Sheltering-in-Place: Day 88
The text on the image reads
Not all of us will be the flower or the bee.
We can be the pollen or the seed.
I learned a new term today. It's micro-activism. Not every one of us will be a protester in the street, or will show up at meetings to lobby for change, or stand in front of crowds and deliver invigorating and inspiring speeches to move us forward toward equality. Some of us will make art, or share news of the work or hardship or victories of others, or meet micro-aggressions with other forms of micro-activism.
I watched a reporter for a news broadcast get a piece of micro-activism gifted to him a week or so ago. The reporter used the old name for Black Lives Matter Plaza. A protester walking by corrected him, matter-of-factly, with the correct name. That's all it took. One small act of awareness and information was enough to set the reporter on the track of respecting and remembering the new name of the plaza. I didn't know what to call the action of the protester at that point, except effective. Now I know it was micro-activism. Because it was done on live media, the impact was maybe bigger than if said to someone off camera. The ease and simplicity of the statement was what struck me. That should be all it takes. All we should have to do is say, "It's called Black Lives Matter Plaza now." There's nothing to argue. It's just what it is. In the same way, we should be able to say, "Racism is bad," or, "Police brutality needs to stop," without risking or enduring any sort of backlash.
That street is called Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Racism is bad.
Police brutality needs to stop.
Did you know there's a spreadsheet/database/whatever-it's-grown-into-now of examples of police brutality that have occurred at/since the protests in the last 2+ weeks? The last time I checked, it's pulling videos from only Twitter and is already hundreds of examples deep. (I am not going to link to it from my site. It's too much horror and brutality. Here is a link to an article on Vice about the cataloging effort. It is not written from a neutral standpoint, just fair warning. I don't know how reporters are able to be neutral about things like this. I could never do their job.)
My point about this new-to-me term is that even if COVID-19 or something else is stopping us from protesting, there are other ways to contribute. Even after the protests stop, whether that's in 3 weeks or 3 years, there are ways we can keep contributing. I wrote before that I don't know how to change the world. I don't. I try to make things less bad and more beautiful where I can. That's what I can do. Today, this blog post is just me, sitting over here, making art, asking you to think about what you can do.