**WATCH THIS FIRST**
“If you write, write.” These words at 1:10 in this Upworthy.com video sent a shiver down my spine and sped up my heart rate. I’d been called out. But I thought, He can’t mean me. I write, but I write about my kids, about the laughs I get daily from them, about stupid things that happen that make life as a mom wonderful, torturous, hilarious. What do I have to contribute? This is bigger than me, I thought. And it’s true. It is bigger than me. Much bigger. After hearing “If you write, write,” for a moment I was paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. But in that same moment, I knew, I’d been called out and I couldn’t not answer. Please excuse me as I take a moment away from the lightheartedness of this blog, to write what is in my heart.
“We’ve got to stand up against hate.” By now almost all of us have seen the viral video of a group of white nationalists proudly proclaiming “Hail Trump!” We’ve all read the horrible news story of a woman having her hijab torn off, seen images of hate graffiti scrawled on walls post-election night, and read about and heard other countless stories about people spewing hate and cruelty towards people of colour, women, and the LGBTQ community. Now, more than ever, no matter who you voted for, you are being called to stand up against hate. The bullying has become more brazen and emboldened by recent political events and it’s sickening. I’ve been largely silent because as a white Canadian female I often feel like it’s not my place. But that’s wrong of me… Every. single. one. of us has a responsibility to stand up for others.
“Do what you can.” Especially as moms, I feel we have to stand up to bullies. On a small scale in our daily lives as we protect our children, we are fierce; on a large scale we can be an immutable united voice. As a mom, you can’t sit in silence and watch bullying happen just because it’s not happening to YOUR child specifically. Bullying is happening right now, and it’s happening to someone’s child. We simply can’t stand for it. Just like we wouldn’t stand for it if it was our own sons or daughters themselves being pushed down, kicked, or called horrible names on the playground.
“This is real, and it’s happening at a rapid rate.” I refuse to stand for the hate. I don’t know how much I can do. After all, I’m just me; I’m just a stay at home mom with a blog. But I can say something when I see something. I can rally other moms and friends who feel the same, that love always wins over hate. I can tell and show my friends who’ve been hurt or disenfranchised that I stand with them; that they are heard. And I write… So I’ll write. What can you do?
Well, for starters here are links to some of the causes discussed in the video, should you want to learn more or donate:
Sylvia Rivera Law Project: The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Therefore, we seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming.
Black Lives Matter: Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement. #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was posthumously placed on trial for his own murder. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our dehumanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.
Flint Water Fund (for Flint, Michigan): The United Way of Genesee County has set up this fund for the purchase of filters, bottled water, emergency support services and prevention efforts. 100% of the fund is used for these projects and no Administrative Fee is assessed.
Planned Parenthood: The Planned Parenthood Action Fund exists to ensure that elected officials support policies and programs that help women and their families make responsible choices about family planning and reproductive health.