Writing About Charlottesville
I struggle at times like these when there’s something like Charlottesville is going on. There are so many voices out there already, so many people speaking out about it. When I sit down to write my own thoughts, it always feels inadequate. Whether it’s a terrorist attack, a humanitarian crisis, or one of dozens of shootings that occur in this country on a regular basis, it never feels like what I’m saying is enough.
I never feel satisfied with what I’ve written, the pressure and the significance of it being so much bigger than any words I have to say. And so I always end up scrapping what I’ve written, allowing others to say what needs to be said.
I tell myself, maybe I don’t need to write about this. Maybe other people can write about it better than I can, but that doesn’t feel right either. I always tell myself that I want to use my powers for good, and if I’m not using them in some way to make this a more equal, just, and loving society, then what the hell am I doing?
I’m not an activist or a protestor. I don’t feel called to hit the streets and carry a sign. It’s not in my nature. I greatly admire those who do carry that task. The freedom to protest is such an important part of our democracy, and without it we’d be sick.
It is a no-brainer that white supremacy ideas have no place in our society. We fought wars over those ideas, and those ideas lost. Those ideas lost for a reason. We rightly decided that those ideas were neither good nor just and that they had no place in our future.
And even as I write that statement, it still feels inadequate, but I’ve made peace with that, because that’s what movements are. Movements are a collection of single voices and single actions that push a society forward.
The Civil Rights movement didn’t prevail with one single march or one sit-in. Today marks the seventieth anniversary of India’s Independence, a movement which inspired the Civil Rights activists and was also hard fought over a number of years.
There is no one statement that can carry the significance of what needs to be said. There is no one voice, and that’s as it should be.