This has been a weird sort of two weeks for me.
Brexit made me feel angry and powerless to help my friends of African and Indian origin who were facing unjust persecution in a land they loved, and then Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were murdered in the land of the free so I found a small release for my powerlessness – I could donate to their families, throw money at them and feel… less impotent.
Then I realized, wow, I’m a piece of shit; here’s this amazing device for intercontinental connection and voice, and all I’m using it for is as speedy means of deriving some sort of self-satisfaction from helping the needy, wow. There loomed above me this heavy rain of a question about myself that was hard to weather.
In the meantime, I ended up being front and center as Dallas PD labelled the wrong man as suspect for their shooting on their Twitter account, front and center as he was exonerated in less than 30 minutes by video footage and multiple eye witnesses, as their Public Information Officer gave no damns about retractions or of the consequences of leaving the wrong information up, and as the Twitter homepage news algorithm and multiple media outlets picked up said information and made it their headlines. Angry again I somehow found myself doing what I do best online and unearthed way-too-much information on Dallas PD. I did what I could and quietly made numbers and other means of communication more easily accessible to people who wanted to voice their anger the right way. Though my help was very minor amongst other key players it helped spark a fire which would have never happened had we kept to our daily selves.
I won’t lie – I was happy, and confused about it. Maybe it’s because although some justice was realized a horrible 17 hours later, at least all that effort amounted to something. See, I’ve been made a realist about the sum of my contributions to the world when it comes to these things, a grand total of “so hardly helping they by all means almost amount to nothing.” Amongst other things I’ve helped a reporter expose rape by police in Thailand and I’ve watched him “disappear” and upon reappearance he was deported and his report was never looked or acted upon, and I’ve tried countless times to expose the cruelty that’s put upon the animals of Thailand (mainly elephants and dogs) to anyone (anyone) and received laughter as my comeuppance. So yes, I was happy that “almost amounts to” wasn’t actually nothing in this case.
Without realizing it I’d stumbled right back onto that question that made me feel like crap, and I’d found a sort-of answer. I’ve been too logical about my end contribution to this whole thing and inadvertently I’ve become a dispirited product of my environments. So here’s my plea: If you’re fighting injustice in some way and are in need of someone who’s basically a magician at finding information via web, let me help you, pro bono. Short-term, long-term, it doesn’t matter, just contact me privately and let me help. In the larger scheme of things I’ll be so hardly helping I’m almost not, but almost isn’t nothing. Let me help you.
And let me leave you here. In the same breath that I’d found my answer, I’d also realized how important the question was. I won’t voice it for that will belittle it, but it’s the question that, for today, can be answered by paraphrasing Shaun King, “Whoever you are right now is an indication of who you would’ve been during the Civil Rights Movement.” With all due respect, I hope your inaction eats at you.