Thursday, February 9, 2017

This is Why We Fight

The past few weeks I have been pretty down.  I've stayed away from social media.  I don't want to get dragged into never ending debates that logically just cannot be won with a few well-timed barbs.  I don't want to have my citations questioned as a way to devalue someone's experience.  The call of "fake news," a fairly straight forward comment, has been turned into a defense mechanism when someone doesn't want to hear about the atrocities going on in the world rather than a means to fact check and get to the bottom of an issue. Unfortunately this will continue.  Quick posts and info-graphics will not influence or lead to understanding.  And that is what we need. 

We need everyone to understand that we have all lived different experiences that have shaped our opinions about who we are what the world is.  Empathy, perception checks and the desire for learning are what will lead to real change.  

I see the news, I hear the calls to action to defend our environment, our education and our human rights. I see the division and I hear the the demands that we "be quiet," that we; "give this president a chance." I hear the all too familiar belittling of our opinions. And it makes me feel hopeless. It makes me feel defeated. And worse it makes me feel insignificant. 

When you have spent your entire life in a body, one that has already been deemed by society as less than, and you have to fight for your place in a society - that has spent generations casting you out because of gender and skin color; at what point do you throw your hands in the air and accept defeat? In some cases maybe pick up a rock and throw it through a window and say maybe now they'll hear me? 

To the women who marched, to my immigrant friends who still know their roots but have their homes here in the States, to the men of color who are inequitably incarcerated, to the disabled who are treated as if they are invisible, to those who were born in the wrong body but forced to identify as the wrong gender, and to those who love who you love with the threat of persecution,  I know we are tired. I know we are fed up. I know we can feel as though this fight is never ending but we must persist. It is not just for the marginalized the majority. We all benefit from our existence. Don't believe the lies that you don't matter or that you don't belong because we do. The road is long but we will walk it together. "Without struggle there is no progress." Mr. Frederick Douglass