Hi friends! As I said recently on Twitter:
<embedded Tweet from me that reads, “Just thinkin' 'bout all the people who were acting like the year 2020 was the problem. The call is coming from inside the house, muffins.”>
Today is supposed to be a resource issue and I’ll certainly give you some resources. But first I can’t sit here and not mention the violent white supremacist attack on the U.S. Capitol by a bunch of people who could achieve much more productive things in life if they had just learned how to talk about their feelings or at least how to handle not getting their way. Actually, I’m pretty sure that is taught in Kindergarten, so, sigh. I don’t know, ya’ll. I just know that diversity trainings aren’t going to fix this. Wearing pink hats with cat ears and safety pins on lapels isn’t going to fix this. Reading books about racism won’t fix this. Because it’s not broken. It’s working as designed.
As a Black/Asian queer woman, it is exhausting and it’s nonstop. Under a year ago, a Black woman was murdered by police while she was sleeping in her own bed. My last name, my maiden name, is German not because I am German but because it was the name of the family that owned my ancestors as slaves. Every time I sign my name or use my logins or emails I am reminded of this. Then events like Wednesday’s bullshit happen and I see white people “stepping away” from the news or the internet because it’s “too much” and I am sorry I cannot empathize because while I can step away from the internet and TV I cannot “step away” from being a Black woman in a white supremacist country.
The least you can do as an accomplice, as an ally, is to bear witness. The absolute least. Watch the news. Look at the people doing this and ask yourself how you enabled it as a white person. Have you maintained relationships with people in your life who voted for this? How have you benefited from this as a white person? What is the language being used when talking about the attempted coup? Why is it not referred to as ‘white on white crime’? How were the rioters being treated by police?
You cannot fight something if you can’t even bear to look at it.
I'm all for taking care of your mental health (shoutout to my fellow anxiety-riddled kittens!) AND ALSO, be honest with yourself if it's merely discomfort pushing you away. There is self-care and there is willful ignorance. Be willing to recognize the difference. Of course take a break if you need it, if you’re feeling desensitized, if you’re scrolling mindlessly, if you’re seeing the same things over and over, etc.
If you are a person of color, please take care of yourself. Do not continuously take in more racial trauma than we already have thrust upon us.
I did promise you some resources, though, so I wanted to talk a bit about resolutions around “looking at your phone less” or “watching less television.” Not only in relation to recent events, but in general. One thing to help support success with this endeavor is to answer the questions:
“If I’m on the internet less, what am I doing more of? What am I filling that newfound time with?”
I’ve definitely been like, “I need to stop looking at my phone,” set it down, then come back to it two minutes later because I didn’t actually have anything else lined up to do. So what are you doing with that time? Reading more books? Having a phone or Zoom with loved ones? Writing? Playing a game with your kids or your cats or your roommate? Cleaning or organizing? Crafting? Playing music? Writing some postcards? (hint hint, my PO box is at the bottom of this newsletter). I really recommend you have some ideas on deck for the abundance of free time you may find yourself with.
First I want to share this article, “How to Wean Yourself Off Smartphones and Social Media” on some tips and tricks you can implement on your phone without third-party apps before the next possible step, which is downloading a third-party app to help keep you off your phone or at least, off certain other apps.
If you’ve been reading this newsletter since the beginning you know I am a big fan of the Forest App; however, I learned that the functionality isn’t as great on Apple products as it is on my Android phone. So, I wanted to share a few round-ups of apps so you can decide what will work best for you:
10 Apps That Block Social Media So You Can Stay Focused and Be More Productive (Patricia’s note: if you want to block social media and not be productive, that is totally acceptable!)
I would love to hear if you have found something that works for you! As promised, here is my mailing address:
P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481
That’s it for this week! If you enjoy this newsletter, please subscribe, share it with a friend, and/or give me a tip!