Through all the news on TV, social media and everything around me, I feel overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. I would imagine many of you feel overwhelmed as well. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do with it all. Then, I opened the pages of a book I am reading, and I found these words by Glennon Doyle, “I will not let the fact that I cannot do everything keep me from doing what I can.”
I realize that I am overwhelmed because I can’t do it all. Later that day, I saw a post on Facebook by Medicare for All that said:
Some are posting on social media
Some are protesting in the streets
Some are donating silently
Some are educating themselves
Some are having tough conversations
with friends & family
a revolution has many lanes …
be kind to yourself and to others
who are traveling the same direction.
The guilt of not doing everything began to lift, and I understand that I am contributing to moving equality and compassion forward in my own way. I am uncomfortable to protest in the streets, due to my age and COVID-19. But I can post things on social media. I can donate and educate myself. I am committed to have those difficult conversations with family and friends, which have been more than I have had in the past.
This Black Lives Matter movement is a moment in time that is uniting many marginalized communities, including the Asian, Latinx, LGBTQ+ and so many others. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
I wonder if marginalized communities were so united and empowered during World War II, would more have spoken up and protested for the Japanese American community? Would my mother’s family not have lost everything? Would my mom and dad not been imprisoned in the Gila River camp?
I do not agree with the looting and destruction of property, but advocacy, whether through protests, social media, donations or in quiet ways like education and discussions with family and friends, can bring change. When our voices are heard, this is such an important part of our democracy. It visibly tells our elected leaders that if they don’t make changes, we will find leaders who will listen to our voices.
One of the most important things I can do to make my voice heard is to VOTE IN NOVEMBER to support leaders who are looking out for my family and I. Leaders that will listen to OUR voices. Leaders who lead with compassion and humanity for our country and our world. And leaders who have our trust because they lead with integrity. Please vote to make your voice heard.
Marsha Aizumi is an advocate in the LGBT community and author of the book “Two Spirits, One Heart: A Mother, Her Transgender Son and Their Journey to Love and Acceptance.”