At the end of the presidential election I wrote a post expressing everything I felt viscerally as a result of the election. I went into detail about everything I learned and briefly mentioned I would go off the grid for a couple of months. (If you want to find which post I’m referring to click here and here). During those months I thought about how I could actually resist and send a message to the 62 Million who had ushered in a new era.
In sum, my actions are pretty small. It’s just me and I can’t change much alone. But I know that there are others who think like me, and who will take action and will not sit idle during this time. And so in their actions I find solace.
There have been times that my spirits have been low because of the news or because what someone has said. But as emotionally taxing it may get, I am one of the privileged that CAN DO SOMETHING.
So I took the time to research how I could do more than just voice my opinions with my peers, because as comforting it is to share what I believe with someone who agrees, those words don’t change actions I so strongly oppose. So I researched, and thought, and little by little started acting differently.
Those small somethings have included:
Actively trying to appear more Latina (as if there was a thing) because I realize I have fed into this idea of eurocentric beauty (no I’m not doing anything crazy, but I am actively drawing attention to my “Latino” features)
Cutting my coffee addiction so I could allocate those funds to organizations I believe in and that are doing work that this country needs
Supporting news outlets that don’t have to answer to corporate America and keep our news credible, by buying a subscription
Supporting people of color that are pursuing the next level of professional success- not just by liking what they’re doing but supporting them financially as well
Signing up to volunteer for a domestic and sexual violence shelter
Calling and emailing Senators (GULP)
Boycotting businesses that directly support or benefit politicians I oppose
The last one is the most important that precedes the rest. I subscribe to government email updates, receive google alerts about issues I’m keeping an eye on, and continue to seek out information that I can educate myself and educate others about what’s going on in our country’s political environment. Being educated is not just about the diploma on your wall, and when there are forces that want to dictate how we think and what we read it is up to those who seek the truth that will know how to challenge the system.
I recognize that everyone’s comfort level and ability to direct time and resources to a cause are different. But if you believe in something, or oppose something find out what small ways you can make a difference. And little by little you strip away the fear and you realize that you’re capable of small acts of bravery. Because if we don’t stand up for ourselves, no one ever will.
Don’t just talk about it, BE ABOUT IT.