This year, starting now, I’m going to ask you to:
Boycott, and boycott wisely. Want a list of companies that do business with the Trump family? You can find it at www.grabyourwallet.com. Now, I personally, am not going to boycott every company that sells Trump family brands, but I understand if others choose to. I’m going to focus on the brands themselves, on the companies who have made it a part of who they are to support him directly, and also the states whose legislatures are backing the white supremacist, alt-right movement of the country.
Stay informed. Wow, I want to disconnect. I want to turn off the news and turn up the music and not feel this. But that is exactly the opposite of what needs to happen right now. We have to see it, acknowledge it, feel it, and refuse to ignore or normalize it.
Have a plan. I have a plan for my safety, for my family’s safety, and for how I can make the country safe for others. So, I guess this one is have three plans. Let me be clear, no one, no cause, no issue is owed your personal safety, welfare, or livelihood. That being said, we must start looking out for each other. But doing it on the fly only contributes to making a bad situation worse. So have a plan. Know what you’re going to do should you experience hate, should you witness hate.
Remember you CAN be part of the problem. Writing for The Betty Pages and reading The Betty Pages, it’s a damn good bet we’re marginalized. And it’s easy to think that makes us exempt from being part of the problem. But white people carry privilege in this country – so if we’re white (which I am), we’re privileged, even if we’re also marginalized elsewhere. Same with being male…Christian…able-bodied…economically secure…even things like thin or literate, that might slip your mind…the vast majority of us are privileged in some way. Don’t get so wrapped up in your own marginalization that you lose sight of how you may be contributing to someone else’s marginalization and pain.
Acknowledge intersectionality is a thing. Stand in solidarity with other marginalized groups. Stand with straight women. And women of color. And cis-gendered disabled men. And the Jewish and Muslim communities. The sad truth is that people in power tend to listen more closely to people who look like them. So use whatever privilege you do have to speak with and stand for whoever you can.
Don’t get bogged down. Prioritize self-care. Yes, this last one may seem to be contradictory, but work to find balance. The new administration is just coming into power this month. We have a minimum of four years to get through. Pace yourself. Keep your plans, your awareness, your involvement at levels you can maintain and survive. Take breaks when you need to.
It’s a new year, and it’s not filled with much hope. But we will get through it. We can. We must.
Until next month, take care of you – and each other.