black american political

I had this elaborate dream last night where I was hanging out with President Obama (I made him laugh! He gave me a hug!) while he talked to a group of diverse school children about the importance of hope and compassion.

Which segued into an increasingly surreal nightmare where I was trapped in a school where nothing made sense, I couldn’t find my classrooms or my locker, no one could be trusted, everyone was out to get each other while pretending to be friends, you could only succeed through weird acts of nepotism and favoritism and backstabbing, people were dying, and I was in constant fear for my life.

So, I guess that’s how my subconscious is processing things this week.

It’s Thanksgiving which means tables decorated with tiny porcelain figures of Native Americans sharing corn with pilgrims. It’s a holiday about being grateful, coming together, and being at peace but while we use caricatures of a great people, mainstream media ignores their cries for help. While we set tables with servings of food that are far too large, the original inhabitants of this great nation struggle to fight for clean drinking water and respect for their ancestors.

I’m not great at words but this issue is very dear to my heart so here’s some art.

I’d like to take a moment to reflect on one of this countries finest and purest moments.

Trump can spread descrimination and he can even pass anti-LGBTQ legislation but he CANNOT wipe our victory from the slate or void all that we stand for.

History will remember. We will remember. Love will always trump hate. United we stand.

Although they are presented as harmless, goofy explorations of inane historical side-notes, cable TV specials such as Ancient Aliens and The Lost History of Ancient America normalise expressions of racist intellectual attitudes towards native peoples.

Their basic premise remains: ‘These primitive brown people couldn’t possibly have contributed to our cultural history! It must have been [aliens / giants / prehistorical Europeans]’. Indigenous peoples in North America, Latin America and Africa were practical metallurgists, experimental chemists, civil engineers and urban planners - restoring native peoples to their factual place in human developmental history reveals a dazzlingly beautiful archaeological narrative which throws grubby crypto-fascist conspiracy loons into the shade. 

Busting these absurd, revisionist ahistories is an anti-racist duty.

HOW TO SURVIVE 2017:

*Instead of complaining about the state of our world, DO SOMETHING.
-UNICEF is in need of winter clothes for families living in displacement and refugee centers (their mailing address is on their site)
-Organize a book drive for a local school (there are many schools that don’t have books or supplies for their students. A few carefully used books can go a long way!)
-Get a group of friends together and clean up litter around the neighborhood (teamwork makes the dream work)
*(Especially for my lovely non-POC) Instead of closing your ears or turning your head away from racism or bigotry, open your mind and heart. I know the word privelaged has been thrown around a lot and you may think “well my life hasnt been sunshine and ice cream either!” but just think of the hardships you’ve had face. Close your eyes. Now imagine having to face them while being weighed down by 400 years of discrimination and the fact the fact that some people will hate/fear/judge you just because of your skin color (that may seem a bit dramatic, but that’s honestly what its like sometimes)
*Instead of apologizing for being late, say “thank you for waiting” or “I appreciate you staying”
*Instead of shaming people for their political ideologies, listen to what their concerns are (you may find out you have something in common…or not…but still listen!) in order to make change you have to understand what the people across from you are feeling
*Instead of looking at your phone or laptop everyday, take a few minutes to turn your devices off and take a walk outside or meditate
*Instead of just watching the news, read a book about our history, our laws and policies and how they’ve impacted different groups of people
*Instead of just saying “black lives matter,” shop at black businesses, read up on your local black politicians and laws that impact the black community the hardest and donate to black institutions (its not enough to just say “black is beautiful” or protest against police brutality or buy hip hop music)
*Instead of being hateful or bitter, just breathe, be open-minded, be informed and PLEASE be kind

With Love,
S. Rose