What The Fuck Are We Going To Do?
i had a whole other podcast slated for today. But that schedule along with my own all got pushed aside by yet more acts of racism. And i would be remiss if i didn’t talk about this. And it would feel like a blazing contradiction to both my personal mission, my work, and to you if i didn’t share my thoughts and feelings about the racist killing of George Floyd.
This is not an easy subject—no “ism” really is. But we can’t move forward if we aren’t willing to risk it all by opening and holding a real, non-judgemental, open dialogue—it is the least we can do when our Black men are being killed simply for existing on their own streets.
These last few days i’ve been sitting with a lot of complex feelings and questions about all of this. i’ve written and recorded a lot of different things (my tools for trying to understand complex and unjust things) and while i don’t have any answers . . . i don’t want to let that deter me from sharing from a real, vulnerable, open, and honest space.
And so today, i wanted to share two things from my personal pantry of processing all the hate in hopes that maybe it will ignite a spark, a mini-revolution in one of you. And maybe that one little spark will grow into wildfire where a solution will birth in the wake of the ashes.
The first thing i wanted to share with you is from a comment i posted in a membership group i am a part at the end of yesterday May 28, 2020. The second thing is a piece of the freewrite i did yesterday AM in response to the Leslie Jones video i mentioned in the post where she asks, What the fuck are we going to do?
That freewrite is morphing into an essay i’m calling, A Tale Of Two Cities Within Me aka Dear Leslie Jones. It is still in its embryonic phase so it’s unedited and it’s about as real and as raw as my writing gets.
So a little backstory on my comment i’m about to read.
A white woman in our group created a post about how she was feeling the weight of George Floyd’s murder. And to be completely honest with you, i was a bit shocked when i saw the post and all the responses it garnered. Most spiritual/metaphysical spaces and their members typically shy away from topics of racism because . . . well, let’s just call what it is. These spaces tend to be mostly white and any talks about racism or anything real often is met with resistance and cries of disruption of the “energy” and “chi” of the group. Most white spiritualists have issues explaining their doctrine when any kind of “ism” enters into their woo-sphere. Now that’s just MY—a queer, brown, woman’s experience. Not a blanket one.
So i was both surprised, comforted, and a bit angry (<—still trying to figure that one out) when i saw the post.
And so what i’m about to share is the comment i made on her post (with names changed of course).
Share One: My Comment
i started typing this response yesterday but realized that i needed a bit of space to navigate the complexity of my emotions as well as the situation. Upon returning to this post, i am grateful i gave myself that space. Reading everyone’s responses and comments have been helpful (energetically) in crafting my own.
This morning i woke up and began penning a response to Leslie Jones’ (rightfully) angered question of, “What the fuck are we going to do?” in regards to all the racism we’ve been experiencing. While in the midst of writing, a flient (friend + client) based in NYC unexpectedly sent me an edited Art video she created to help support Art organizations. In it, she placed the words i wrote for her (a Black, dis/abled, non-traditional bodied woman) as a voiceover to her and her dance collaborator’s (also a Black woman) dance movements.
The art—her art woven with my art and the art of others—and the timing of her share brought me to tears.
And there, in the heart and heat of all this emotion and frustration of NOT knowing what the fuck to do to fix what’s happening (and feeling completely helpless about it), was the message i needed to hear. The same message i teach myself and others to embody—that art and creativity IS the medicine, the balm, that can heal us all—being mirrored back at me.
As a Brown queer woman who is married to a beautiful and powerful Black woman, i know first hand that the answer to Leslie’s question isn’t as simple as a creative balm.
And yet…the other half of me, the part that seeps down into the crevices of my human body and mind, knows that it is. Because i also know first hand the power of art. We all do. We’ve all felt it inch us closer to wholeness—it’s why we are all here because we’ve resonated with Rebecca’s art, creativity, and gifts.
And that leaves me feeling hopeful. Hopeful that the personal work we are all doing in this membership—and in all the memberships like this all over the globe—are also inching us all towards wholeness, justice, and equality for all.
To quote my favorite spiritual teacher, Gloria Anzaldúa, “I change myself. I change the world.”
The personal has always been political. And our personal growth inside and outside this membership IS our resistance. And this form of resistance is equally as valid as the take-to-the-streets and burn-it-all-down kind (a point i have to keep reminding my grassroots, radical, take-to-the-streets heart of).
Anger and love. Both equal parts of the answer to Leslie’s question.
All of it pieces and parts of the space i want my writing and work to fill.
i honestly didn’t know if myself and the work i do would ‘fit’ into this membership. But after reading everyone’s comments, i know i and it does.
All this to say: i see ALL of you. i feel all of you. And i’m so fucking grateful to [name of person] and everyone on this post for engaging in the kind of tough dialogue that IS the seed of change. Thank you for your vulnerability. Thank you for admitting out loud that it bothers you. Thank you for making us feel seen.
i feel a little less alone than i did at the beginning of my day. And i am grateful for every nano-inch of that movement.
Share Two: The soon-to-be essay
If quarantine showed me anything, it was there is another way. But there is (and maybe always will be) a space of divide. A tale of two wings—a right and a left—with no reverence for the wholeness of the bird.
So Leslie, i don’t know what the fuck i’m going to do.
But i do know what i will be.
i will continue to be the change i wish to see by dismantling the systems of privilege and inequality that live in me and that show up systemically outside of me.
i will continue to push the people i love most (and the people i despise) to do the same.
i will continue to try to embrace love while the white world tries to force-feed me hate.
i will continue to be angry and use my anger to make art charged with change.
i will continue to be, as best as i can be, an agent of change, justice, and equality in my writing, my work, and in my life. Daily. Not just on social media. But in my real flesh and bone life.
i will continue to be a person that questions everything before coming to a flexible conclusion on something.
i will continue to be a person who always calls out hate in all its varying forms.
i will be, to the best of my ability, the change i wish to see by being and embracing both cities, all the contradictions that live in me.
And maybe somewhere in all this be-ing is the answer to your question, What the fuck are we going to do?
And so there you have it. All the things that have been swirling in my mind and orbit about George Floyd, what the fuck are we going to do, and everything else.
Make sure you check out the Show Notes below to watch Leslie Jones’ powerful video.
Until next time, stay strong. Stay resilient. And raise your voice to be heard.
Love, light, and solidarity to you.
Leslie Jones’ powerful What The Fuck Are We Going To Do Video
Anti-Racism Resources For White People compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein
Don’t forget to subscribe to One Minute Sparks For Artists!
Click on your favorite listening channel below to subscribe!