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On Privilege and Fighting

Since the day we elected The Great Flaming Hot Cheeto to the highest office in the United States, I’ve been thinking about privilege in all of its forms. I’ve talked about it with every combination of people I can find, anyone who’s near me when the impulse strikes, sorry you’re gonna sit through a not-very-well-organized collection of thoughts until you get up and move a few tables over because you didn’t come to Panera to talk to a stranger who keeps bumping your elbow and spilling your Autumn Squash soup.

So, privilege. I am a white woman from suburban Long Island whose parents have always supported her emotionally and financially. I’ve got it pretty good. And in these last few weeks I’ve become even more aware of this. I have the privilege to stop thinking about the election when it gets too overwhelming. I have the privilege to think critically about why this happened (though I don’t really want to). I have the privilege of celebrating Thanksgiving in my family’s home and having discussions about the oppression of indigenous peoples over the dinner we spent all day preparing. I am trying to take action, too, and not just be aware but actually act on that awareness. In the last few weeks I’ve donated money to causes whenever I can and signed petitions and sent emails to local government officials who don’t have phone numbers available (Steve Israel please get on that!). But always the nagging question, is it enough?

I send money to Planned Parenthood and I feel good and then I think, is it enough?

I try to engage my grandmother in conversation about protecting all people in this country and it seems to go pretty well and I think, is it enough?

I try to check myself in conversations and acknowledge where my privilege affords me opportunities I have taken for granted and a general safety I have never worried about losing and always I think, is it enough?

I sit down to plan my thesis and I know this play is an important story right now. But is putting it up enough? The theatre community has risen up in outrage the last few days when Trump supporters and assorted other shut-your-mouth-you’re-just-an-actor-dance-monkey-dance believers dared to insult our Lord and Savior Lin Manuel-Miranda and the New Hamil-Testament. We are outraged because people insulted our art and we will only filter that outrage back into our art. We refuse to be bowed. And so for now, that will be my enough. All I can do is continue to fight day by day and the only battlefield where I have the home-field advantage is the rehearsal room.

We practice and learn where we feel comfortable and then we step out into the unknown and f*** some s*** up.

That’s what I have for now. More to come.

 

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