Today I did not watch any of the coverage of the beginning of the dark times. I woke up, took my dogs out, and did a little work. I cried. Then I decided to go out and see a movie so that perhaps my depression wouldn’t take me all the way over.
I wore my Black Lives Matter shirt. It seemed like the best day to wear it in public for the first time. I am ashamed that I was afraid to do it before. I will never be afraid to again. When I arrived at the theater I received nasty looks from a couple of white boys, but when I went to pay for my popcorn and soda, the black girl at the cashier’s stand asked to see the pins on my purse and said she loved my shirt. She said the white boys had been shoving Trump down her throat all day, she felt relieved that someone understood, that she wasn’t alone. She was excited. I asked her if she felt safe. I asked her if she felt intimidated. I asked her if she needed anything. I told her to remember that she is not alone.
I cannot change the color of my skin. But I will wear that shirt in public, I will proudly carry my purse with its Black Lives Matter pin and other anti-hate and anti-bigotry pins. We are in a time of action. We’ve tried words and facts and dialogue. No one who needs to listen is listening. Now we must show who we are through our deeds. We must wear our allegiances on our sleeves and our backs and our bags. I want there to be no doubt to anyone that needs me, that needs reassurance, that needs to feel safe, that needs to escape that lonely feeling, that I am an ally and I will fuck up any bigot or racist that fucks with you.
Go to amazon or etsy or your online retailer of choice and find a wristband, a pin, a t-shirt, a headband, a ring. Make it say BLM, or have a rainbow or the trans colors. When you go out in public make sure that no one has any doubt where you stand. Wear some little thing that says clearly that you are an ally. You may not even know it, but just seeing you there might bring someone sorely needed relief that they are not alone. They may not tell you like that lovely girl at the movies did to me today. And this is why I feel that the safety pin movement was not enough. Not clear enough. Not enough of a statement. For people who are afraid to take a stand.
It’s time to take a stand. To do nothing or take the safe route is to permit what is to come. Silence doesn’t help. Safety pins won’t help. What side are you on? Make it clear. I spent today discovering that being brave and taking a side matters to people. I have chosen my side. I am ready. Are you?