Thoughts on Community and Complicity Post-Election
Well, America. Here we are.
I am angry, and I am scared. For myself, for loved ones, for people I don’t know.
On top all of this, the election cluster-fuck has hilighted areas of myself that I am not proud of, and I know I’m not alone in that. I don’t think I have anything new to say, but it is important to me to acknowledge and work through these feelings publicly so that I may hold myself accountable and make the promises real.
I say that I value community, that it is powerful and important to me. But what do I actually do about it?
Regarding My Own Community
As an introvert, it’s hard for me to step outside my apartment. It’s easy to say “maybe next time.” In reality, there are only a handful of people I see on a regular basis. That’s not a problem in and of itself (quality over quantity!) but I would like to get involved in some larger community events. I don’t feel guilty for declining either social or activist engagements in favor of genuine self-care and spoon-replenishment, but I do know that I default to isolation, often in unhealthy ways. When I examine my own heart I find that I have some bandwidth tucked away for a rainy day. Friends, it’s raining. Hard.
Regarding Adjacent Disenfranchised Communities
As a white person living in a shockingly segregated city, I have not done the work. I have not reached outside of my immediate social circle (which includes some POC, but is overwhelmingly white). It’s hard to admit, but I have unconsciously let a vague sense of white liberal guilt dictate my actions, my friendships, and my comfort zones. We don’t opt out of racism through passive acceptance or theories of equality; we have to work every day to dig it out of ourselves, to identify it in the air we breathe. We can’t just think about justice, we have to work for it. We have to face our complicity head-on.
This is my pledge:
I dedicate myself to expanding my horizons, and to engaging more fully with my communities.
I offer up resources of time, money, and energy to those that need them.
I promise to value the stories that are my own, and to seek out stories that are not my own.
I will lean into the discomfort, and not shy away from the dark spots. I will actively listen.
I vow to live boldly, honestly, and with compassion.
I vow to never grow complacent.
I vow to act.
These are concrete things that I am doing, or plan to do. They may be dumb, and of course nothing feels like enough, but it feels good to start with a list.
- Donate to organizations.
- Research and possibly join the New Sanctuary Movement. Get involved in direct action, either with this group or another.
- Learn Spanish.
- Buy from businesses run by queer people and POC.
- Participate in various events run by friends.
- Reach out to individuals and fight the urge to isolate.
What are your plans?
Please share if you are willing.