Don’t be an Activist

Don’t be that dirty A word: Activist
Like a viral disease
It always starts in college
took that sociology or ethnic studies class
joined that outreach recruitment center for
underrepresented youth of color
you wanted to hold it down for the struggle
at the rally for undocumented student rights
and then it happens
you become an activist
the symptoms will kick in fast and heavy

Your parents will tell you to get a real job
Fox news will tell you you’re unpatriotic
Your friends will call you too sensitive
Your family will call you too liberal
Your community will call you too communist

You’ll work at a non-profit organization
cause you said you want to make a difference
cause you certainly aren’t making any money
even though your official job title is just program coordinator
You’re really also the organization’s social media director
youth outreach manager
office technician
staff personnel therapist
grant writer
program assessment evaluator
and in-house cultural competency trainer
You’ll wonder how many top ramen will it take before you give up
on your close to impoverished 50hrs a week
$800 Americorps monthly living stipend
You will buy extra lip balm for all the future ass kissing 
you will do to potential grantees and funders
all in the name of community
…and to keep you job
…cause your grant contract ends by the 2017 fiscal cycle
way to stick to the man

You’ll feel guilty for listening main stream hip-hop
and that your favorite song is Tyga’s Rack City
even though that song represents everything that you stand against
misogyny, male patriarchy
the commodification
hypersexualization
and dehumanization of womyn
that beat is still so DAMN good
rack city, rack rack city
I mean Sac City, Sac City…ssstitch

Don’t be an activist because you’ll just be angry
angry because you learned that everything evil in this world is rooted
from colonialism, white patriarchy and capitalism

Paulo Friere called it
when they made the matrix
once become conscious, you can never go back
and with liberation comes burden
that burden sits heavy like asthma

Ignorance must really be bliss
because it’s exhausting
looking through Facebook newsfeed
without saying “gooddammit this shit is fucked up”
without seeing white people throw peace signs and make squinty eyes in pictures with the #asianpose
without having another “conversation” with your
well-intentioned but racist ass friend
who commented on your scholarly post on
“microaggressions in the classrooms”
without seeing another fraternity throw another
cinco de drinko “cross the border” party
without seeing another newscaster blame the victim
and defend the rapist
without another black body being shot
by another gunman named officer

and feeling
like you can never do anything
ironically enough
you try to brush it off
so you can procrastinate on your 8 page sociology paper
on institutionalized racism in the California prison system

It will hurt
it will hurt because
it will come from your own people
they tell you, you too cocky
that you’re an opportunistic
that left South Sacramento for a job at UC Davis
and that you a sell out
and so you buy into their thinking
and they said you were never REALLY down
and so you tell yourself that you were never REALLy down
and they called you out for saying something problematic
so you think of yourself as a problem
you didn’t get enough petition signatures
you didn’t stay long enough at the town hall meetings
you didn’t mentor enough youth
you weren’t there for your community when they needed it most
and so you questions everything that you are
everything that you stand for
you hit this point of confusion
of what it all means
and you succumb to self-doubt
and burn out
you get tired
of being tired
and you tell yourself
“I just want to be normal
just like everyone else”

That heavy anxiety sitting on your shoulders
makes you want to scratch your skin off
but then you realize
normal
normal is that bystrander effect
that MNC chokehold that stops you from raising your voice
and forces you to turn you head away from injustice
and face down at iphones screens
Normal is making it easier for you
to keep up with the Kardashians
than to keep up with the sake of humanity
Normal is that basic shit!
Normal is that stuff that makes people cynical
cause being cynical is always easier than critical
Normal is making society a status quota
number of soldiers pulled out
the dowe jones down
unemployment up
climate change doesn’t exist
Racist republicans still do
and so we confuse normal
for this substance that cynicism made ugly
validation, acceptance, love

and you finally realize that it was never about you
and it wasn’t about them
but it was about everybody
It was about humanness - Ubuntu
a justice that institutions are incapable of achieving
so you’ve been forced to dream
you check your privilege for low paychecks
to implement your social justice
be the monkey wrench in the machine

activism is not a sprint
it is a lifelong marathon
and your most crucial asset in your run
is the not the power in your legs
but the strength of your heart
so you must protect it
You must pace to it to give it resiliency
you will be your biggest critic
but the minute you look far too much
in your own steps
you will lose vision
so you must keep your head upright
never lose sight of your finish line

this world does not need normal
it needs relentless unafraid pursuit of compassion
every action or inaction
disrupts or perpetuates that power of oppression
but you choose
to upset the set up
disrupt the corrupt
stand against the standardization
hunger strike for the hungry

you were meant to be different
you are greater than Normal
you are more than an activist
you are deeply and truly necessary

youtube.com
End The Dress Code #endthedresscode
Sign the petition to end the dress code https://www.change.org/p/toronto-district-school-board-enddresscode-end-dress-codes-in-tdsb-schools We are Project Sl...

HELLO TUMBLR. 
Other than blogging I am a part of an activist group that is trying to eliminate schools dress codes in Toronto. We’ve been featured on BUZZFEED
The truth is school staff pick and choose how they enforce dress codes.
Our high school use to have a “no hat” rule, and of course it was being enforced on mostly black male students. Our dress code also only detailed women saying things like “we respect ourselves by not showing bosoms.” Rules like this body-shame women. A tank top will look different on a small chested girl than a larger chested girl. Certain bodies were unfairly targeted. Teachers were also using the dress code to publicly slut-shame and humiliate students. How are these women suppose to feel comfortable reporting sexual harassment in a school with dress codes used to victim blame them. 
People also get suspended from schools for dying their hair too “unusual” colours. Many different groups are affected negatively by school dress codes. 
People often say dress codes prepare students for the “real world.” As to say students aren’t already taking on “real world” responsibilities, like full or part-time jobs. The truth is WE KNOW how to dress for the workplace. We understand. They are bigger things we need to prepare for. Such as “real world” discrimination, money management, etc…

We successfully got rid of the dress code in our highschool. And we’re trying to do the same all across Toronto. We’re all women of colour, and only 18! So we’re very grateful that our voices are being heard!

Please support us by signing our petition HERE 
We also want to hear how you’ve been affected by highschool dress codes!
Send me a message or email us weareprojectslut@gmail.com

-Kerin (blackandinlove)

Happy Birthday Katherine Dunham! (June 22, 1909 – May 21, 2006) American dancer, choreographer, author, educator, and social activist. Dunham had one of the most successful dance careers in American and European theater of the 20th century, and directed her own dance company for many years. 

Portrait of dancer Katherine Dunham. Autographed on front: “To Flora and Charlotte Dresser, still the two charming ladies of Detroit. Katherine Dunham.” Handwritten on back: “Dunham, Katherine." 

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library