In a compelling personal essay at Pacific Standard, Terese Marie Mailhot reflects on the systemic racism she’s experienced as a human and as a writer. She relates that speaking out against racism can come with a personal cost, but that as a natural-born liberator, she is both willing and prepared to use her voice and her stories to overcome it.

I used to will chaos into my life. It was a gift of sorts. Mother said I was born to Thunder—which is an element of chaos and liberation in my culture. I have always believed that an electric chaos ran through my blood.

“It’s a gift to be born this way,” my mother said, the first time I told her that I had a terrible dream of a large wheel spinning before me. It would not stop. “That is Thunder. This is a gift.”

She saw the world…

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