Freelance by Jen

Consider me the No More Tangles of your writing needs.

Nobody can say that 2020 hasn’t had its share of absolute tragedy, heartbreak, and loss.

So much loss.

And when something is lost on this scale, you can’t get it back.

We’ll never get the lives back that we’ve lost to 2020’s cruelty (yeah, I do feel justified in assigning feelings to a non-feeling entity in this case, because we’re all a big ball of nerve endings together), and there’s no way I’m one of those people who deigns to suggest that 2020 is a lesson and a blessin’ because, I don’t care, I’d much rather we just learn those lessons somehow without pain and terror and fear. I’d much rather that every human is treated as an equal, given the same rights and assumptions across the board to start. If a human then proves themselves to be an absolute piece of shit, sure, I’ll distance, but that human should still have rights.

Never, NEVER, did I want to live in a world in which entire populations are discriminated against based on the way they look, or whom they choose to love, or whether they’re a boy or a girl or neither.

I don’t want to preach, but I do want to bring some things to the forefront for others who might be experiencing that new weird mix of hopefulness and helplessness. I mentioned some of these things in my previous post Sunday, but this goes into a little more depth.

Black lives matter. If you don’t believe that, if you don’t understand that, then we have a fundamental difference of opinion. Our country is undeniably better and richer because of Black contributions. Ideas. Inventions. And love.

While it seems embarrassing that we even have to point this out, that we haven’t always inherently known it and been humbled by it, it is more important that we’re all taking this time to pause. To stand together. And to say, in one voice, fuck YES black lives matter.

This day 101 years ago showed us that a group of dedicated people could overcome great odds to formulate massive change when the 19th amendment was passed.

This day 31 years ago was the Tiananmen Square tragedy.

Each year, the month of June brings us Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

But also each year, the month of June also celebrates Pride, because life is hard enough without being silenced about whom we choose to love.

Guys, it’s June. It’s June as hell, and we’re the ones who can make a real, lasting difference. We’re the ones who can do something to help, even if it feels like it’s not enough, even if we want to do more.

If we all do something, we will continue to move in the right direction. The stagnation is tearing us apart. Every relationship takes work. When both parties are actively working on it, though, that relationship will continue to grow and change in the best ways.

If you have time on your hands and availability (AND A MASK):

  1. The Black Lives Matter website allows you to locate protest opportunities (you can also donate)
  2. So does Showing Up for Racial Justice.

If you have money, but not as much time:

  1. Official George Floyd Memorial Fund GoFundMe.
  2. Mutual Aid Networks
  3. NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  4. Dignity and Power Now

If you’re just not sure what you want to do and need a list of possibilities that you can crack into right now to educate yourself:

  1. General ways to help

If you have Sephora Beauty Insider points and never want to use them on a single-use perfume sample:

Sephora is allowing its Beauty Insiders to donate their points to the National Black Justice Organization, a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. What I don’t like about it: you have to buy something as well, so if anyone knows where I can send some random-ass Sephora stuff to also help out, please email me here.

And, I can’t emphasize this enough, VOTE. Vote for change. Vote in tiny local elections and big national elections. Give your friends a ride to their voting place. Make sure you’re registered here or here. Find local registration rallies and volunteer. If you’re too young to vote, find someone who isn’t and make sure they know that your future is at stake.

But no matter what, let’s please, please keep moving forward. Let’s please, please keep talking about mutual care and respect, and fighting our ugly assumptions, and uniting again.

This country may not have had a pretty beginning, but that doesn’t mean it has to end.

*Photo courtesy of our friends at Ben & Jerry’s.

One thought on “But What Can I Do? Part Deux

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