Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Today/Now


It was my second baby's birthday today. He turned four, and tonight while he opened his presents the look of happiness on his face lit up my whole world. Charlie is excited by the simplest things- gummy worms on top of his special breakfast donut. Arriving at school and having a friend meet him with a birthday hug. The way the front of his new monster truck carrying case looks three-dimensional. There is such pure joy wrapped into everything he does and through everything he views. The lens which Charlie sees life is such a rose-colored one, and everyday I try to look through it as much as I can.

But shit you guys. I've started typing out this post so many times, erasing, and retyping. I don't know what to say about what is happening in our country. But I do know that it's worse to say nothing. I'm sick to my stomach, angry and disgusted at what is going on. At what has been going on. I don't say too much politically in this space. And sometimes I wonder why, but if I'm being honest it's because it's easier. And I'm well aware that by easier we can also read: privileged.

I read this today, although it's from January --

"I want my friends to understand that "staying out of politics" or being "sick of politics" is privilege in action. Your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence. Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you likely will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide. You don't want to get political, you don't want to fight because your life and safety are not at stake. It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka "get political"). The fighting is tiring. I get it. Self-care is essential. But if you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety. You might not see it, but that's what privilege does."

I avoid talking about politics here because I don't know what to say. At all. I know what I believe and I know how I feel about this horrible administration and the state of everything, but when speaking about the unspeakable events that just transpired, from my vantage point what could I even contribute to the conversation? I don't want to say something the wrong way, but really, is there a wrong way to say this is NOT OKAY? That if you are a racist, hateful person you have no place here and we will not tolerate it? Our country has become a place where those kinds of people feel emboldened- no hoods, no masks- and I don't know how to change that. But what I do know is that this is not a time to be silent. So like my friend Angela said (the friend I tagged in my links post earlier this week), "here is my small voice joining others to speak out against the hate." And I know speaking up is not enough, but I want to learn and listen and assist, so we can try to change what has been growing right here in America. Any insight or help learning more is so appreciated.

6 comments:

  1. Good for you! History has shown us what happens when people refuse to stand against hate and act like nothing is wrong. I think it is very important to write something if you have a platform to do so. Your words and opnion could be very helpfull for others to speak out too. I am from The Netherlands so can't really help you with any other ways or insight but I just wanted to say: anything you do to speak up is helpful!

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  2. Honestly, I get upset when people I follow on social media/blogs don't talk about the stuff that is going on. I don't know why, maybe I believe they have an obligation to address these horrible things that are happening, I don't know. I think you are completely right "your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence. I was talking with a friend last night about how people are so afraid to acknowledge their privilege. As if somehow this makes them a bad person or something. I think acknowledging it is the first step towards helping this god awful mess.

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  3. Dani, I've been feeling the same way--except I'm normally pretty outspoken politically. I just don't have any words right now beyond F**K RACISTS, which isn't very eloquent or even helpful (it just feels good). Normally, I would go to solidarity marches with Esmé, but my husband is afraid for our safety after Charlottesville. Getting in debates with people on Facebook isn't going to change any minds, so it all feels futile. I've decided that the only real option for me is to show kindness and call out racism in person when I see it, to educate Esmé as she grows about equality, and to start doing research about financial ties any of my products of consumption may have to this administration or to hate groups and sever them if they exist.

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  4. I live in Flagstaff and want to invite you to Together We Will Northern AZ. We have a private FB group that is full of ideas for local change and bigger stuff. Twwnaz.org has been a major sanity saver for me when I don't know what to do and the emotional toll feels like my heart is being kicked in. We have to make the world beautiful for all our kids.

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  5. I'm a long-time reader, Danielle but I'm always a lurker (I guess I'm an blog-followin' introvert or something). But I'm with you on this - all of it. Seems like being silent is a bad call in this climate. We may NOT be going down a very bad rabbit hole, but if we ARE? I don't want to be one of the people saying "why did we let this happen?" I want to be one of the people fighting for the weaker people, not just staying quiet because it doesn't touch me directly. And honestly? I'm a mom too - of two littles, 5 and 6. I want them to grow up in an inclusive society, not a fearful, hate-filled place. Thank you for speaking up. I will do so too.

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  6. THANK YOU for using your platform and standing up against this despicable hate. More people with the type of reach that you have should be doing the same thing. I have immense respect for you and your voice.

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