On December 12, 2014, I was scrolling through Facebook and the National March Against Police Violence event page popped up on my news feed. Like any good activist, I woke up on December 13 at the crack of dawn, sped to Bethesda, Maryland (got pulled over on the way) and hopped on the Metro so that I could rally with more than 40,000 individuals in Washington D.C.
Despite having less than 12 hours notice, I knew I had a moral obligation to attend.
I even had my 34 seconds of fame on CNN expressing my desire to see the end of institutional racism in America.
I marched for Amadou Diallo, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown Jr. and the countless Black and Brown women and men murdered by police. I marched, because, as my picture below says, Inaction=Consent and BlackLivesMatter.
Nearly two years later, I find my spirited activist self thinking:
- I’ve been unapologetically vocal about BlackLivesMatter…so why have I have been so silent about Standing Rock?
- I laid on the Stapleton Library floor, in solidarity with my IUP family, when Michael Brown Jr. was murdered… so why haven’t I taken any action – not even the smallest, most insignificant action… like changing my FaceBook profile picture- in solidarity with my Native brothers and sisters?
- I addressed Pennsylvania State Representatives, alongside my then thirteen year old niece, advocating for legislation to make schools safer for LGBTQ youth… so why haven’t I advocated against the Dakota Access Pipeline?
At this very moment, I can’t help but feel as if I’ve failed as a Feminist, an advocate… shoot as a decent human being.
My laser focus on BlackLivesMatter and police brutality, coupled with my desire to “check out” during election season, allowed me to ignore the injustice my Native family has been and continues to face.
I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I know I can’t be all things to all people but I can’t help but be disappointed in myself.
I know that sorry is just a five letter word but Standing Rock, you deserve to hear me say, “I’m sorry.” My inaction has been consent and that is not okay. It stops today.
As Thanksgiving approached, my moral outrage towards the Dakota Access Pipeline increased. How dare we glorify this White-washed holiday while thousands fight against the destruction of historic and religious Sioux Tribe sites. Have we not stolen enough from our Native family already? How dare we wash down our turkey and stuffing with a glass of water while thousands fight for their human right to clean, safe water.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is just as much a Feminist priority as BlackLivesMatter. It deserves our attention and action. Dare I say, we are morally obligated to do something?
If you’re a Feminist (or just a decent human being) and, like me, have yet to speak out against or support those who are fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline, I encourage you to join me in doing three simple things:
- Make a donation to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
- Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 and demand President Obama reject the Dakota Access Pipeline
- Engage in #Activism using hashtags like #NoDAPL, #StandWithStandingRock or #YourIndigenousResistanceMatters
This alone is not enough, but it is a start.
Tonight, I made a donation to Standing Rock in my brothers name. After reading my most recent post, “Is You ‘Bout That Post-Election #Thanksgivingclapback Life?” he said something along the lines of, “This is nice but you should be writing about the Dakota Access Pipeline.” He held me accountable and kicked my high sidity @$$ into gear [p.s., Sorry for the language, Grammy] ensuring that I no longer remain silent on this issue.
Thank you for that, big bro.