Post-election: ‘My culture is punk rock’

On this day after the US election, my Facebook feed is full of my friends’ grief. They’re not grieving about a candidate — not really. They are grieving because they have to look their crying children in the eyes and tell them, “I don’t know what happened.” These children have paid attention to the election and have an array of things that scare them now, because they now know that frightened people looking out for their own interest are willing to threaten people of color, people looking for a new home (as our ancestors did before them — remember, there once were “No Irish Need Apply” signs), people who happen to love someone that other people don’t understand, people who have a religion different from theirs.
 
Hillary Clinton wasn’t my first choice, but I got behind her. One message of hers resonated with me more than any other: That she came from a Methodist background (as I did), which emphasizes taking action in support of your moral beliefs. This aligns with my other culture, which was expressed perfectly this morning by Bob Rob Medina, who wrote: “My culture is punk rock. Think for yourself, do it yourself, take care of others, buck the system, be aware, stand up to oppressors, personal responsibility, self determination…”
 
Where these two cultures align, I’m reminded to put my shoulder to the wheel. I always give to the arts, because the arts have soul and power. During the last few months, I set up an ongoing monthly contribution to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and I will continue that. We are going to double our monthly gift to Metro Caring, which helps working poor families make ends meet. I made sure posts from SURJ Denver (Standing Up for Racial Justice) will appear in my newsfeed (go to the page, where it says “Like,” and select “See First”) and I’ll see what I can get involved in.
You don’t have to like these particular organizations — just take action in support of the things you believe in.
 
I spent last night at a rock show with my daughter, and next week I’m taking her to hear Bree Davies talk with members of Pussy Riot here in Denver. My daughter is despondent this morning, but she headed off to school today in her new Courtney Barnett T-shirt, electric guitar in hand, ready to make some noise.
 
I’m working today. I’m wearing a dress, with love for women. I’m wearing an Ethiopian prayer box necklace because we need to hold space for good thoughts to move us forward, and with love for my relatives and friends of African ancestry. I’m wearing a green turquoise necklace that my grandmother gave me, with love for that side of my family and for the Native people who made the original necklace. I’m having lunch with some colleagues and friends, and tonight I’m going to writing workshop, because I’m also ready to make some noise.

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