i believe

This should really be my 10x10 winter capsule wrap up post, but it just doesn't feel like the right thing to talk about at a time like this.

i'm not good at talking about stuff like this.

the headlines from the past two weeks have been terrifying. i've been in europe since the 17th, three days before the inauguration, and while i was (am?) beyond grateful to have been out of the country when it was handed over to this monster i can not help but feel a sense of hopelessness from this side of the pond.

i will not deny the fact that i need to work on my activism. in times where women, black and brown people, muslims, lgbtq+, immigrants, the disabled, and anyone who has been labeled under the term of "other" have been under attack i have sat back. i have voiced my opinion and provided support when directly asked or confronted, i have sent texts or held friends who felt unsafe, i have retweeted and favorited tweets providing additional information or sharing words i wish i could find the strength to speak, i've posted quotes as my Facebook status as a cryptic way to express my feelings, but i have not come much farther than that. i have not directly and unabashedly claimed where i stand, and while i do not think we should pressure people into doing so, i feel like i can no longer be a silent force as my country self destructs.

as a black woman, the daughter of two nigerian immigrants who moved to the u.s twenty years ago for more opportunities for themselves and their children, i am fully aware that society has not always been kind to people like me, but i also understand that while i am not a straight white male, i do have some privilege in this world. i have two parents with good jobs that mean that i have never experienced lack in my life, i've done well in school and have the means and ability to study at a top university, i have support and know that if i ever need help, there will be at least one person there on my side. i have let this sliver of privilege protect me from feeling the impacts of a society where sexism, racism, and a plethora of un-American ideals are rapidly revealing themselves.

in times of difficulty i tend to retract, try to make any and every attempt to withdraw myself from the situation in an effort to preserve my own welfare– but now is not the time for this.

there is a man leading this country with absolutely no direction or ethical compass. he is using fear and hatred and spite for his own personal gain while millions of citizens, would-be citizens, should-be citizens suffer. he is a threat to the environment, and women's rights, and refugees, and the american people, and, and... he is not my president, and he does not represent what america is about.

being in prague at a time like this has been any eye opener and the similarities between america today and the czech republic (then czechoslovakia) under nazism, communism, and through it's various revolutions and uprisings is unsettling to say the least.

like i said, i'm not good at talking about this stuff, and i struggle to wrap my head around our current reality and form a coherent response to everything that's going on but i can say this:

i support the rights and fair treatment of human beings regardless of sex, gender, race, religion, ability, or class. i believe that science is real and that we must work on limiting our effects on the environment. i believe that women should have full and autonomous control of their bodies and that the government should play no role in dictating what women can and can't do. i believe in access to affordable healthcare and quality education for all. i believe in helping refugees and immigrants (just like my family) find a home in this country, regardless of where they come from. i believe in feminism. i believe that black and brown lives matter, and that police brutality has no place in our society. i believe that love is love is love.

i believe in the words of charlie chaplin, which after nearly 70 years still ring true:

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

let us fight for what is right and true.

let us fight the good fight.

let us do better, friends.