I Blog As Self-Care When The World Is A Mess

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
— Desmond Tutu
 

Anger. Sadness. Pain. Fear.

Those are a few of the emotions I'm feeling as I write this post. An anti-racist protester was killed and a car was the murder weapon. Let me back up...

I woke up yesterday morning (Saturday, August 12th) to the news that a hoard of white supremacists took up their tiki torches and walked through the empty halls of University of Virginia. Although completely confusing to most of us, they said they chose to protest the removal of a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee. They culminated the chilling event by chanting around the said statute.

From all the photos that showed up this morning, it looked intense. It looked intimidating, which is exactly what it was supposed to look like. White men taking back their country one statue at a time, as if those statues could have been significant at a previous time in history where men like them had planned on taking back a country like this one. The protests continued into the next day, Saturday, and mid-afternoon, a car drove full speed into a group of people there to counter-protest the Nazis. They killed one person and injured at least 20 more. This came after small fights here and there all day between the racist and the normal people. These men (and women) believe that their way of life is being dismantled by People of Color, immigrants, and Social Justice Warriors.  

When I watch these moments from the comfort of my home, I can see how the intimidation is working. I become silent and unable to find peace. I feel guilty in stepping away or taking some alone time, but that is all I can do. I spent the summer of 2016 locked inside out of fear, and I've come to understand that there isn't much I can do about that. Most of the time I find myself unable to do anything other than hunt for more news. I have developed an anxiety from all this state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown people. 

I say all of this to say that my fear feels like in-action or worst: neutrality. I feel like I am doing nothing. And that is the real source of all this anxiety. When these moments of violence and action collide, I don't know what to do through a computer screen. Other activist are quick to tweet and share places to donate, books to read, and spout out quippy words of wisdom. But all I can do is read and think and process.

Find Your Happy Place

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So I blog. This blog and all my research came out of that fear of doing nothing. I was once told by someone much wiser than myself that we all have a part in the revolution and as long as we are trying and doing something to it help along, then we are where we should be. I unknowingly developed a self-care ritual through this pain because this hurts. What my ritual of reading and writing doesn't do is make the pain hurt less, but it gives me the space I need to understand this crazy existence that is African-American in the United States. And I am able to articulate it to you. 

This post is about solidarity. I know that things look bleak and most of the time we aren't in the room- we're watching the damage happen from behind the glass. It took me over a year to realize that blogging is the action I do to fit in the puzzle of activism. The terror against non-White people of all forms is tiring and scary. Remember that it is acceptable to look away from the violence or put your phone away. You don't have to consume every photo or video out there and I don't recommend it. I choose not to post these photos on my own social media and you have that same right. If you still haven't figured out how you fit into all of this activism, it's okay because just surviving this life is enough. This is a space for you to know that you matter, that this is all bullshit, and I hope you find your peace. 

*****

 
 

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Antoinette Scully Head Shot by Sarah MacFarlane

About The Author

Black & Bookish is the brainchild of Antoinette Scully, educator and lover of all things bookish. She is on a quest to guide the authors of tomorrow into the bookstores of today. When she's not hanging out on line, she's living it up as the mother of two rambunctious girls and wife of a local filmmaker.