I’m tired. No, I’m exhausted. Every day that passess my being feels like an atrocity to society. Every article I read or news story I watch or piece of legislature that gets passed tells me I can’t control my own body, I should be criminalized for having a mental illness, I should be extinguished on the basis of my jewish identity, and my being queer is an abomination. And I have the unearned privilege of walking through the world as a white woman. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are faced with in addition to any other marginalized identities they might embody (but I’ll be out here working on unlearning racist ideals and engaging in antiracism education in the mean time).
America is home to some of the most blatant hypocrisy. Home of the brave, unless we are forced to embrace people who might be different than we are, then we are downright cowardly, hiding behind misconstrued bible versus and illogical teachings. Land of the free, as long as you meet the criteria for freedom, which means you’re a well off, cisgender, and straight white man. And please don’t hit me with “not all men”. I have people in my life who fall into those categories, but they do the work. We sing G-d Bless America, except for Muslims, Jews, and LGBTQIA+ people. G-d doesn’t recognize us. We can go to hell. I could go on and on, but what’s the point? America knows what it is. The American experiment is going according to plan.
But I need hope. We need hope. The millions of people who are in their homes, behind closed doors, crying tears of fear and pain, need hope. I don’t have all the answers. As much as I’d like to have a perfect plan of attack, I know there is so much to unpack. Below are some ideas to follow and please know I’ll be keeping these updated.
- As much as marching and protesting can show signs of solidarity, the energy for these things usually peters out. If you’re looking to make a greater impact, one of the most powerful things to do is scream and shout with your dollars. Spend money at women-owned businesses, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color owned businesses, local businesses, and LGBTQIA+ businesses. Hit them where it hurts. Mess with their economy, their wealth, their power, and they will hear our collective voice. July 3rd-5th we are withholding our dollars from businesses (that do not meet the above qualifications/support oppressive people &structures). I hope you’ll join in.
- Do not look to black and brown people to do the work for you, particularly black women. They have carried us even when we most certainly didn’t deserve it. If you’re trying to learn and do your part, pay them for their labor (if they are even offering their time and energy), use Google (I know you know how to Google best brunch spots, so I believe in your ability to use the search engine), and read books. Knowledge is power. Make sure you’re reading about these issues from people who have lived experience and expertise. Nobody knows the experience better than those who embody it.
- Look to activists who are already doing work in this space. They have the appropriate resources and understanding to create plans and enact sustainable movements for change. Do as they ask.
- If feasible, donate money to organizations who can utilize your dollars to positively impact the lives of those who are at risk right now (https://reproductiverights.org/take-action-abortion-is-essential/).
- Invest in your own self-care and well-being. This is not a sprint. This is a marathon. Going all in at the beginning only to burn out later when the fight gets more grueling is not helpful for you or the movement. By caring for yourself you’re also actively resisting the capitalist system that is its own breed of toxic (directly influencing and connected to other systems of oppression). Your well-being matters. We need you here for the long haul.
In a culture that tells you that you can be anything, I hope one day this culture will actually mean it. In this space, with me, I promise you can be the truest version of yourself. I’ll continue fighting to make our world a safer place for all who exist, well except SCOTUS, they can go f*ck themselves.
With love on these hard days and a fire in my soul,