Our collective healing, our resiliency, is power. Give life to that.
They say there’s a thin line between love and hate. Unfortunately, while we hope for love, hate carries an equal vibrational field on the heart as love does and healing seems fraught.
Recently, it has been difficult to shift through the world without feeling the dark reverberations of hatred, even within ourselves. For example: I hate Trump. I hate white supremacy. I hate cis patriarchal capitalism. More importantly, I hate that I fixate on this hatred I have for all these things.
Don’t get me wrong, this hatred I feel is legitimate. It’s not an alternative fact, and I’m not suggesting that we not allow ourselves to hate these things. However, if I’m honest with myself, then I must admit that the hatred which permeates my mind is draining.
Last year, I focused a lot of my energy—way too much energy—on that hate, dwelling in the reality that was the 2016 presidential race, buried in disgust and, in my most vulnerable moments, despair. While the election of a white man as mediocre and hateful as Donald Trump wasn’t surprising or a new phenomenon for a nation founded on and maintained by white supremacy, another win for white mediocrity isn’t any less painful.
Let’s keep it 100. Had a liberal democrat or democratic socialist won, things wouldn’t have been much different. The fact of the matter is, in racial capitalism, Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same shabby coin. Yes, Ronald Reagan gave us trickle down economics, but Bill Clinton gutted welfare reform, cutting our safety nets, the only sense of systemic security BIPOC have ever known beyond our own support systems. Yes, George W. Bush botched up the federal response to Katrina which wrecked and displaced hundreds of poor Black lives, but Hillary Clinton popularized “super-predators” as a descriptor of Black youth and enthusiastically rallied behind her husband’s now-infamous and draconian Crime Bill, the impact of which we are still dealing with today.
Yes, Donald Trump is a racist, dog-whistling xenophobe who uses immigrants to scapegoat the failures of neoliberal capitalism and vowed to crack down on immigration; but, according to the statistics, Barack Obama deported more immigrants than his successor or any of his white predecessors.
And don’t even get me started on the water crisis in Flint, the disrespect shown to native populations throughout the country, Blue Lives Matter, and recurrent Black pathologizing, all of which were the signature of The Obama Era. Moreover, consider this: the number of deaths related to police brutality in 2017 under the Trump administration were almost identical to that reported in the previous year.
Difficult as it may be for some of us to accept, outside the packaging and delivery of all this anti-black, cisheteronormative, and patriarchal politics, history continues to repeat itself, and the state of black and brown communities remain vulnerable in America. All of us can agree on this. To think any differently would be an erroneous assumption.
So, yes, while these things deserve our hatred, black people, the target of this centuries-long federal assault, deserve our love. And our time. And our energy.
As I shift into the new year, I am making a conscious decision to divest all my energy from Donald Trump. And what better month to take up this challenge than February, Black History Month. Our month, set aside to bask in the beauty that is us.
This year, I’m investing more of my time in the resiliency of the resistance—honoring, supporting, uplifting and prioritizing those at the frontline of the Revolution, and creating spaces where folks of color can heal.I have given Trump and white supremacy too much power, and I’m taking that shit back. All the way back.
Actually, we’ve already set the precedent for how this should look. On January 20, the anniversary of the Trump inauguration, Wear Your Voice hosted our first event in collaboration with Sabine Blaizin, Lakay Se Lakay: The Revolution. In honor of the anniversary of the Haitian Revolution, the largest and most successful slave rebellion in the Western Hemisphere.
As an intersectional feminist publication, we made a conscious decision to opt out of the Women’s March, a movement co-opted by white feminists off the backs and legacy of decades of work spearheaded by Black and brown movement workers. Instead, we focused on the resiliency of a community impacted by the Trump administration, channeling the spirit of the Haitian Revolution through dance ritual, rootwork, and transformative healing.
Rather than investing our time and energy on Milo Yiannopoulos, Tomi Lahren, Richard Spencer, the Alt-Right, Steve Bannon, and all variety of white supremacists let’s focus our collective energy on building each other up. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with something small and meaningful. Every time Trump says something that angers you, harness that energy to support a black business, or donate your time to an organization that provides free legal aid to undocumented workers. In this moment, I can think of nothing more essential than for us to invest in ourselves, even if for no other reason than to protect your own mental health. As Black people, at minimal, we deserve that.
Put your life and energy into the things and activities that matter most importantly to you. Above all, be intentional with your attention.
Remember, our collective healing, our resiliency, is power. Give life to that. No matter your Revolution, it is upon all of us. And we are no longer waiting for the solution, because we are it. The creatives. The healers. the activists—the people. If you believe in what we do, and would like to support the cause, Throughout the month of February, 10% of shirt sales from The REVOLUTION. campaign supports the Haiti Cultural Exchange, a nonprofit organization established to develop, present and promote the cultural expressions of the Haitian people.