You know that feeling that you’re unwelcome in your own country?
You know that feeling when you’re afraid to walk to the park with your children?
You know that feeling when you haven’t cooked or cleaned your kitchen in 3 days because you are scared to go to the grocery store?
You know that feeling when you feel like a foreigner in your own country?
You know that feeling when a white person glares at you while crossing the street in front of your car and you don’t know if it’s because they hate you or because they’re just having a bad day?
You know that feeling that you get that you aren’t safe in your own neighborhood but your husband and children are?
You know that feeling that overcomes you once every few hours when you cannot stop the tears?
You know that feeling reading people’s comments about how “positive” we should keep things?
You know that feeling when someone with the most privilege tells you things will be ok?
You know that feeling that nothing you do will help make you safe?
You know that feeling when you fear that someone will rate your looks then grab your genitals?
Congratulations. You are privileged beyond words. Lucky you.
This is the festering wound of white supremacy and patriarchy. This wound has been festering for generations and now, everything has been exposed.
Some people say this is the first time many people are TRULY seeing the racism and sexism that POC and women have been telling you about in protests and victim testimony since forever because it is overt instead of covert. I see that point and I raise it.
You SEE it now. You KNOW it now. And YOU have the power to change it.
Make no mistake- we are in a revolution. We are about to witness our version of the civil rights movement. You know that feeling when you sometimes wonder what you would have done if YOU had lived during the civil rights movement or the holocaust? What would you have done? What side of history would you have been on? Ask no more. This is it. You are living in it. So I ask… as a friend, whether IRL or not… what will YOU do on behalf of the oppressed? What side of history will YOU be on? Hope and prayer are lovely sentiments. But sending those from your comfy couches won’t do a damn thing for us.
I ask you to organize your people.
I ask you to fight injustice.
I ask you to hold your people accountable in person and on social media.
I ask you to be proactive in whatever capacity that may be.
This is the work. And it is hard and it is ugly and it is messy and it challenges your loved ones and it is LIFE CHANGING.
And I can bet you this: if this were you or your people, you’d want all of us behind you doing everything we could to ensure your safety, your livelihood, and your freedom.
And I would answer that call, no questions asked.
Jessica X is an activist living in Los Angeles by way of NYC