November 18, 2016

Shaming me for standing up to injustice is not going to work.

The other day a young Trump supporting male tried to school me on “reliable” media sources. Earlier, I had reposted an essay written by a Buddhist monk to our Zen group’s Facebook page. The essay began with the disclaimer that the author usually stayed away from politics or choosing sides. The essay and my posting it, incensed a couple of people in the group. There was a rallying cry from one member who said Trump would make a America great again, Another person called for more Trump fans to join our group because apparently we lack "diversity."  The same person tried to shame me, saying "anyone reading the comments would realize what is going on here.” No one openly liked the essay. I've reread it a couple of times, thinking maybe I skimmed the part where the author made some horrendous statement, but no, it was a call for a more socially-engaged form of Buddhism. And yes, it did denouce the Trump platform for being in conflict whith ethical ideals the author held close. No other hidden agenda that I know of. An artist friend had originally shared it as a public link. I'm still not sure what the outrage was all about.

I don’t shame easily and I’m not particularly devious. When we went to war with Iraq, I made a fluorescent orange poster and quietly protested by standing in the middle of the boulevard at the intersection of Culver and Sepulveda. I made a schedule and protested in shifts when I wasn’t working. I’m not an extrovert. I wear neutral tones. I’m one of those people who tries too hard to fit in, but never does. People honked in support. Every now and then someone booed. I was not embarrassed to take action because I trusted my action spoke to the greater good. I was the only one standing at the intersection. Maybe I called it art, I don’t remember. It’s my life and I have trouble separating the two. 

Within the Art World proper, many of us work in various professions (teaching at prestigious universities and community colleges, local, regional, and national journalism, filmmakers, media production, authors, gallery owners. We run our own business, and work at multiple other day jobs in support of our professions). We are connected to our colleagues throughout this country and abroad who are witnessing discrimination, social injustice, verbal, and physical attacks first hand. 

Reliable media? We  are it, Good People. 

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