After weeks of watching protests, listening to people on my Instagram feed, and reading articles and books I have realized how privileged I’ve been to be able to say I’m not political, or I don’t like to discuss politics – or the even more cringe-y worthy one, I hate politics, how boring.
I have been thinking long and hard over these past few quiet weeks about where I stand, what values I hold, and how I think about the world…and I just assumed you, my lovely readers, would know some of these things but that’s not necessarily true. So, let me say very clearly – I stand in solidarity with Black people and I truly believe that all lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter in this country (and in larger part, all over the world).
What is happening to innocent black men, women, and children in this country is very wrong. If all lives mattered, as I have heard people say time and time again, then we should have cared so much earlier about our citizens getting gunned down while driving, while sleeping, while jogging, or while playing in the park.
Saying I’m not political or I don’t like to discuss politics shows my privilege. I should have cared sooner, I should have paid more attention, I should have been doing this reading and listening much, much sooner and for that I’m sorry. But, I know better and from now on I will do better.
Writing these truths and being this honest is scary, because I don’t know if I’m going to say the right thing, but I also know that I didn’t want to say nothing at all. I am not a front line person – although I think the protests are needed, but I have been signing petitions, sending emails, adding new authors to my TBR list, reading books, listening to people’s stories, and sitting with how I can make a difference.
For starters, I’m going to get more involved in my local elections. I have always voted in the big Presidential elections every four years since I was old enough to vote, but I’ll be honest – I very often skip the little elections because I assumed they didn’t mean that much to everyday people. Again, I was very wrong. They affect my neighbors, they affect my friends, and they affect me and my family.
I vow to start researching how my tiny part of Queens does things, who is in control, what kinds of elections can I get involved with here – closest to home. Then expand that to Queens as a large borough and then on to New York City and finally, New York State as a whole.
Once I’ve learned and explored and done that work, I’ll move on to the US government. I know from High School how things work as a general rule – or how they should work – but I want to expand that knowledge. Like: Who are the Senators for NY? I’m embarrassed to say, I don’t know. I know our Mayor and our Governor and I assumed that was enough.
I plan on sharing what I’ve learned, how the research is going, and what it takes to get involved – mostly on my Instagram stories if you’d like to follow me over there. But I can definitely write an update in the next month or so and share any links, books, podcasts, etc. that I have used.
And, if you’re a lovely reader in a country outside of the US and would like to share resources with me to share with my larger readership – send me an email and when I do my next roundup, I’ll include them with your name and social media handle (if you’d like).
I believe that together we can make this world, this country a better place for everyone!!