It's weird knowing there are people who aren't terrified of the future, too. People who know they're going to be fine. Very weird.
— Eb (@erabrand) November 14, 2016
I tweeted that a little bit ago. And then I started thinking, “What do I want the people who aren’t terrified to know? What do I want them to do?”
And then I wrote this.
If you’re someone who thinks, “I can survive the next four years,” you’re the very person who needs to be fighting with and for all of us who aren’t sure we can.
And yes, I did say “with.” I mean it. Follow our leads. Ask us what we need from you and then follow through. Don’t try to take charge or act like you know what we need better than we do. We’ve been in this fight a lot longer than you, and the stakes for us are a hell of a lot higher.
Bring the voices of marginalized folks into your life on a daily basis. Really listen when Black folks and other PoC speak. In the Americas, pay attention and support Indigenous folks, because we are on stolen land. Seek out and learn from LGBTQIA+ people of color. Women of color. Disabled queer poor fat trans ugly Muslim/Sikh/Jewish immigrants of color.
Pay us for the work we do, for the emotional and intellectual labor of educating and confronting hatred because we are fighting for our lives, but also because we believe the world can be better.
Set aside your ego when a marginalized person says your words or actions or attitudes are bigoted. We don’t do it for fun or to make you feel bad. We do it because our lives are at stake.
Acknowledge and accept your privileges. Acknowledge and accept that you were born and were raised and live in a world where oppressive attitudes are taught early and reinforced often. Know that you are not exempt from having to put in the work to undo that in yourself.
Know that calling yourself an ally doesn’t make you one. Know that being marginalized in one way or many ways doesn’t cancel out your own privilege. Know that being decent to other people does not mean you deserve praise.
If you’re someone who knows you can survive the next four years, the rest of us need you to join us in the work we’ve already been doing. Our lives depend on it.