I think most people tend to agree with this. But see, the two are not mutually exclusive — working and protesting (or, rather, speaking out against the horrors that are unfolding before us). People think “I can’t protest because I don’t have enough time.” I get it. I’m raising 3 kids, my husband & I both work full-time, and yet still there’s not quite enough money to stretch til the next paycheck. I can’t afford to miss work, either. But. There are many other ways of protesting besides going to marches, or holding signs. Everybody can do something, if they care enough to.
Activism comes in all shapes & sizes. Obviously, voting is the most important. But there are a number of ways to protest if you don’t like what’s happening. A phone call to your Senator takes less than a minute, usually. And there are even scripts you can follow. I’ve accomplished this while sitting at a stoplight in traffic. Their offices have to document numbers of phone calls, so our leaders cannot avoid our voices that way.
Another form of activism is reading, learning, and arming yourself with facts. Pick an issue you care a lot about and educate yourself even further on it so you can speak (or write) about it to anyone who will listen. You have social media? You have a platform. And you have an audience. Even if it’s a just a tweet, status update, or sharing an article that moved you.
Those of us in positions of social privilege (whether that’s being white, male, cisgender, heterosexual, Christian, or whatever) should be calling out behaviors that are racist, sexist, transphobic, and so on. That can happen in every day conversation. If you’re not a person who likes confrontation? No problem. You can always anonymously report people on social media who are using hate speech, especially against protected classes of people or marginalized groups.
In these dismal times, even practicing self-care is a form of resistance, i.e., not losing hope, and being an example to others.
We’re all here commenting because we had enough time to read this article, reflect on it, and compose a response. That’s using your voice, that’s a form of activism. No, you probably won’t change anyone’s mind by speaking out, but at least you’ll connect with others who care about the things you do, and having that sense of community beyond your own family & neighborhood is crucial right now.