Wednesday, November 9, 2016

In The Aftermath

The 2016 election has come to a close after what was perhaps the craziest, strangest, most unexpected election seasons our country has ever seen.

And now that it’s over people are sharing their thoughts.  This is natural  Talking through things be it communication with others or simply talking aloud to hear our thoughts is just how we operate as humans.

As for people’s reactions, some are celebrating and others are mourning.  Others still are making plans to leave the country or fight their fight.

And then there are these posts:

“Stop complaining.” “Omg stop talking about the election it’s done.” “I’m so sick of hearing about politics, shut up!”

Etc, etc, etc.

And you know what, I’m really tired of it, too. I am.  I hear you.  I, too, am forcing myself to make ‘normal’ posts simply so I can try to find normalcy in my life again.  But everyone needs to get through this in their own way.

Freedom of speech says we have the right to complain/rejoice/discuss/etc.  

Yes it says you have the right to complain about the complaints.  But is that going to do anything better than spin our tires?

If you don’t like it, take a break from social media, hide those posts (FB Purity extension is a miracle!), or hide those people’s updates from your news streams.  It’s incredibly easy to avoid things online.

Things will quiet down soon. But it’s been less than 24 hours since the news of who won broke.  Give people time to process it.  Just because you’re ready to move on, doesn’t mean others are. I’m not telling you you can/cannot make certain statements, I’m just asking that we all show each other a little more respect for the next few days.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Silence is the Residue of Fear

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”  
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lately a phrase from a TED Talk I’ve seen has been rattling in my mind.  “Silence is the residue of fear.”  In this talk, Clint Smith makes a short but powerful statement on the power we grant by keeping quiet in the face of adversity.

Words are incredibly powerful, but so is silence.  Silence can be as damaging as negative action.  The silence of people allows tyranny and wrongdoing to continue.

Some of us find that we’re part of the oppressing group, while opposing those ideals.  When people who find that they’re in that oppressing group, their voice against the wrongdoings becomes a weapon.

Sometimes I find it hard to speak up.  Occasionally I’m simply at a loss for words, but most of the time the underlying cause behind my silence is fear.

Fear of judgement.  Of rejection.  Of hate and slander aimed back towards me. 

Fear of not being enough.

A single strand of sewing thread can easily be broken.  But when it is twisted together and braided with others, it becomes stronger and resilient.  So, too, are our voices.

“Validation doesn’t need words to endorse its existence.”
Clint Smith’s TED talk.

I do not wish to be silent any longer.  I don’t want to sit idly by while bathroom bills create more harm than good to my trans friends.  I don’t want to quietly watch in horror as the election tears our nation apart.  I don’t want to be mute on the DAPL situation as federal and local law agencies desecrate some of the last lands that belong to Native Americans.

Even if “I stand in solidarity with you” seems like not enough, it is.

One voice joins dozens.  Dozens of voices become hundreds and multiply to the thousands.  Soon we will be too loud to be ignored.

Like the strands of thread, together we are strong.  Together we are resilient.  Together we cannot break.

But by remaining silent I only allow the harm to continue. 

If silence is the residue of fear, then we must scrape away our fears and stand together. 

I don’t want to be silent.

I don’t want to be afraid.

I want to be strong. I want to be together.  I want to be resilient.