What I Am Doing In the Face of Growing Fascism and Hate
I can not go where some of my friends tread. Even if I could manage it, I don’t believe it would accomplish what is hoped for. That said, I have no issue with my friends taking on the hate mongers here on Medium.
And my admission does not mean I have changed my commitment to support, visibly and vocally, those who are attacked.
It simply means that I will not try to take the hate mongers on. I know that upsets some of you. I’m sorry. I don’t think I’m alone in my inability to do this, however. Perhaps that infuriates you more, but there is a place for many voices and souls here, or so I hope.
What saddens me is that some, in their anger and frustration, appear to be implying that by not joining them in their assault, we are both abandoning them and also doing nothing.
At a time when we need to stand more united than ever, I hate to see us turning our anger to those who are our allies.
But I do understand. It can feel like we are abandoning them as they do their best to strike forth against this wave of bigotry and darkness. But I can only remind my dearest friends that anger is a dangerous and inaccurate weapon. It can boil over, very easily.
I can’t go to certain places and I doubt I’m alone in that. So there’s not much I can do on that front, but I do wish to speak of what I am doing. Because I am not just letting the status quo of fascism and violence towards others be the new norm.
I am finally taking action against what I have long identified as the roots of the problem we now face. Things I have long rattled on about but never actually done shit about.
I am focusing on those who have become their easy prey. Too many live in a world where there is no opportunity or hope. These people are so easily lied to and manipulated by anyone promising a brighter future or willing to use our inherent biases as humans to pit them against another “group” through bigotry, racism, etc.
I believe this is only the beginning of the slide into darkness unless we also take action to create opportunity and assistance for those who have been left behind (and let’s not forget the horror that is much of our educational system.)
This is what we call a “wicked” problem in my line of work. One so large and interconnected with so many issues and nuances that it has been far easier to just do nothing. Until we see where this inaction has led us.
So here is what I did over the past two weeks.
- I reached out on social to my on-the-ground activist and social change peeps for where I could apply my expertise as a volunteer in a few very specific areas.
- I began conversations with two groups in hard hit areas of the USA where I might be able to directly lend a hand with my knowledge, expertise and volunteering. A significant investment of my time and effort.
- I reached out to my local mosque about any inter-faith events where a non-believer hoping to understand, learn and support my neighbors might be welcome.
- I donated and become a member of the ACLU for the first time.
- I joined the newsletter of the Intercultural Dialogue Institute.
- I continue to work on pieces that speak of my journey to understand my own discrimination, misogyny and bigotry.
- I continue to stand and speak up against injustice.
- And finally, I have chosen to be very visible in the actions I am taking, because I feel it is important that people realize that this is a time for action and I want them to realize there are many paths possible and that they are not alone should they step forward. We need everyone.
It may not be enough, but it is what I am doing. And that is just the first two weeks. I am trying very hard to keep my momentum on this.