I Am Not an Activist

Is it just me or is it really rough out there? I’ve been avoiding social media like the plague. I go to Facebook for links to sloth articles, but now find myself bombarded with tragic headlines. It’s not just social media. It’s not just the internet. It’s in the water. It’s airborne. There are awful things happening all around us and lots of shitty things being said and… well, I am not ok with that.

And here are the reasons why I have kept my mouth shut.

I AM NOT OUTSPOKEN

I am a Midwesterner through and through. I don’t like to rock the boat, I don’t like conflict and even if I know for a fact that Captain & Tennille sang Muskrat Love while you adamantly proclaim it was Tony Orlando & Dawn, I won’t say anything – in person or online. I don’t need to open myself up to the hungry chasm that is the comment thread of an angry Facebook post. I am a verbal pacifist. I do not enjoy or seek out discord. That is not me.

I AM NOT EDUCATED

When it comes to real-world experience, I am illiterate. My public school education was filled with resources and supportive adults. My college was a perfect environment for me to make mistakes and form the adult I am today. After moving 1,500 miles away from my hometown to meet people who are different than me, I realized I had been living in the same cultural bubble all of my life. I seldom face adversity, I have a safety net when things get hard, and I have never had to make any truly difficult decisions. I am a poster child of privilege.

I AM NOT A BELIEVER

I am a skeptic with every article I read. No matter how much an organization may align with my personal beliefs, I know it’s all about the numbers and not the news. How can anyone be sure which headlines are true, especially when Twitter has become a resource for breaking stories? When it’s all about clicks and not about content, what’s the point of reading one more spin on tragedy?

So…now I’ll do the thing I set out to do when I started this post. I’m going to say how I feel, with no intent on sparking debate or feedback. I know these are polarizing issues and that there are people who feel the exact opposite than me, but I’m not trying to a pick a fight with them. I don’t hold a grudge against them. This isn’t about them. I just feel that if I don’t get these things off my chest, and out into the ether, that I am then a part of the problem.

THIS IS WHAT I AM

I AM very upset that Darren Wilson was not indicted.

I AM enraged at the way people are continuing to ignore institutionalized racism. It exists and something needs to change.

I AM a supporter of President Obama’s executive order on immigration.

I AM terrified of global warming. I am afraid it’s going to get a lot worse and we’ve missed the boat on being able to stop it.

I AM a liberal hippie. You can write me off as one and move on. Just don’t write me off as apathetic because of my silence. I want to help. I want things to get better. I want to be an active member of a movement that makes a change, but I don’t know if I have the strength. I want to help, but I don’t want to fight. I’m the worst kind of activist.

I AM NOT silent because I don’t care. I AM silent because I am paralyzed.

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