Monday, November 14, 2016

Third verse (almost) same as the first...

This is a modified version of the full blog post, at the request of the AAS leadership.

The full post can be found here. 

My heart is sick. I like to think I’m fairly realistic about our world, and our country. Those of you who know me know that unbridled optimism is not my going-in position. But I still have spent this week struggling with the fact that this is where we are. Several people have commented to me that it has felt like a funeral. Probably because it is. 

First, I want to write to all of you who are in and out of a dark place. To all my minoritized friends and colleagues. You are not alone. And I don’t mean that in the abstract way. I mean that in the “reach out and I’ll be there, call in the cavalry” sort of way*. To everyone who is scared for their family, scared about losing their rights, scared about the sharp spike in hate crimes over the last few days - You are not alone. We will prepare, and we will fight this. 

To those of you preaching appeasement and patience: No. We know what that looks like. We are better students of history. I am not afraid to stand up to protect the existence of those who society has pushed to the margins. I am not afraid to stand up to protect myself. 

I encourage you to keep a critical eye on the world around you. Like the proverbial frog in the slowly warming water (not a thing, by the way, so don't try this at home) one must be careful to not constantly acclimate in the drift towards tyranny. The signs are subtle, but not impossible to see. Long before the lists are made, we will begin to censor ourselves and those around us out of fear. Do not let fear guide you.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking hate incidents. In particular, notice two things: First, although the hate is broadly distributed, anti-Black and anti-immigrant sentiment feature in the majority of attacks. Second, look where the attacks are happening: Schools and universities. It is crucial we stand up and use our voices to repudiate this violence and hateful rhetoric. We must use our bodies to shield those being attacked. 

We have a lot of work to do. I’ll see you out there. #KeepLovingKeepFighting

*Seriously. Reach out at tuttlese at uw dot edu if you need to touch base.