Advocating for Social Justice While Managing Your Health Condition

That’s it. The end is here. It happened. Our President, his Cabinet and our Congress are already at work. They’re going to make the poor poorer, and make it even less safe for people of color, refugees and immigrants, the climate, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those of us who have particular health challenges or Disabilities.  That barely describes the minimum of potential damage.

I’ve been limiting my news intake to sources like ProPublica , Democracy Now!, and the odd Washington Post  or Guardian article that someone posts on facebook. I can’t listen to soundbites of Donald Trump without having PTSD flashbacks about my dad. It’s like hearing my dad all over again.

However, a friend pointed out that I can’t hide. I thought about it, and she’s right. As an articulate, educated person with skin color privilege and a bourgeois/middle class/wealthy background, I get so many passes.

Living below the poverty line for most of my adulthood, and then going through the NYC shelter and benefits system opened my eyes to how many passes I get. I wonder how helpful it is to name the instances here. It may just be hurtful. But you can ask me, and if we have trust between us, I’ll tell you. You just have to take my word for it.

So now it’s time for those of us with white privilege to advocate, advocate, advocate. I admit I’m new at it. I’m on a limited income, but I give a monthly pittance to the news sites I mentioned above. I’ll put the donate buttons for ProPublica and Democracy Now! below. I sent a little money to the bail fund for Inauguration Day (#J20) activists. I’ll put a link to the activist group below. I bought an issue of The Social Justice Journal from AK Press .  I plan to read it when I am reasonably sure that I won’t get a migraine from reading.

We need to follow #BlackLivesMatter.  We need to listen to what the Latino community is telling us they need from us.  They’re really spelling it all out for us:  Police aggression; wage theft; ICE raids against nonviolent criminals; slavery in the prison system; the disproportionately high number of people with brown skin who are arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated; and where the money from the private prison industry goes.

Let’s really fucking talk about this!  How do those of us who have chronic or acute health conditions manage our health and still participate?  How do those of you who have a demanding job, or 3 low-paying jobs, or a hard day with the kids all by yourself do it?  What do you tell your kids about hate?

I know that I stay away from cable news and most newspapers.  I absolutely do not read the President’s tweets, unless I see a debate among activist friends on facebook.  However, I glance at it quickly, consider the source, see if I can find some good reporting on it and GET OUT OF THERE FAST.  Then I write in my journal a little, or sing really loud to Lemonade, or take an angry nap, or go for a walk if I’m down with that.  Or I order a massive amount of Penne Alla Vodka and a pizza.  God, I can’t wait for John Oliver to come back.

How do I be Bi-Queer-Fluid and out and stay safe?  What about having Disabilities and staying safe, particularly Mental Health conditions?

I know I sure as hell am scrambling to get back into a BA program and planning to get as many degrees as I need to in order to be employable:  Because as we speak, this administration is putting together policies that will dismantle Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, Food Stamps, Cash Assistance, Unemployment and Social Security benefits.  Yes, that’s what the previous four or five administrations have been doing, but it’s looking like this one will do it faster, louder and with less accountability.

There’s so much to talk about.

I normally don’t get comments, but please contribute!

In solidarity,

-kat

donate to Democracy Now!

donate to ProPublica

donate to the National Lawyers Guild, who represented arrestees on #J20

Advertisements