We will be told that a legal process was followed, that the rules of evidence were followed, that protocols about witnesses were followed. We will be told that the most convincing arguments won, that the most eloquent lawyers won, that the most compelling case won. We will be told that the deaths were accidental, the violence spontaneous, the stolen election a coincidence. We will be told that justice has been served.
We will not be told the names of those who died.
We will not be told the names of the disappeared witnesses
We will not be told the names of the silenced witnesses.
We will not hear the screams of those chopped to pieces with machetes, the stories of those raped and impregnated, the travails of the displaced and the dispossessed. We will not hear the sounds of the restless dead, the questions from too-young ghosts who still ask why. We will not hear the testimony from children who wonder why their mothers look at them with love-revulsion. We will not hear the sounds of the wounded earth, wondering why its children must kill each other.
We will be told that he was always innocent, that it was a plot hatched by enemies, that the enemies have been defeated. We will be told that Kenya has been vindicated, that we are not the monsters others want us to be, that we have always been peaceful, that minor aberrations should not upset the order of things, that narratives from the dominant class are accurate, correct, the right version of history.
We will not hear the stories of the gagged, the songs of the wounded, the cries of the inarticulate. We will not hear the unsuited, the camp dwellers, the made-wanderers, the former-could-be-heard. We will not hear those made unhearable, dispensable, disposable.
We will be told to look toward the future, to celebrate development, to forget the past of “little accidents.” We will be assured that the rapacious elite deserve to rule. We will be told to dance in sisal skirts for visiting dignitaries. And, when it comes time to remember the less fortunate, we will be encouraged to donate what we can.
The holiday season will be full of jubilation. We will celebrate the new-born king, the anointed, the fulfillment of prophecies we are assured exist. We will be told to embrace our destiny, to exalt our leaders, to marvel at our good fortune.
We will be told that the missing spaces at our celebration feasts are ordained, the will of destiny or fate or nationalism. That sacrifice will be honored. That martyrs deserve our attention. We will be told to light candles, to burn incense, to remember the gone, but not too much, for the future is bright, and we are one.
We will be assembled as those who forget, as those who look toward the future, as those who embrace the promises of state visions, as those who bear the state’s approval, as those the state wants, needs, destroys.
We will be marked as killable and disposable, forgettable and irrelevant, easily replaceable given our “youth bulge.” We will be told it didn’t happen. We will be told it doesn’t matter. We will be told to stop dwelling in the past.
There will be silence
There will be silence
There will be silence.