© Jade M. Wong
“You really think this will replace the statue in Columbus Circle, Sky?”
“Of course not, Corey. I created this in protest. The city still won’t remove the Columbus statue, in spite of our petition. Seattle, L.A., even Phoenix for Christ’s sake have changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. When will New York wake up?”
“Something that looks like a pregnant albino donut shot with arrows and bleeding is going to raise awareness?”
“You have no concept of art, Corey.”
“I’m telling you sis, they’ll ignore us just like they always have.”
“What’s your bright idea?”
“Shedding real blood would get their attention.”
“We’ve lost every war we’ve ever had with them, Corey. That’s why most of our people live on the res in poverty and alcoholism. We’ve got to make them see us, hear us, and understand us. If your group gets violent, they’ll dismiss us just like “Black Lives Matter.” You’re an author, Corey. A storyteller. Tell our story and keep telling it until they have to listen. Please. There’s no other way.”
I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of August 29, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 175.
I noticed the image had the words “Shops at Columbus Circle” so I started there, and then read more about Columbus Circle itself including the statue of Christopher Columbus. I recalled reading some news about Indigenous Peoples’ Day and how it’s gaining traction in possibly replacing Columbus Day in some communities.
Combined with the piece of art shown in the photo, I decided to create this story.
How do you get a large, powerful group of people to listen to you? Peaceful protests are often ignored, and disruptive, violent protests and even riots, while they get a great deal of attention, usually result in a negative label being attached to the protestors. Making seemingly unreasonable and outrageous demands such as these just results in you becoming the object of ridicule (although to be fair, Snopes.com puts a different spin on the matter).
So what’s the answer?
I don’t know if I have one except to keep telling your story and take the moral high road. If you don’t back down, if you keep your story in front of people but you do so in a way that shows you in a positive light, then eventually people of good conscious will be able to enter into a dialog and then real change will begin. At least that’s my hope.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.