While the world slowly unravels, like the edge of that old sweater that you have worn so many times it is given up entirely, life continues.
I went to work on Thursday and Friday at my second job, which is teaching art. It was exhausting, but enjoyable. I found myself thinking that it was good that I was busy so that I didn't have to dwell on the madness that has been consuming us all.
There have been racist attacks across the country. I am a white woman living in a relatively wealthy, mostly rural region of the northeast. By all reasonable standards, I am safe. I think it would be very easy for me to forget the danger that others are in, just because my days are still very normal.
I've kept writing and going to work. I have been reading really thoughtful articles from the NYT and watching some excellent pundits (including excellent segments from Samantha Bee and John Oliver) to make sense of it all. I had friends over on Saturday and we all drank too much and sobbed (in our very special, white liberal way) a bit at the thought of what the next few years will bring.
I've been trying to gather ways to be involved and support worthy organizations,and have decided that just buying shirts and bumper stickers and wearing pinsmay not be the best way to go about it. So I've donated to the ACLU (advocating for the development and support of civil rights for all) and have gathered some more links for organizations that I want to support. I don't have enough money to donate very much now, but I plan to do so as soon as I'm able. Here are some of the organizations I've heard of and been looking into:
- ProPublica- Nonprofit, investigative journalism.
- NPR - Diverse, investigative, and varied public radio programs for every part of the country.
- Center for Reproductive Rights - Advocates for and supports legislation for reproductive freedom.
- Planned Parenthood - Sexual education, healthcare, and awareness.
- National Organization for Women (NOW) - Advocating feminism and women's rights in the US.
- Association for Women's Rights in Development - International organization advocating for equal rights and opportunities for women.
- The Trevor Project - Crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ adolescents.
- National Resource Defense Council- Advocates for the preservation of natural resources across the world.
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund- The legal arm of the NAACP.
- International Refugee Assistance Project - Organization that brings together lawyers to support and develop human rights for refugees.
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund- Civil rights organization supporting Latino Americans.
That's all I have. If you can donate to support, please do. And if you know of any other organizations I should keep in mind, please let me know about them so that I can add to my list.
This puts my in mind of that sweater. The one you love, that you've worn half to death. We've all (or at least I have) had this perception of the world as generally good. America may not be perfect, I thought, but it's headed for good things. I always believed that our country was broken but healing. That warm sweater of denial was very comfortable, I've found,and this election hasn't so much unravelled an edge as snipped open some gaping holes. I can't deny it any longer - the world around us isn't headed for good things. It's devouring itself through greed and selfishness; people ignoring the vulnerable and pushing down the weak to get what they want. The worst thing is that we are all capable of this in little ways, simply because of how society is set up. I keep reminding myself that I am part of the problem, and I have to work to change that.
I'm not despairing, though. I think we can yank society back toward the path of kindness and respect. But it's going to be one hell of a fight,and I don't think it will be pretty. It will require humility and patience, none of which I have in great supply.
I'm working on it.