me I was asked her on set if it’s easier now that you have this language and you know all these different things, do you move easier when you’re doing your work or Is it actually more challenging because now you can see all the things that are happening in the room you can understand this camera person is having this thing happen and there's all these white people doing my makeup and saying “Hey girl!” To me and having this whole experience which is really fucked up. And for her she was saying which is really real that regardless of having language for it she can feel that its fucked up and that's more than enough. So I think there was something that you had said that made me think of this and I don’t know exactly what it was because I was engrossed but it was something that made me, I’ve been coming back to this idea of intimacy with yourself and intimacy with each other, just intimacy being kind of my go to political move right now. Intimacy with all y’all, intimacy with myself and intimacy with general community as a way to just really be sussing out where things are hitting me, why they’re hitting me that way, that being kind of my key organizing tool right now. Maybe that sounds odd and kind of boring but that’s my go to move outside of theory outside of practice outside of a lot of different kinds of work just, being intimate.
June: I was gonna add, I haven't thought about this for such a long time until you just said this, I just remember thinking about growing up in a violent home and knowing that that was my reaction to everything, whether there was love in front of me or violence in front of me I was reacting from this place of hardness, hardness that I had inherited as part of this family situation. I remember the first time I realized that I had never allowed myself to love, to inspect what love had meant to me in the context of my family and my experience and how in knowing that first only in that moment was I able to start building my own language of love and my own concept of love as one of the first people that stepped out of that hardness of my family situation and into myself.
Sienna: Can I respond to that? I also grew up in a really really violent home, emotionally violent physically violent, a lot of different kinds of violence. And it’s been kind of a blessing to be able to tie like here’s tracing back as to why that trickle down violence happened at home. And recently I’ve been thinking about, one, I don’t think I would wish that type of violence on anyone but also I feel like I’ve really learned such a gift of unconditional love from that experience, and also boundaries which I think is also a part of love. And I guess I haven't really tied my personal to my political framework but I from a young age developed my practice of when really violent episode would happen around me in my home being able to identify it, name it, let the person know even while they were having this manic episode, create boundaries and not react from a place of andr but really try and react from a place of love and really try to see them in their humanity and see myself. I think violence I guess for me has also been the birthplace for a lot of love. And I’m not grateful for it but I am acknowledging that that is a part of the framework of who I’ve become.
June: And I think that acknowledgment in standing in that position, knowing that you understand what's going on is already a privilege above all of the other people in the violence. Saying “This is violent, let’s stop doing this.” I think that's a great responsibility and if you are in a position of privilege to be able to recognize that this is violent, your responsibility is to say something. Thank you.