I’ve been too quiet lately. I have been so tongue-tied around our world. After the white supremacist attack in Charlottesville I was doing some pretty intense emotional triage at home as my husband was very distraught. I appreciate his sensitivity and it’s one of the things I love about him the most. But it sometimes makes things harder during major times of strife because I have to deal with the strife and those effects and then the emotional fallout from said strife. People are talking a lot these days about the mental and emotional load and I just raise my hand and say, “Me too.”
Then there is the mild self-hatred that comes from white privilege and that I should just shut up because I don’t have anything worthy to say and white people have said enough. So I clam up out of unworthiness and trying not to contribute to the noise and YET — it is important to note — that clamming up is really just fear of not getting it right. Saying the wrong thing. Seeing how unfixable all of this feels. And it’s also the very clamming up that has contributed so generously to our current situation where we have a hard time talking about race, etc. The foot goes in the mouth and yet so many who have no idea what they're talking about just spout and spout. That scenario doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
I roll around in the mud of the scope of another three and a half years or whatever it will be with this asshole in office and the emboldening of domestic Nazis. It seems insurmountable sometimes and I want to move to another country and then I'm like, “Oh, right, humans are there, too.”
Then my dear writer-sister and heart-centered-flaming-arrow of social justice, Sara Alvarado, sent me a newsletter this morning that recently moved her. In this piece Kelly Diels writes about how now is NOT the time to clam up:
"This is not the time for those of us who are committed to justice and doing The Work to pull back or be less visible.
“This is not the time for us to voluntarily make less money or invite deprivation and struggle into our businesses and payrolls.
“This is the time for us to do MORE of what we were already doing.
“As a collective, we need to amass even more influence and power and money.
“We need to train and influence more people.
“'You will not replace us.’
“WATCH US DO EXACTLY THAT.”
BOOM MUTHERFUCKING BOOM.
She goes on:
“Now is not the time for you to be less visible.
“Now is not the time to turn down the volume on you and your work.
“Now is not the time to take a revenue hit or voluntarily struggle.”
OK. So I’m getting out the oil can and lubing up this squeaky mouth — that was supposed to be a reference to the Tin Man and how I feel rusty right now but it kinda came out sounding gross. But then we need some humor right now, too, yes?
So here are some things I’m doing:
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It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.