During one of my classes for Higher Education, my professor asked a student, (who said that the class had opened their eyes and that they were ready to fight more for social justice) “What are you willing to give up for this fight?” And this year, this statement has constantly rang in my head; in regards to people ready to be social justice warriors because now they have some small thing to lose. *hence the eye-roll* My colleague was uncomfortable with the question and refused to give a response. They were “ready to fight the fight” but not if there was an expense for it. Not if it caused a disruption to their easy-going life… So before you take it upon yourself to crown yourself an advocate or ally (simply to make yourself feel better); think about these few things.
What are you willing to put on the line? What sacrifices and losses will you take? It’s easy to march and hold up signs when the police are protecting you instead of mistreating you; so are you willing to go there if that changed? Are you willing to continue to fight for change even though directly you have nothing to gain? There are people who live this fight, people who have been beaten, broken, chained and locked away all because everything they have and are is wrapped up in this fight. Because they can’t go home and relax and tune out the problems around them. Because they know loss, felt loss and will continue to endure loss until something around them changes. And no, it’s not extreme. It’s not extreme to fight to live a life that others around you are guaranteed. So once again, what are you willing to put on the line. Because soon the media will forget the march, soon the papers will go back to labeling us thugs and nuisances, soon we won’t be glorified but condemned for fighting for our rights. The police won’t see us as peaceful but trouble makers. They won’t be handing out hugs but tear gas and that’s when it’ll matter the most. That’s when your actions will speak the loudest. And that’s the event we’re waiting for you to show up to.
*If this post made you feel yucky inside or get defensive, then you still have some work and growing to do.*