Love more loudly…

Wednesday morning after the US election my sister, Michelle, shared:
“What I will tell my children this morning…?  It’s not enough to be kind and believe in the good. We must love more loudly. We must make inclusion thunder. We must speak up! Show up! And scream for what is right. Silence is the enemy!!!!”

And now I am wondering about what we need to show our children…

What if they see us taking action?
What might they tell their children someday of our actions today??

I hope that my children will see that I am gutted…

That they will see me wipe my tears…

And in the midst of a mind reeling and wondering at how this can even be…
they will see me take a deep breath, square my shoulders, dig deep for the strength to continue to stand up for what I believe.

There is work to be done… far more than I had imagined.

And what has been revealed about the level of hate and oppression that is centred – not merely at the margins, as we hope/expect – well it is shocking and shakes me to my core.

Those of us who are social justice activists trust that we make a difference. We understand the work is endless… and we know this. But this… this is a waking up: a horrific realization that we have much more work to do than we ever could have imagined.

I am scared for the world.

I am terrified for my friends.

There is work to do… and so the activist in me will lean in to the fear.

I am sad and scared – but I recognize my privilege and I am committed to keeping my shit together so I can use that privilege and leverage it.

Perhaps my son will lean over, curious to see the messages I am sending to my friends close across the border and far away, and glimpse snippets of my words. Perhaps my son will ask me what I am doing and I will read aloud to him bits of my messages.

“I am checking in… sending you my love and care and best thoughts.
I recognize my privilege, and that it has just been revealed to me how much I perhaps did not see. That a stance of this much hate shocks me so, tells me I have been insulated and protected by my position.”

We need our children to be able to look to us as examples of how to stand up against bigotry and hate, and we need to show them that we are all in this together.

They need to know of unity by our action –  not by our willingness to acquiesce but rather by our commitment to stand against oppression. We need to show them how to be there for others because ending oppression is a collective responsibility and it affects us all.

And yes… the reality is that I am uncertain what to do – so I am reaching out with messages to people I care about so that they feel that connection and care…
I don’t really know what else to do right now… aside from that and making a commitment to continue to work together with people to make things better…

“Checking in and sending love…
I wish I had better words…
I am so sorry…
I appreciate that you are in the world…”

I am declaring my commitment to continue to work together with others to fight oppression…

“Checking in… letting you know I care…
This is terrifying… and it makes sense to be afraid…
I am here… and I am ashamed that I didn’t understand how mainstream hate was… and I understand that this is pretty revealing of my privilege…”

And now… those of us with the privilege of safety and security that we get by being white, or cisgendered, or straight, or university educated, or employed, or housing-secure, or not-disabled, or male, or… ??? – we need to step up and speak up and give our children the courage to do so as well.

Action, reaching out, holding tight to what we believe because lives depend upon it; this is what hope looks like…

Our children need us to teach them how to stand up to hate…
And how to love more loudly…

Michelle's quote

Image: Background photo of water and islands in the distance all in shades of blue. Black text reads: “It’s not enough to be kind and believe in the good. We must love more loudly. We must make inclusion thunder. We must speak up! Show up! And scream for what is right. Silence is the enemy!!!!” Watermarked Thirty Days of Autism: Leah Kelley

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30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2016)

About Leah Kelley

Leah Kelley, MEd., Educator, Parent, Speaker, Social Justice Activist. Writes blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding & neurodiversity paradigm. Co producer of documentary: Vectors of Autism. Twitter: @leah_kelley Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/leahkelley13/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/30-Days-of-Autism-Leah-Kelley/154311301315814
This entry was posted in ableism, acceptance, Activist, Collective Responsibility, inclusion, privilege, Silence, social justice and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Love more loudly…

  1. 924mountain says:

    I really thought he wouldn’t win. I didn’t think there was so much ignorance always believing my thoughts and values were shared by most people. This has been a shock and an awakening to keep involved, to keep speaking out and to boycott any trips to the south.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Dance with the devil and commented:
    Love, love, love your post! I am standing up because, “It’s not enough to be kind and believe in the good. We must love more loudly.
    We must love more loudly. We must make inclusion thunder. We must speak up! Show up! And scream for what is right. Silence is the enemy!!!!” I love your energy, drive and passion! You are definitely a gift to the autistic community and the world!!!

    Like

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