We believe that to be welcome – to feel wholly at ease in our own skin, to be fully seen and heard and witnessed – is a basic right. It is one that we cannot attempt to claim for ourselves, and deny for others. It is a right that, throughout our history, has been granted only to the privileged few. And it is a right that has been denied to a staggering number of people over the last several months.
So let’s start with some #realtalk, y’all.
It’s our job to name white supremacy for what it is, to call out the privileges many of us have been afforded by it, and to fight it with everything we’ve got.
This last week has seen a rise in hate crimes against Muslim Americans, people of color, immigrants, Latinx, women, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.
We also believe that those decrying hate far outnumber those emboldened by it. We believe racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and transphobia have no place in our democracy. And we believe this is a sentiment shared by many across party lines.
We know well that some of the hardest conversations are the ones most worth having. We cannot turn our heads or look the other way at demeaning remarks said casually in our workplaces, in our communities, and within our families. We’ve seen what happens when we choose to ignore, or quickly devolve into modes of attack and defense.
We have allowed grief – one of the few things that all of us share, regardless of age, or race, or class, or political beliefs – to become a conversation-killer rather than a conversation-starter. We choose to other one another, rather than pause to appreciate the length of roads traveled and the experiences that have shaped who we are. We live our lives online, rather than using the internet to find and connect with one another in-person. We bemoan the deterioration of conversation as we spend more time looking down at our screens than up at the people we’re talking to, when the problem is really that we do not give ourselves permission to talk about the things that truly matter. Changing that starts with each of us.
Over the next year and the years that come after, we invite you to pull up a chair. We’re vowing to create spaces for healing among others who share your identities and have navigated similar hallways, looking for a lightswitch. We’re vowing to create spaces for healing across lines of difference, among those who desire real understanding, who are willing to grant welcome in exchange for receiving it in return. And we’re vowing to expand our circles of concern, by connecting folks who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to meet.
How ‘bout dinner, folks?