“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.” - Elie Wiesel
Businesses "aren't supposed" to talk about politics or religion, or so we're told. Stay neutral and keep your beliefs to yourself! Don't alienate potential customers! Don't take sides! Just be quiet and let people buy things, without subjecting them to your pesky opinions! All that really matters is your profit margin!
...yeah, I'll stop before I dislocate my eyeballs.
Wyrding Studios is just me: one woman and a set of pliers and a whole bunch of beads. I work in my living room, while homeschooling my daughter; I get up in the middle of afternoon livestreams to throw dinner into the oven. I answer customer emails from bed and order supplies from the hammock in my back yard. There's no separating me from the business or vice-versa.
Wyrding Studios stands with Black Lives Matter, because I stand with Black Lives Matter.
(I've never made any secret of the fact that I'm a disabled Jewish lesbian who has Very Strong Opinions About Things, so, uh... if this is a dealbreaker for you, probably you already would have decided to boycott me anyway? JUST SAYIN'.)
There is frustratingly little I can do right now, in this body exhausted from COVID-19 and surgery: I've been buying things from Black-owned Etsy shops as my budget permits, and my daughter and I are working through This Book Is Anti-Racist together, because in the long run the single most effective thing I can probably do is to teach my child to use her privilege to fight injustice.
It doesn't feel like enough (and when I can do more, I will) but it's something... and we all need to be doing something. No matter how small or insignificant it may feel.
step by step the longest march
can be won, can be won
many stones to form an arch
singly none, singly none
Lots of folks with far more executive function than I currently possess have been sharing resources - places to donate, books and articles to read, local politicians to call or email, businesses to support, protests to attend. I could try to round up a bunch of them for you, but if you're anything like me, your social media timelines are already full of them. This post in particular, though, has a lot of things you can learn to do in the long-term; if you're also in rough shape right now that might be a good place to start.
In 2016, I wrote this:
"I believe that it is the sacred duty of artists to both stand witness to history and to work to heal the world. Tikkun olam, hiddur mitzvot - I've talked about both before. They are as integral to my work as the stones and wire, or my hands. As a Jew, I have an obligation to repair the world; as an artist, I have a responsibility to bring beauty into it at the same time."
I will hopefully get back to making art tomorrow, or maybe the next day. (Today is both a bad brain day and a bad lung day.) I will keep doing whatever I can to both repair the world and to bring beauty into it. I will keep watching and listening and grieving and bearing witness.
I will do something. And I hope you will too, even if it feels like it's not enough.
Step by step.