If half of the folks on Tumblr actually went out and did something instead of rage-posting and rage-reblogging with misdirected anger and “rebelliousness”, the crap around them would change. Go out and do something. I already see the irony of this post - “Uh? Mehreen? You’re posting this on Tumblr, you know?” I’ll probably delete this. I even know that people (who will completely miss the point - like it happens already) will reblog and add their tangential commentary to this.
I’m only sharing my personal experience as someone who has been a teacher, an activist against social forms of tyranny, as a public speaker: I used to be a very angry blogger (a lot less enraged than I am today) when I was in my teens but I realized one thing: Sitting online for hours and getting pissed at ignorant articles and opinions didn’t changeanything. I’d end up with pseudo-compassion fatigue and faux sadness about “society problems.” Don’t like how society works? Go out and address the people in the society. Don’t like how politics function? Participate in politics and start questioning the status quo. Hate rancid racism and sexism? Start talking to people about it all in person, hold gatherings, share flyers, talk to students, to old people, to senators, to folks around you, everyone. A few dozen likes and reblogs don’t change anything. Venting online is fine. But if you want change, you have to remember that limiting your thoughts to your keyboard isn’t going to help at all. Your thoughts need mobility and for that, you need to put them in action.
Put a hold on the e-rage. Go out. And get stuff done.
i need to remember this. also that ‘but i don’t know how/what to do’ isn’t an excuse.
… and what about those of us who can’t go out and do something? those of us with disabilities, mental or physical, that prevent us from going out and talking to people in person and holding gatherings?
Online activism gets stuff done too. I’ve seen it.
But going by the OP’s logic, them posting this should theoretically not change anything, and therefore, why bother posting it?
You should have just stopped when you acknowledged you were posting this on tumblr.
Also the commentary above me FTW
Screw OP. My anxiety disorder makes it almost too hard to funtion, let alone do offline activism. I do what I can, but the most I am can do is post my experiences on my blog and do small, minor, behind-the-scenes campus activism and even the latter is incredibly difficult sometimes.
I’ve been waiting for one of these rants to appear on my dash to rip it to shreds because i didn’t have the energy to create my own post without an example of why i am creating it. this shit had me mad reading it. and it’s nice to see the op is a coward and has deleted their words despite feeling they are in a position to dictate to us what we should or shouldn’t do.
i’m going to start by saying posts like these are anti-Black as fuck, ableist, classist and a lot of other things. this post was universal, it didn’t specify who they were speaking to. and as someone who is part of the circle that has been deemed ANGRY BLACK WOMAN, i feel this post is speaking to people directly like myself. so i will address it as such.
i talk about my identity and who i am all the time, but one aspect i don’t talk about much is being a convicted felon, something i refuse to be ashamed of because the crimes i’ve been convicted of have nothing to do with sexual, physical or emotional violence. and as a Black queer genderfluid person who deals with depression/anxiety/ptsd and is also a convicted felon, tumblr has been a godsend. it has made me feel like i am doing something when the reality is, it is unsafe for me to do so in many cases. to act as if the burden of activism and education is on the most oppressed people speaking their anger of that oppression on the internet is just absolutely absurd. of course, i believe that white people will never do the work for us, we must do it for ourselves. but in the digital age, without access to the internet and without outlets like this, i think the shape of activism would take a way different form.
i’ve done some forms of advocating. anti-war protests (was interviewed on tv for that and was in trouble for it too), protesting for cori reform, calling senators, writing letters. before i came on tumblr, my avenue for my voice was political sites, writing comments, signing petitions and even getting published in the nation once. i’ve always been the person who speaks out when i hear racism, ableism, sexism, etc. in instances where i have felt safe. i have backed up and held down many people who would not feel comfortable doing so without support. which i consider to be activism, advocating for those who are oppressed by others or letting others know why what they’ve done is wrong.
but you know what? my life has changed since then. since becoming a felon, the idea of activism is scary as fuck for me. on the one hand, i want to be involved in protests, but on the other, i don’t need anything else on my record. i have gone into massive debt to get an education and a masters degree now with the hopes that i will be able to get a job despite my record because i “educated and civilized myself.” but truth be told, i have been fired for nothing other than my record when i was already working someplace and was told numerous times was the best person they’ve had in awhile. so i also have to deal with the reality that i will never be hired in a position at my level too. this does happen in a world where a white man with a criminal record has a higher possibility of getting hired than a Black man with none. activism requires putting my body and my safety and my record on the line. a record that the worse it gets, the less opportunity i have. the more tied to poverty i am. the less access to being an american citizen i have. i lose the ability to vote in numerous states as well.
