Resistance is a daily activity

Here’s the thing

I graduated this year and was proudly told to set the world on fire. Additionally, that my Jesuit education has ruined me for life. Both are fairly lofty and idealistic and I’ve been wondering: what do they actually mean? How can you use your college educated mind and Jesuit spirit going forward? To start: to never be blind to injustice and to not remain silent.

Because you cannot forget that being silent, complicit, passive, and complacent is so easy. Voicing your opinion, pointing out racism, and stepping up and being an ally can be uncomfortable. But your comfort is not and should not be of that much importance when there is so much at stake.

Even more valuable is your voice especially if you are a person of reputation, privilege, and access to many willing ears. As a privileged, educated, white-passing woman living in New York, this is something that I take incredibly seriously. My days are devoted to being a proponent of intersectionality in all forms and for calling out, educating myself and others, recognizing my mistakes and when I lack in knowledge, stepping back for all WOC/POC and assisting by being a platform in every way, holding others accountable and being able to fact check, and figuring out actionable steps.

Action is so important and continuous daily action is even more important. It can be exhausting and daunting but again, I can assure you that the continuation and such real harms of racism, corruption in government, dictatorship, and climate change puts so much of what we and you hold dear at stake.

It is a privilege to ignore and pretend that none of this affects you in any way. Facts are more important than anything and should never be ignored. Your ego and your indifference are dangerous.

Change is possible and progress is vulnerable to ignorance.

Never forget that. Never underestimate how much harm you can do just by doing nothing and never underestimate how much good you can do.

The time to go through your day with your head down is not today. Your success will mean very little if you passively let things happen that you vehemently disagree with. Love is important but it is not a band-aid solution just at the mere mention of it because, “‘Love’ that won’t fight or sacrifice isn’t love. ‘Love’ that demands submission to violence isn’t love'”  (Ju-Hyun Park). Additionally, “The hate we are facing is white supremacist, capitalist, cisheteropatriarchal, and ableist. To combat it, we must anchor ourselves in love for the people targeted by these systems: Black, indigenous, Asian, colonized, poor, working, houseless, undocumented, migrant, refugee, queer, trans, nonbinary, women, femme, non-Christian and with disabilities” (Love Needs Fury To Defeat Hate).

You showed up at a march or two? That is an excellent start but resistance is a daily act. It is an act that should guide your every move and thought. Don’t forget that black lives matter, there are unreported atrocities occurring in non-Western countries everyday, trans lives are important, sexual assault is an epidemic, white women voted for Trump, Native American populations are amongst the highest rates of suicide, dictatorship is not a thing of the past and it evens happens in your hemisphere, global warming is real and you can’t ignore science, Nazis are unacceptable, if you are white/white passing you benefit from any amount of white supremacy and you must be part of the dismantling of it, posting online is not enough, inclusion and representation changes lives, undoing racism (along with plenty of other isms) in your life will change your life, white silence is violence, and there is so much more to be advocated for.

And now: “outrage is appropriate. action is productive. get angry. then act” (Brittany Packnett).

What can you do?

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