What Will You Change?
I went to the NC Justice and Unity Rally last Saturday, and Laila Nur of the Durham Artists Movement asked us, “What are you going to change?” It is a deceptively simple question. If you don’t want fascists to win elections, what will you actually change in your life to prevent that?
I’m in a whole big mind melt about that question, but there was one thing I could do that was immediate, simple, and obvious: make my politics public.
Before Trump’s election, I used my Twitter account @splendidmike as a personal branding tool. I tweeted about the cool things happening at my cool library and retweeted data visualizations that the Director of Visualization Services found inspiring, so that my account would accrue professional capital. There’s a new tweeter in town.
I’m passionate about education, and I’ll keep being a human library, but one of the very easiest things I can do is to use my social media accounts to advocate for progressive philosophies. So from now on, I’ll be using my public Twitter account and my private Facebook account to do just that.
For too long, I was doing the very least that I could to create the world I wanted. I voted. I know now that is not enough, and I will never make that mistake again. No one will ever again wonder about my political preferences. I’ll be doing my damndest to convince my friends, my acquaintances, my colleagues, and everyone else at hashtag’s length that love trumps hate, and quality of life trumps corporate profit. Widespread people power is coming for your board meetings, Nazis, and Republican frauds.
Research shows that white men suffer few professional consequences for advocating for equality. Let’s see what happens if I abruptly switch from Mike’s personal brand to social justice warrior.