3. Stop saying “This can’t be happening in America.”
I understand the impulse, I really do. But that impulse only comes to those who are insulated and isolated from how America treats poor people and people of color every day. Langston Hughes wrote “America never was America to me” in 1935. If you didn’t quite understand that poem in your junior high or high-school lit classes, read it again, while you think about what’s happening in Ferguson. Let it sink in.
If you live in an urban environment, you’re in a position to bear witness and document inappropriate and abusive police behavior. If you see an African-American neighbor being detained by police, wait to see what happens. Get your phone out. Download the ACLU’s “Police Tape” app, and if you see something that looks off, take a video that will upload directly to their servers, in case your phone is confiscated. Whatever police may tell you, this is your legal right.
7. Educate yourself about the systematic inequality that leads to civil unrest.
The St. Louis American ran a powerful editorial today that fleshes out the history of Ferguson. When you finish reading that, go somewhere quiet for a bit and settle down with Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Case for Reparations.” Don’t stop there.
If you don’t have any African-American friends, you might want to think about why that is.
10. Okay, go ahead and tweet.
And Facebook. Tumblr. Instagram. Vine. Amplify the voices of people on the ground, and help counteract the damaging narratives being propagated by some mainstream media organizations. It’s the very least we can do.
For white people wanting to know what they can do to help.
“I know a lot of creative people and perhaps by correlation I know a lot of people who struggle with depression. They have told me (and they’ve told the world) how depression sits there, implacable, and drains the color out of the world until no success or joy matters. I believe them, and it becomes increasingly evident that no matter who you are or what you’ve achieved, that depression is a good liar and can make you believe none of it matters.
I know and love too many people with depression to believe that it’s something that’s shameful to talk about or to acknowledge. I want them alive and I want them here with us. If you have depression I want you alive and here with us. Don’t let the moment take you. Don’t be afraid to get help. The people who love you want you here. Believe it.”—
No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
“November 19th, 2013,
‘Selfie’ was named the Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionary
Pseudo-intellectuals everywhere cried about the ‘death of the English language’
Because God forbid modern colloquial speech be recognised as valid.
Time Magazine refers to ‘millenials’ as the ‘me me me generation’
Selfish, all we care about is personal gratification
Lazy, entitled, shallow narcissists.
A picture of a girl taking a selfie on her phone is used for the cover
Because our selfishness can be summed up in the fact that we like how we look enough to document it.
We are consumed, they tell us, with our self image.
Everything is about us.
With the addition of every word to the dictionary,
‘Hashtag’. ‘Perf’. ‘Sexting’. ‘Totes’. ‘Selfie’,
The ‘me-me-me’ generation continues to make it all about ourselves,
And we should, they tell us, weep,
We should weep because we are entitled,
Because all we care about are selfies and parties and Instagram,
Because this is the generation that will one day run the world,
And for that, we should weep,
Because all we are is ‘me-me-me’.
Let me tell you something.
Every year, university tuition will be 2.3% more expensive for MY GENERATION,
MY GENERATION reports the highest levels of anxiety and depression than ANY other generation,
15% more of US than YOU will go to university,
But 46% of MY GENERATION won’t find a job until over a year after law school,
MY GENERATION, on average, is $47,628 in debt.
58% of girls in MY GENERATION feels like they are the wrong weight,
95% of people with eating disorders are part of MY GENERATION,
And MY GENERATION has a million dollar industry telling us that we are not good enough,
That we are ugly, lazy, and entitled,
And anything we do to be financially successful,
Or less stressed,
Or beautiful, god dammit,
Is in vain.
So pick up your phone,
Pick your favourite filter,
And take a goddamn selfie.
You deserve it for having to grow up in these times.”—My poem, ‘Hashtag Selfie’. (via dingdongyouarewrong)
“White men make up approximately 36% of the population, but commit 75% of mass shootings. What would be called terrorism by any other skin tone is suddenly some mysterious unnamed disease. We as a society are perfectly happy to further stigmatize mentally ill people, who are far more likely to be victims of violence than commit violence, in the service of protecting white supremacy and male entitlement.”—(via shitrichcollegekidssay)
We live in a society that glorifies sexual assault to a degree that when I was a teenager I asked myself whether something was wrong with me for not being groped in the streets. The pride with which my classmates spoke of how apparently every random male hit on them made me wonder whether I was just too ugly to be desired. Something is rotten when harassment becomes the means young girls are taught to determine their self-worth with.
“I don’t know if love is necessarily political. But in this day and age, being open and comfortable with who you are can be political. Exercising our right to say and do what we want can be political just in itself.”—Sara Quin, 2004, MTV (via oneweekoneband)
If you live in Ontario and of age to vote in the upcoming election, please make sure you vote! When it comes to voting, Ontario has the worst record, with a record low of 49.2% voting in 2011. How sad!!!!!!!!!
If you don’t know anything about any of the parties, do a little bit of research to make an informed vote. CBC has a cool survey called Vote Compass that can help you make a more informed decision on which party to support.