A few hours ago, I found out that I’m one of the newest Florida Cicerones. I’m supposed to be really excited, and I am.
It’s a huge deal.
But something has just felt.. off…
All day, I’ve been reading about the executive orders that have been signed by y’all’s president and I haven’t known what to do. I had been fuming, but to be honest, I don’t know anyone that was directly impacted by the situation. I’ve just been buzzing.
Then, I found out that I’d been accepted to be a part of what’s supposed to be one of the most developmental groups of people on this campus. I’m stoked. So stoked, that I almost forgot how upset I was by the terrorism that’s occurring in the White House.
Then, my best friend Brittany texted me. Let me tell y’all about Brittany. She’s the sweetest person I’ve ever known and I love her like no one else. She used to ask me everything, and it bothered me sometimes. Then, for the first time, she asked me a question that I just couldn’t answer:
Brittany is supposed to be leaving the country for the first time this summer. She, more than anyone else I know, deserves the vacation of a lifetime.
When I felt pain in the innocent curiosity of my best friend, it hit me:
We cannot wait until someone we personally know is hurt, or worse, to start taking action. I know we’re busy, but action is so much more than just protesting, marching, and boycotting.
The CORE of activism is dialogue.
We have to have these conversations everywhere possible.
We have to check our friends every time they say something racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, or any of the other ways y’all’s president violates human rights.
It is “that deep.”
We have to place ourselves in other people’s shoes, more often than we’re comfortable, because that is the only way change will come about.
Remember in history classes when we were talking about the Holocaust, or Vietnam, or the Civil War, and we all thought:
“If I were alive during that time, I would have….”
Now is the time.
Oh, and one last thing. If someone in a marginalized group has taken the time out of their day to try to explain an aspect of their culture and what they experience to you, stop thinking about how you’re going to respond.
Let their words marinate, and then respond.
Change only comes about when the people want it, and there’s no better time than now to make positive change.
Glad I was bold enough to write this.