Mostly with myself. Wohoo. But, really, the last two days have been a gauntlet on a shit soaked treadmill attached to that bomb from Speed. You know, for my teeny weenie brain. Tons of peeps have been all kinds of brilliant; they’ve written amazing things and I have been grateful that there are people out there who have their sanity and aritculation taped together more effectively than me. As I have spent the entire day with relentlessly high blood sugars (stress makes my blood sugars pee directly on my humanity), I will just link to the things that I read that helped me be vaguely less flail and microscopically more coherent.
Gutbloom’s piece was my first legit laugh in a few days. Also, he’s a brilliant writer. so.
Sara. Per usual.
(there were so. many. more. but medium is still all weird showing me my stuff and i cannot anything blah because nausea. check my recommend section? sorry!!)
My friend’s status, where he asked this:
“I have a question we can pose to the Trump supporters in our lives who feel our fear of being abused and marginalized are over-reactions: What will you be doing in your homes, communities, schools, and work places to prove me wrong? How will you be helping to ensure that the hateful rhetoric used during the campaign will not insinuate itself into the everyday acceptable dialogue of our nation? If, as a Trump supporter, you also consider yourself an ally of Muslims, the LGBTQ community, people of color, women, and all of the scared people in America today…what actions are you taking to help keep us safe and equal? What will you be teaching your children?
Don’t answer now. In fact, don’t answer me with words. Answer me with actions.”
And here’s my own sweaty penny:
*Find, follow, and listen (not talking or participating) to groups for POC. It’s important to be ready to place emphasis on their narrative and their views. It involves listening and temporarily ceding the desire to be heard. There are tons of them all over Facebook, there are podcasts (my two favorites are The Black Guy Who Tips and TWIBnation — which, btw, will be doing segments on local elections (!!!) until midterms in 2018), and there are probably oodles on Tumblr (I’m not a tumblr gal) and Reddit. Kinfolk Kollective, Son of Baldwin (who is also on Medium ps), Awesomely Luvvie, Love Life of an Asian Guy, Bitch Media, Everyday Feminism, Angry Asian Man, Thoughts of an Angry Hijabi, VSB, and White Nonsense Roundup are some of my favorite Facebook regulars. Once you jump in, you’ll find actual peeps (instead of pages/groups) to follow, and that’s loads of awesome/helpful as well. Fair warning: they all have block buttons, a small galaxy’s worth of education and articulation, and zero fucks for your discomfort. It is their space.
*Reading is how I started; speaking up is not only hard to do because it is scary and painful to lose bits of your care to people in exchanges that go sideways, but also because it is hard to learn why some phrases land and others don’t. The language of social justice is, by necessity, exceptionally nuanced and specific, and it takes a fuckton of practice and getting it horribly wrong just to sometimes get it right (ok whatever it does for me shut up). I had and have a lot of work to do when it comes to speaking up. So I read. And I listen. I got super fucking lucky and had a white ally friend who basically educated me from the ground up, and to this day, any time I don’t understand something, I run right over to her and hand her my pile of derp. It has spared me many catastrophes along the way. The reason it worked, though, was because I was always going to her to hear her. I was never there to get validation for behavior or to gaslight/sealion her responses. If she hadn’t trusted me, I would have gotten zero help (of the kind that I received, anyway. She has the rough convos with rando peeps all day, every day). So, that was key.
*Try to go local. Most cities have a lot of really easy ways to get involved; it just takes time (difficult), money (ahahaha what money), and a lot of persistence. It’s worth it. A little goes a long way, and it doesn’t have to be a full time anything. (For example, Planned Parenthood needs volunteers/money. Or jump in on City Council meetings — they’re public, almost no one goes, and they exist to address your concerns.)
*Learn what your personal boundaries and goals are when it comes to handling conversations around triggers (racism, misogyny, phobias of every variety; basically anything that will make the person receiving the criticism feel like you think they are evil/bad/hopeless/worthless). Sometimes it makes negative amounts of sense to have a conversation with someone because depending on where both of you are, it won’t be a conversation. It’s not that certain opinions aren’t hideous and abusive and hurtful; it’s what your goals are for that conversation. If it is to be heard, to have that person hear you, then it matters where that person is and where you are with the topic at hand, and with personal investment in the other person. If you are the one with the opportunity for that conversation, then it is 100% your call.
*If you’re new to speaking up, tread carefully when shaming other allies for their personal choices, specifically regarding how they handle the stress of calling for change. Shit weighs differently on us all, and it’s important to remember that a) just because they need a minute now, doesn’t mean they will need all the minutes forever, b) they’ve been at it for more minutes than you shhhhh and c) you might change your mind after certain experiences. And shame tends to be a dead end in trigger riddled situations.
- I am exhausted, my sugar is shit, I am (CAVEAT) just trying to find anything to say that might be at all constructive; this is in no way to be read above anything that is more helpful to you. Just my own ish over my five minutes of coping. Literally zero else.
In closing, here is this link that I am sharing, not because I even read it, but because the headline had me hysterical-cry-laughing all day long and then I maybe rawk-said it at strangers on the street maybe whatever shhh here it is bye