I have a confession to make.
This week, I saw a picture floating around on social media that made me stop and think. It was a picture of typed words. It was a simple two paragraphs written by a woman named Kristen Tea who operates MotherWise blog. Honestly, I almost scrolled by it.
The first paragraph read: “I want my friends to understand that ‘staying out of politics’ or ‘being sick of politics’ is privilege in action. Your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence. Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you likely will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation, or genocide.”
So, my confession? I often can be found saying “I don’t really follow politics” or “Politics drives me crazy, I stay away from it.” It’s been easy for me to say this as a Canadian citizen. I have a green card. I cannot vote in this country that I’ve called home for two-plus decades. And that’s my choice, I get that. I’ve chosen not to become a citizen. Partly because I’ve never needed to (and I’m a bit lazy), partly because I love Canada. It’s the place where I feel the most peace in the world. It’s my happy place.
That picture and those words opened my eyes to a whole other way of thinking. Kristen not only hit the nail on the head, she obliterated the nail. It’s easy for me to turn away, to not look, to ignore the political atmosphere because I’ve never felt the fear of being targeted.
I wasn’t going to say anything about what happened in Virginia. At first, I didn’t know what to say. Then I didn’t know how to put my thoughts into sentences. But I kept thinking about it. I tried to push it down, but it still surfaced. I read article after article from almost every news outlet out there. And so now I’m trying. I have to.
Because there are NOT many sides to this story. Nazi’s don’t get a fucking side. They are the embodiment of hatred.
Last September, Jimmy and I visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in Poland. It was the most humbling experience of my life. To stand on the same ground and soil where so many people were murdered. To stare at the crumbled ruins of gas chambers. To walk by the barbed-wire fences. It was horrific, and painful, and surreal. I wanted to cry and scream. The questions “Why?” and “How?” circled around in my brain with every step I took.
And to have the leader of this country essentially defending those that know the facts of the Holocaust and the Nazi party and still choose to spread its message of hate and bigotry? That is truly terrifying to me.
People have been saying “there is no room for hate in this country.” But the results are in. Hate lives here. It lives on the same street as us. It passes by us in the grocery store. It marches through streets. It’s a living, breathing, thing. And most days, it feels like there is nothing to be done. It feels impossible to take on.
But we have a voice. I have a voice. I write this blog because I love it. I tell you about my favorite songs and recipes. I complain to you about my dysfunctional body. But today, I’m using my voice and my words to say this isn’t right.
It’s not okay to defend white supremacists. It’s not okay to say they have a side. Because hatred is never a side to take. And if all we can do is speak out, then it’s something. It’s more than nothing. Speak out against racism. Against sexism. Against homophobia.
Until next time,