We see you, we hear you, and we want you to know that you’re not alone.
By THE EDITORS | 14 Nov 2016
To the communities we serve and the communities we are part of:
More than ever, we at Nat. Brut feel deeply grateful to be connected with such an incredible, supportive network of people and organizations.
In this moment of national uncertainty and vulnerability, we believe it's more important than ever to uphold the values we choose to live our lives by: compassion, responsibility, and the conviction in a future that acknowledges the lives of historically disadvantaged groups.
We will not stand for a regression and reversion of this nation's socio-political landscape under the nominal guise of "change." The fact that there are some who cannot find it in themselves to accept a future of equality, prosperity, and safety for all people will not stop us from pursuing and fighting for that future.
We will not stand to see the stories of women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ communities silenced once again by violence and hate, two things which have been celebrated by the president elect’s campaign and sanctioned—if not directly exercised—by his voters. We will not stand for the threatening of some 18 year old university students with photographs of lynching and prison. We will not stand for the verbal and physical attacks of Muslim Americans under the perverse guise of "patriotism." We will not stand for the patriarchal systems of oppression which today garner more support by promising the feeling of a false power to their supporters.
As participants in the shaping of culture, we will also not stand for irresponsible media outlets that refuse to acknowledge the consequences of their own reportage and that continue to paint a narrative of smooth transitioning in Capitol Hill while the country is under siege.
For those who are not in endangered sites: the hate—even if isn’t at your doorstep—is as real as the failure to reconcile this reality with the appearance of stability or peace composed by those sensuous experiences immediate to one’s current surroundings. This disconnect can, in itself, be really destabilizing, but it’s NOT crazy. And it’s not “just you.”
We believe, just as James Baldwin did, that “people can be better than they are,” and that “we are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is.”
But we also believe with our whole hearts that self-care is the ultimate act of resistance.
Please know that it is OKAY to feel angry and confused right now. You have a right to feel like you’re “losing it,” or that you can’t just be “civil” in your day-to-day interactions. It is okay to take the time and space to be alone or with close friends to regroup and try to clear one’s mind before or while finding concrete ways to participate in a positive message and fight for progressive change.
For us, part of self-care is creating a community that we want to be a part of. In the inimitable wisdom of Ms. Toni Morrison, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” We can't think of a better way to express the intention behind facilitating this kind of community right now. Our our president elect has already proved himself amply willing to suppress dissenting voices; showcasing narratives that divert from the mainstream is more important than ever in an era of nascent fascism. If you’re looking for other creatives to join with in solidarity, Winter Tangerine, Adroit Journal, and Apricity Magazine have launched an alliance in support of minority communities, and we urge those of you who are seeking to express yourselves to contribute to Winter Tangerine’s We Make America Great project, or Stephanie Newman’s Writing on Glass initiative, or Nat. Brut’s own Queer/Trans/Asian Folio.If you’re looking for publications or organizations to reach out to, you can find safe spaces on our ever-growing Resources page, and if you’re looking for other ways to make the world a better place, we invite you to visit whatcanido.io.
Friends, we are here, and we are looking for each other—to organize with, to support, to protest with. Who do you know today who should know someone new today? Who is alive who will fight, will work, for each other to be alive?
We know that the hardest thing could be to get out of bed; to believe that someone else might want to know you or take care of you. Let us know you. Let us take care of you. Let us connect and be less isolated. Let's not be separated anymore. Let's grow our community and know each other and how we can help each other. We see you, we hear you, and we want you to know that you’re not alone.
Yours, with love,
Nat. Brut Kayla E. Yanyi RL Goldberg Jennifer Soong Abby Sun Talia Lavin Danielle Wright Ximena Izquierdo Ugaz Axel Severs