This is going to be a bit long and emotional. You’ve been warned.
I haven’t written anything to y’all in some time. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago though. After getting laid off two months ago, I’ve been spending a lot of time either reading, attempting to get ‘swole’. I’m also stockpiling a lot of hours in RimWorld but I think that’s because I leave my PC running. I re-wrote this part a few times because I don’t know what to say exactly. I can tell you that companies run by the richest and fourth richest persons in the world are not only destroying it psychologically but now also behaving as if it’s a requirement but I’m learning that people don’t want to know about bad things happening; even if the act of knowing how to also combat them is within their grasp. Is it a coping mechanism? Is it willing ignorance? The former requires unpacking but the latter is the kind that doesn’t help anyone but those harming people.
That brings me back to my title. Should I give in? Should I just accept the fact that these people are doing things that are harming us “at scale” and just not fuss about it despite us having more than everything we need to combat it? Should I just stop fighting for abolition since “justice always prevails”? Should I accept the fact that I work and utilize systems that make a profit from hate and abuse and not look into systems that don’t because it isn’t blue? Should I stop being vegan because “it doesn’t matter since everyone dies”?
I can’t fault people for just clinging to what they know - it’s what they know. We’re raised and taught to accept what’s given to us because that’s what provides. It praises the system that feeds despite that we eat the bones of the invisible and the flesh of the oppressed (and I’m not talking animals - I’m talking immigrant labor, moderators who have to watch thousands of hours of horrible content so you don’t have to at pennies on the hours and still actively ignoring said flags). From social networks to schools, we’re taught only one way to look at the world and to deem anything else as not only inferior but recklessly self-endangering. We instead double down into places that exploit us in hopes that the poisoned fruits of capitalism and misogynoir that we reap give us some reprieve. But can you truly be at peace when your comfort potentially comes at the lives (if not the explicit harm) of someone else? David Duke thinks so. As well as the people who lead companies and those within who refuse to acknowledge what’s happening.
So What do We Do?
It’s never a easy answer because it’s a deeply complex and ancient problem. The act of acknowledgement and wanting to reconcile with it is a big step in itself and I immediately applaud and throw my support behind you when you come to this resolve. We can start with literature - learning from who came before us and who are actively working on this right now. I have a page on my site that links to material. If you need any of the books, most should be available online via Hoopla or Libby. If you can’t find it in either place, reply to this e-mail and I’ll work with you to find a copy (including sending you a DRM-free version).
The second step after self-education is sharing. I’m more of the point-and-shame and I’m working to take that out of my system. Reaching people where they are is important in helping them understand the state of affairs and how to move on wards. One thing something told me recently that really stuck with me:
You don’t want to wake the people who are soundly sleeping, you want to wake those who are having a nightmare.
I understood it immediately and wish I was told that a lot sooner. Some people do not want to disrupt things as they are for a bunch of reasons. Whatever they are, it’ll make more strife (and at times, it can lead to a falling out) if you push too hard (or at all). Focus on those who are already are seeking a way out, are confused or need to know that there’s people looking for ways out.
I can keep going on about this but I think I’ll continue the rest of this on my site - I’ll let you know when I make those posts instead of flooding your inbox with nearly a picture’s worth of words.
Until next time.