by Rachel Siegel, PJC Executive Director
Following the hard work by activists and community members in Georgia, which resulted in the historic election of a young Jewish man, Jon Ossof, and an African American pastor, Ralph Warnock, to the US Senate, we saw an unprecedented siege in DC by domestic white terrorists. I, like many of you, was left frightened and exhausted. This all happened on top of nearly 10 months of pandemic life which has left everyone needing more than anyone can give.
As my mood swung from exhilaration to horror, I experienced an emotional whiplash that left me depleted and at times quite numb. While my reaction may not be uncommon, it is certainly not universal. One friend suggested that I and many of us are experiencing the frog in the boiling water metaphor and that if things had not been getting worse and worse for so long, we would have all had a much bigger reaction to the capital takeover. But another friend noted that for people less steeped in leftie/radical activism, yesterday’s events may in fact be a wake-up call. If that is true, we can hope that those people stay awake and get engaged.
My response to yesterday (and every day), is to keep fighting and keep loving.
Here are some things that fighting looks like:
- Getting skilled up and schooled up on de-escalation, civics, social media campaigns, facilitation, history, fundraising, political science, etc.
- Participating in organizing meetings, campaigns, events, membership organizations, etc. with your time and/or money
- Sustaining our work to resist and rebuild when the new administration begins even though they seem friendlier to our causes
- Doing deep internal work to examine our social location and ways we have internalized superiority/inferiority so we can work with what we have and undo oppressive ways for collective liberation
To me, loving looks like:
- Radical self-care and self-love (check out The Body is Not an Apology and The Nap Ministry)
- Being with friends
- Making art
- Making food
- Having sex
- Playing games
- Connecting with neighbors
Please reach out and share with me your ideas of how we can fight and love and let us know if the Peace & Justice Center can support you and the work you do.