I Seem To Be Obligated to Write This

Monday, August 14, 2017




Here we are again.

I am frustrated that it took deaths for us to draw a line. Again.
I am frustrated, yet again, with trying understand what is expected of me in the face of more evil.
I am frustrated that the best I have heard to do is essentially armchair activism.

In fact, armchair activism seems to be the height of social activism when it comes to addressing terrorism and other human evils in our society. If you have not updated your Facebook status within 24 hours of a terrible, heinous, event then "your silence is your complicity". Hashtag Charlottesville.

This is a small blog. I live a small life. A full life, but a small life. I do not write about each and every thought or struggle I have on this blog. My life is not solely lived online, not should it be.
Do not expect to read someone's blog, or Facebook wall, and expect to see an accurate representation of each and every thing they might be fighting.

I did not write about all the other white supremacy protests, counterprotests, and Antifa tactics we dealt with blocks from our home in Berkeley. (BTW, they were going on well before this weekend.)

I did not write about having to explain to my kids it was not safe to go to the downtown library because grown adults were rioting in the streets. Again.

I did not write about how many times I comforted my little kids during the first few riots when they were woken up, by the still circling helicopters at midnight, terrified that "the mad people were going to get them".

I did not write about how hard it is to teach little kids about the inherent goodness in people when most of the time adults seem to just scream at and past each other.

While I am glad people are finally noticing that we have a serious human crisis going on in this country, I am not ok with getting accused of being complicit in evil because I am not reacting identically to my friends on Facebook.

I am not being silent - I am busy speaking so tiny people can hear.
I am busy interpreting a world for them that, frankly, should not STILL be having the same issues in 2017.
I am busy refusing to break into tinier and tinier ideological factions.
I am busy keeping my humanity alive.

My reaction might be different from yours. That does not make it wrong, and it definitely does not make me complicit in evil. I am going to keep doing the best I can, even if it's not good enough for strangers on the internet.


13 comments :

  1. Absolutely!! I think, personally, what struck me most in this post was, "I am speaking so tiny humans can hear." Hear, and understand that which is incomprehensible to me, even as an adult.

    I had a priest acknowledge once, as a wife and mother, I can't go out and be a missionary to the world. I can't leave my vocation to go address issues impacting the rest of society.

    But, what I can do is focus on my day-to-day... I can focus on my vocation, on teaching my little humans, and showing them how to be respectful, courageous, and loving in the face of nastiness.

    And, as a blogger, I can use my platform to make people aware - that violence and racism, hatred and bigotry are unacceptable.

    Thank you for this! If we all committed to ending racism, in whatever mannner itnanifests in our day to day life (ALL of us, not just "Mommy bloggers," or minorities, or any particular group), we would be vastly further to building a strong, united, living country!

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    1. Absolutely! I try to remember the exponential impact of mothering. Forming children who can respond to others with empathy and understanding will continue to facilitate change long after I am gone. I don't want change for the length of a news cycle - I want change for lifetimes!

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  2. This was great. Made me tear up near the end thinking how we have to explain this stuff to our littles...so messed up.

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    1. I know! When you have to see the world through their innocent eyes, instead of our jaded ones, the true sorrowful state of the world comes into focus.

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  3. Kirby, this is TOTALLY how I feel. I speak up when I feel called to, but I pray, all the time. And I teach my kids, all the time. Neither of those things is less than Facebook activism. It's IRL change for a hurting world.

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    1. Yes! A status update might score points with my internet friends, but in this instance I can make the most impact and actual change offline. Having real world results should be our first priority!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this, Kirby! I agree, you just can't comment publicly on every current event and that's not a bad thing. In fact, sometimes when everyone feels pressured to put out a statement I worry it's just to win points for seeming the most emotionally torn up, especially as a white person in crises of white supremacy. I'd rather use my platform to connect people to those who are actually affected such as by retweeting the responses of my friends who are people of color. I guess that is technically armchair activism, but it doesn't have to be the ONLY thing we do. Hopefully that makes sense!

    Carey

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    1. In sociology classes we talked about a phenomenon called "the pain Olympics". The goal being to have the most oppression, the most to suffer, the most woke. Somehow that game is not often fought by those who are most in need of our help.
      This is where fortitude on the internet comes into play. Sometimes it is my place to listen, and often my place to speak is not best done online.
      I think armchair activism is when your sole method of speaking on these issues is from a status update or profile pic filter. If you are still having IRL conversations and changing what you can around you, then you are not an armchair activist.

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  5. I'm glad you wrote this. I took a much needed social media break beginning on Friday through the weekend and had no idea something had even happened until later. I admit, it was so discouraging when I logged back on and the first things I was reading were not sorrow or about prayer or even just anger but indictments against the "silent." As if posting on FB is the only way to prove you're not a racist. I know it wasn't a personal accusation but I'm fairly certain general accusations like that only serve to divide or shame people. And honestly, I think there's something to the argument that social media outrage can, in fact, inflame tensions and cause us to look suspiciously at each other rather than bring true peace. Let's remember that the real enemy is evil and sin not each other.

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    1. Amen! General accusations forget that there is a human being behind the keyboard. We don't need any extra division right now!

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  6. *slow clap*
    Brilliant. This is such a relatable position to be in right now, and aim so glad you're bravely letting your voice be heard for all in this (or similar) position. Thank you!

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  7. I am so over all the Facebook rage, and hesitated coming back to it because it seems like that's all people have been posting about these past couple of years. I was tired of listening to people argue, no one seems to have an open mind and create conversation, like you said, just screaming at and past each other. So I withdrew from it because it was only making me miserable with all the "awareness" people were trying to spread. And like you, decided that living real life is more important and makes a better impact on our future. Raising tiny humans, having face-to-face conversation, lending a helping hand to people offline and being a living example is what will beat out racism and hate. Not a Facebook post asking white people to stop being racist.

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  8. I have also experienced crippling postpartum depression, which for me was due to a severe progesterone deficiency. Thankfully, my midwife came over our called agonist every day for weeks. Manny women struggle alone.

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