Janey, Portland, Ore.

        “It is all too easy to condemn an act of violence when it results in bodily harm, or worse, death. Why though, do we even let it get this far? The violence of racism is pervasive in everyday life for BIPOC, perhaps most predominantly in the form of microaggressions that often translate into trauma. These seemingly inconsequential acts add up, and contribute to the normalization of a culture that culminates in hate crimes.
        Microagressions cut deeper when they come from your loved ones, your mentors, your friends. To give you an idea of how this shit stays with you, one of my earliest memories of a microaggression came from my 4th grade teacher when I was seven or eight. My class was assembled in a line in the hallway, and I was standing near my teacher at the front. This authority figure, who was charged with the molding of young minds, decided to use my last name as a punchline -- she asked me, “Do people call your family and then say, ‘Oops, I got the WONG number!” when you pick up?” I remember looking at her in confusion at the time. Now, it just makes me fume.
        STOP being negligent with words and actions.
        STOP white supremacy, xenophobia, and toxic masculinity.
        We need to START recognizing the interconnectedness of systems of oppression. Our fights against racism, climate change, misogyny, transphobia, police brutality / the carceral state are not and cannot be treated as mutually exclusive.
        START the unglamorous, arduous, and ongoing work of decolonizing your mind.”