Like all of you, I would like to believe in the goodness of America and Americans, no matter what our politics is, no matter which end of the policy spectrum we are on and no matter who the President is. But just hoping that “Everything will be OK” is not enough. It’s easier said than experienced. Everything is not going to be OK till you and I actually make an effort to make everything OK. Everything is not going to be OK till we collectively (and not selectively) call out all the “-isms” that seem to have started showing up their ugly faces in our society of late in the guise of “politics” or hidden as “personal freedom”. Everything is not going to be OK till all of us stand up against the “newly” infused boldness to make hatred mainstream.
I have created an album on Facebook to share what the Post-Nov08-2016 America is beginning to feel like for some of us. All these images/videos (and incidents) have been reported after Nov 8, 2016. By no means, this is a comprehensive collection of every single hate related incident that has happened around the country. Only those that came to my attention.
I am not naive. I completely understand that these incidents reflect a small proportion of a vastly diverse but a very kind and a beautiful country.
So, what is my goal and why am I doing this?
My answer is “I don’t know yet”.. Just spreading awareness for now. That’s all.
Before you call me out, let me call myself out first 🙂 Yes, this is every bit of ‘social-media-slacktivism’ as you think it is, but I don’t mind if it comes across that way because I believe if you want to stand up for any form of social injustices, you have to start somewhere. And No, I am not trying to exaggerate or blow anything out of proportion. Simply highlighting the “new” hatred that is real and that’s being experienced by real people of this country.
And my hope is that all these initial euphoric emotions will fade away in the coming days. And my hope is also that we won’t try to “normalize” these things.
Not now. Not ever.
I have tried to validate these images/videos and the locations as much as I can (but certainly have not performed extreme vetting ). So, I definitely don’t guarantee that every image is authentic or has an authentic story behind it. If I find out there is such an image/video or story that is not authentic later on, don’t worry I will remove it from here. And my intention is also not to share every “-ism” based rant on social media. My focus is to only share images/videos that corroborate actual “new” hatred fueled incidents.
If you live in certain parts of the country or if your lifestyle keeps you in a secure bubble, then all these might sound and feel too farfetched or unreal and I completely respect that. But if these images shake you up a little bit, then that’s exactly what will act as the first step towards having active and meaningful conversations. Not here on social media. But within your communities, with your family members, friends and neighbors.
Don’t we all want to exercise our First Amendment rights to the fullest in order to keep the country safe for all?
Right now this album is not public and at some point, if it is needed, I will have to make it public. I hope I don’t have to. But since I shared the above on Facebook, I figured it is worth sharing it on my blog as well because the sentiments that I have echoed above are valid even without any images. Though some of you reading this may not have seen the actual images that are there in the album, be assured that they all are disturbing. The only silver lining in all of this is that there is no death or major injury as yet, as a result of these hatred fueled attacks.