saying that the people on tumblr, who especially in my corner are Black, queer, poor/working class/lower middle class and nongender conforming need to get offline and place themselves into activism circles and “do something” not just show anger online is anti-Black. at a time where a Black person is murdered every 36 hours by police, why should we be expected to do all the heavy lifting to change the world? as usual. it’s on us. and the funny thing, is we do it. cause i know plenty of activists who are Black, latin@ and indigenous who DO activist work and that puts them in compromising positions. i have friends who have had their homes raided by the fbi for their work. and others who are undocumented and risk deportation for their activism. some who have their phones tapped. and people like myself who are being monitored constantly by surveillance online. these are activists in offline spaces and those who just advocate for themselves online.
but why the fuck are you telling people who need an outlet to express themselves to go outside and put themselves in those kinds of risks? i mean, people do it, we do it, people of color put our lives on the lines all day every day to improve the circumstances of all of the U.S. (it is all poc movements that have gotten us all of civil rights gains and most of legislation that helps us in some way or form). but to sit here and tell those who don’t have the money, don’t have the mental capacity, don’t have the support, who don’t have the ability to get there, that their voice on the internet is worthless because they aren’t “outside doing something” is rude and bullshit as fuck. you need to shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down.
furthermore, those who say writing and posting rage posts and other information on tumblr is not activism can eat a dick. it is. as mentioned by other bloggers, tumblr activism has gotten mouths fed, rent paid, medication bought, movies started, queer networking possible, trans* safety networks funded, prizes won for orgs that need money to stay afloat. this is activism and monetary at that, all done online. petitions are signed and circulated and some even actually work. tumblr bombing polls and calls to action on websites with fucked up material gets those things taken off, brought to the media or just taken to task. people find friends, lovers and support systems. those who might kill themselves find people do care if they live or die. those who can’t leave the house or do too much due to mental/physical handicaps are given outlets to a world they are often excluded from. i have received countless messages from people happy to know someone related to them, that they weren’t crazy because they experienced this too, that they learned so much from the information provided, that they were able to get friends help someplace offline through resources posted, etc.
YOU do not get to tell anyone what activism is when we live in a time where activism takes many forms. you certainly don’t get to tell the people I LOVE ON TUMBLR that shit. my circle of tumblr has plenty of rage posts. angry as fuck. but they get stuff done too. they create solidarity. they reveal gaslighting and white psychological terrorism. they teach each other new concepts or give a depressed person a smile. my BLACK QUEER NONGENDER-CONFORMING CIRCLE OF TUMBLR ARE THE BIGGEST ACTIVISTS I KNOW. constantly fighting for themselves and even people who don’t love them. anti-Blackness on here is so fucking real, you’d be surprised we can even wake up and post again, never mind advocate for ourselves and others. but we do each day.
you don’t know everyone’s lives. you do not know their circumstances, you don’t know what people are able to do and not do. right now my trans* Black sisters are being murdered at enormous rates, my cis and trans* Black sisters are being incarcerated at record high numbers, my people are dying one by one at 36 hour intervals, over 1 million Black men are in jail, hundreds of thousands of those people have had their voting rights stripped due to felonies. my latin@ brothers and sisters are crossing borders for safety and food, only to be met with murder and violence upon arrival. they are facing deportation while all they do is raise their families and pay taxes for people who don’t give two fucks about them. their are kids on plantations picking vegetables from fucking sun up to sun down instead of going to school. my indigenous brothers and sisters are dealing with outsider rape at a rate of 1 out of 3 women, they are dealing with prices like $65 for chicken on a reservation, corporations trying to drive through and cut down their sacred lands. with all that shit, i don’t blame a single fucking one of these people, my brothers and sisters and whatever other gender or nongender they identify with to be scared, angry, terrified. all of those things are happening solely for being Black, queer, trans*, woc or undocumented or have the appearance of the other. all of those.
and still with all that we still advocate and have activism and fight. do you know about fred hampton? do you know about leonard peltier? do you know our political prisoners? people die and go to jail for life for this shit. this is not an easy task. this is not a task to undergo alone. we need support. and if those who are too afraid to fight the world in “approved activist circles” so fucking be it. we are surviving. we can’t all be activists when we are worried if we will make it to next year or how to keep a roof over our heads or where the next meal will come from. you can’t fault people for that. and you can’t fault people who are too damn tired from fighting every fucking day who just wanna get on the computer and SCREAM THEIR FUCKING LUNGS OUT BECAUSE NO ONE IN THE WORLD LISTENS TO THEM.
fuck you and your self-righteousness. you don’t get to dictate what activism is. you don’t get to act like you haven’t had any privileges to be able to do the things you do. that you aren’t concerned with the same things some of us “angry ragers of tumblr” are about. and you don’t get to fucking demonize us for that.
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