When you work for an organization that has a newsroom, you come across lots of reminders about NOT making campaign contributions.
It’s interpreted as bias.
Now, I was never a journalist, but I wrote, produced, and oversaw content that had a direct impact on raising the necessary funds to provide the tools, the time, and the talent for many journalists to do their best work.
So, I decided I wouldn’t contribute either.
I never gave money, and while I would (often) in private and personal conversations express my political views, I was careful not to post or publicly share anything that could be read, seen, or heard as side-taking.
But, I do not work in media anymore – and if I think it’ll prevent me from contributing – I never will again.
Because here’s the side of not-contributing that I’m not proud of. For years I used the “rules” against contributing as a way to avoid really engaging in the quest for equality.
I once let a man much older and bigger than me physically push me at a place of business. When it happened, I didn’t report it to HR. I was afraid that something would happen to him, and worried what that would mean for me.
Long before I ever entered the workforce, I developed an avoidance tolerance of cruel jokes, undressing stares, degrading name-calling, and belittling behavior. It happened time and time again all around me, and I rarely found the courage to call it out for what it was – what it is: Hate and Fear.
At night, I almost always, no matter where I am, walk with my keys between my fingers in one hand, and the phone with half of 9-1-1- ready to go in the other.
I’ve accepted these things, and yet, still tricked myself into believing we had equality.
I see the irony now – and I am ready to take sides.
I am on the side of Love. Compassion. Openness. Gratitude.
My energy is now devoted to safety and healing. For myself, for others, and for our country.
For this is the land of the free. Home of the brave.