There are so many issues in this country that I care about finding solutions to, so many that I often don’t know where to start, and that has caused a bit of paralysis.
Sometimes I feel like I can’t speak openly to anyone I love, because I am so angry at them for not doing more. I sometimes feel so disappointed in my fellow country folks and friends for their lack of engagement. But being bummed about that can’t prevent me from speaking to the people who need my encouragement. Being bummed doesn’t exempt me from my responsibilities to speak up in the name of unity in this country once and for all.
Some of that paralysis comes from the feeling of being inadequate or unprepared to talk about the issues with those I care about. I have heard other white people talk about this on social media, that they don’t speak out about injustice because they don’t feel like they know enough about it and don’t want to sound dumb. I am guilty of having those same feelings, but can we take a minute to look at how much privilege that feeling, alone, holds? When we can put our ego in front of others’ safety, we know we have some privilege imbalance in this country (whether or not you understand yet what lead to such imbalance or are already committed to ways to restore ilike investing in businesses owned by black and indigenous people of color) Despite it feeling exhausting and uncomfortable, it is our responsibility to address it.
I know that all the division and taboos makes it really hard to speak up. Not just online, but at the Thanksgiving dinner table, too, but we can’t just sit back and not talk about things because we are not the expert. I am confident that not talking about things is a big part of what got us into the mess we are in.
Thanks to #45 we can’t even talk about what is great about America, and his mantra and ensuing MAGA mob has made “America” feel like a dirty word…just as much as religious extremism has made “God” feel like a bad word.
Well, I am done living in the closet afraid to speak my truth: I believe in God, and I believe in The United States of America. I believe American really can be great…but there’s no “again” about it. Can we please all just take some responsibility for the truth and talk openly to the ones we love about what it’s really going to take to make America great, already? To make America equal already?
Staying quiet isn’t the answer. We are responsible for staying awake and engaged and taking back our country into our own hands.
This country has undoubtedly made a lot of big steps, and many of those have been on the backs of people of color. On the backs and the graves of the indigenous nations, and on the backs and graves of African Americans.
For 400 years has the Black Lives Matter fight been building. Over 400 years of genocide of the Native American people and cultures, but they are still here an we must honor them.
Despite the atrocious history and the ongoing plight against black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC) I firmly believe that we can save our country, and that it is going to take hard work, but I’ve seen American women, and I know what we are capable of!
I also know how good we are at spending money for the holidays, and this whole post is to say: We have to think about what each dollar says about the world we want to live in. The country wants you to think that Americans only vote once they turn 18, but every single American votes with every dollar they spend. Each dollar is a vote cast, and our money is where so much of our power lies.
We have a real opportunity in these coming weeks to invest in local businesses, renewable products (Imagine the message it would send if we bought no new plastic this season), and second hand stores.
Consider making donations to Native American activists like Allen Salway (@lilnativeboy) and organizations like the Urban Indian Health Institute (https://www.uihi.org/), Illuminative (https://secure.donationpay.org/illuminative/) and the Native American Tea Company (https://www.nativeamericantea.com/)
If we only bought products that were made in the United States of America we would send a strong message with a material that means more than our voices. We the people have great power, and it is our responsibility to use it. It is our duty. Shop responsibly this holiday season!