A note from Jen on recent events
Yesterday was supposed to be a big, exciting day here at 20x200 HQ, and in some ways it still was: we are in the final stages of moving into a new space, have recently welcomed several new people to the team + are enjoying (albeit tentatively + carefully) working together in person again after these past two years of Covid-induced isolation. All wonderful things, but foremost in my mind was how to acknowledge—and make room for the team to talk about—the shooting in Texas. And to acknowledge the other shootings that have happened very recently, and to also acknowledge that they’ve happened in the context of a lot of other scary, challenging, big deal things.
Racism, racially-motivated violence, and domestic terrorism. Draconian anit-abortion laws being enacted nationwide, on the eve of Roe being overturned by an extremist, politicized Supreme Court. Assaults on the LGBTQ+ community, with especially regressive, destructive policies being enacted against Trans folks. Climate change and the myriad natural disasters it’s triggering. The banning of books, for Pete’s sake! It’s a lot. Too much. And all this too much makes it impossible to do business as usual, and also impossible to stay silent.
The vast majority of Americans believe we need better gun laws. Are against banning books. Support things like voting rights and a woman’s right to choose. And yet here we all are, in thrall to an increasingly extremist minority that’s been working overtime for its donors above its constituents for years now. The future of our democracy looks bleak, and something’s got to give.
A lot of people are speaking out right now and have been far more eloquent than I could ever hope to be on all of these issues. Roxane Gay and Steve Kerr have had particularly cogent, impassioned responses to the massacre in Uvalde and about gun violence in general. I recommend reading and/or listening to them. I also recommend calling your elected representatives to demand better gun laws, and—if you’re able—donating to organizations that support the victims of these recent tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo and their families, abortion rights, grassroots abortion funds and gun safety.
I also encourage you to be kind to each other and to yourselves. To take the time and space you need to grieve all this, and to give that space to others. To find comfort in small things, and to dig deep to find the energy, hope, and action we will all need to summon a better tomorrow.