I used to live in a town where I could walk out my door and step right into a protest on environmental, social or economic injustice any day of the week. Granted, we were just being led into NYPD corrals and getting our bikes confiscated, but I could move my feet and see others moving theirs. Now, I live in the coastal south – the Lowcountry. There is currently a deep divide between my online community (in uproar), and my face-to-face community, where I am largely segregated and unfamiliar. I don’t know what to say or not say. I don’t have access to Discourse or guidance on “allyship”. In this sense I am feeling alone.
Its not right, what’s happening. Its not enough to summarize #Ferguson, this is a mandate to burn the myth of “post-racial America”. My guru Chris Rock says racism is a disease, and, “you’ve got to get it at a lab, and study it, and see its origins, and see what it’s immune to and what breaks it down.” Its plain that its not going to get better without more pain. I don’t know what I can do, and am keenly aware of the privilege implied in seeking involvement in the movement.
I am not a cop, I do not have black children, I am not institutionally oppressed. Well, there is that pesky equal pay for equal work thing…Nonetheless, I am on a side. And everyone is taking sides on Facebook. I took a “check your privilege” quiz there, and it told me I am not at the top of the stack. If this sounds flip, its because it is. My experience right now is through a screen and so much remains undigested.
I am compelled to support the meek, whom I wish would inherent the earth already. Selfishly, my seed saving and composting skills will finally come in handy. I want to heal myself and support the many people I have met who feel discarded and damaged. I want to bear witness to change, and find those opportunities to hasten it. I don’t see a place for me otherwise.
Tonight I saw a Congressman from my new home state perform a rather powerful bit of spoken word in one of those hallowed halls of government that he only gained access to within the last century. This guy is making moves.
I am exhausted where I should be energized. Overwhelmed without a clear step forward that I am capable of taking. I imagine so much for my lifetime that I will most likely never affect. For today I think the best I can do is write this here, and not on Facebook, and hope that someone in realtime, in the place I live now, will feel a kinship and want to talk. In person. Maybe tomorrow I can do more.