It hasn’t even been two weeks since George Floyd’s death, but it feels like it’s been so much longer than that. That Lenin quote, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen,” has never felt more true.
These past couple weeks I’ve been so frustrated with my inability to do more than I have been to support the protests. I want to be out in the streets, not stuck half a world away in Vietnam. Though, even if I were in the States, I’m at-risk from COVID-19, so not like I could be out protesting anyhow. Doesn’t make the frustration go away, though.
I’m doing what I can. I’ve donated several hundred to bail funds already, and I’m planning on donating even more when I get my next royalty check. (Both to bail funds and to independent nonprofit news organizations covering the protests.) I’m doing my best to signal boost in both my public and private identities. (John Bierce is a pseudonym.) It doesn’t make me less frustrated, though.
But I’m not quitting anytime soon, and don’t you dare quit either. If you can be out on the streets, be out on the streets. If you can donate, donate. If you can signal boost, signal boost. If you’re an artist, get making art for the cause.
Because we’re winning. These are the largest American protests in half a century. Confederate monuments are being torn down across the South. Police defunding has entered the national conversation in a way it never has before. LA is no longer talking about raising their police budget, but are discussing cutting it for the first time in years. Kansas City is reforming its police procedures. Members of the Minneapolis City Council are meeting to discuss reforms to make to their police force, and several have already called to defund or even disband the department. Politicians across the country are openly discussing demilitarizing the police. A majority of Americans support the protests. We are winning, folks. You know what that means?
We PUSH HARDER. We keep going. We don’t settle for small victories. We have momentum on our side. We keep goddamn going.
Shit’s just getting started.
Black lives matter.
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I’ve been pretty disappointed with the political rhetoric from authors of the fantasy genre as of late. Thankfully, you are not one of them! It’s so good that there are fantasy authors out there, fighting the good fight, In a world where anything can be real, why do so many authors choose to engender hatred of all sorts? *sigh*
I wish I had an answer for you. There’s that old bullshit refrain of “historical accuracy” we hear so often, which, well, is almost never actually historically accurate. (It’s movie accurate.) I’ve always thought that fantasy offers us the same opportunities in many ways as science fiction ⏤ namely, the chance to use its speculative elements to reflect upon our own society. So many fail to do so, though, or even oppose others doing it.
But, in good news, there’s a hell of a lot of authors out there fighting the good fight. We are artists, after all, and most artists aren’t renowned for preferring the status quo.
Yes! Thanks for the optimism. As refreshing as the activism!