“I feel tried.”-Evelyn, From The Internets
How apropos that on this here Tuesday, January 31st in the year of our Lord, or Vishnu, or Allah 2017, or whatever spiritual mans and ’em that keeps your soul centered. that I would stumble upon my favorite and one of the most underrated Youtuber’s new video.
Evelyn, From The Internets asked a question that has been on my mind more than my tax refund…Do I Have To Be An Internet Social Justice Warrior?
Unless you are one of those rare Pokemon who are blessed enough to lack alla da social media accounts, then I know you have seen what Orange Voldemort is up to, and if you have not, go read your Facebook feed immediately, and be appalled like the majority of ‘Murica.
Try as hard as I might, I can’t seem to tune it all out. I’ve deleted the apps, deactivated, and decompressed but my blood pressure is still up and my tolerance for bigoted bogusness masquerading as political hoodoo is getting lower.
I is tired, and you probably are too. I consider myself a writer and somewhat a member of the interwebz, so from time to time I offer commentary on the happenings in life and society. But these days, or rather in the past week, it has felt like I have a personal responsibility to combat every intolerant troll, misguided supporter, and privileged Suzie that I see practicing anything less than intersectionality.
I don’t want to be a internet social justice warrior, verbally sparring with every keyboard troll.
There’s another thing we’re forgetting, while the country that my textbooks always told me was the land of the free, crumbles around us, I am still expected to live my life, and it’s becoming harder and harder to do so.
I went on an interview yesterday, at a place that shall remain unnamed, and I forgot to wear my customer service face, because after sitting for an hour and a half while I watched two other white interviewees throw their hat in the corporate ring, I realized that I didn’t want to be there.
I didn’t want to be there in my respectable pencil skirt, and bare face. I wanted to wear color and print, and black lipstick. I wanted to be myself.
But being a black girl, with an opinion was not listed in the job description.
So instead I sat patiently, waiting to go into an office and be interviewed by two white higherups who when I raised an eyebrow at a question reminded me that, “this is how interviews go.”
My degree didn’t matter, and neither did my work history.
It was all about how I can pull my face into a Cheshire grin, and convince my interviewers that it was indeed my dream to be there.
But I kept thinking about the dynamics of the situation and beating back my social justice worries with a stick. I could not bring myself to care about this corporate interrogation, despite my blossoming joblessness.
I want to write, I want to protest, I want to tell people that they need to do better, I want to do better. But it seems that’s not what employers want to hear mixed in with my salary requirements.
In the midst of all of this we have to remember the importance of self-care, and no not the bubble bath taking, facial getting, Whole Foods version of it, but the kind that demands that we survive. That we get out of bed in the morning, that we do the job, that we keep food in our bellies, that we do all we can until we can do better, because now it seems that more than ever the political and shady powers that be, want us to be quiet, to smile and keep our heads down.
And it can wear thin on both your edges and your spirit, to be this tired, to be this disenchanted.
But we can start by shifting our own perspectives, by distancing but not disengaging. By loving yourself more, loving your friends, saying no to what does not bring your soul peace, by not scolding those who can and should know better.
Don’t keep your head down, don’t smile if you don’t feel like it, and don’t forget that taking care of yourself and taking up the cause must often happen in tandem.
Staying alive and healthy matters as much as staying woke.