Listen, Engage, Defend

It has been really hard to follow the social media over the last week. In the days leading up to the election, there was still incessant campaigning, and now that Trump is the projected winner of the election (projected because the official Electoral Vote  doesn’t take place until December), social media has been ablaze with complaints and fear.

Tomorrow, I am participating as a Human Book at Human Library Chicago just as I did in June 2014 and March 2015, under the title “Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

One of the best ways that I see to protect the marginalized groups is a three step process.

  • Listen to what they have to say. Their story is likely to make you think twice about stereotypes. Each person is different, and even if they have a certain label (e.g. race, queerness or ability spectrum not in the “acceptable area” [whatever that really means]), you can’t know the real story without getting first-hand experience.
  • Engage in conversation. After listening, process the information and share your thoughts. This does not mean, however, to tear down their story, but rather to add your own story. It should include asking questions.
  • Defend. There are plenty of ways to advocate for, and/or defend, people with supposedly less privilege than you. I know that I have been fairly inactive in social justice up until this summer, but after hearing the sensationalist media, my relative non-target status means that I must be an advocate.
    • One of my admitted weaknesses is getting out into the community for service. It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I claim that I have played the Diffusion of Responsibility card in the past. It’s time to work past this flaw!
    • Defense takes place even in a situation that might not seem like a direct attack (e.g. an unjust arrest).
    • Justice, justice shalt thou pursue.


Thanksgiving Recess: 8 days

Lincoln: 39 days

Israel: 206 days

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