An extract from our latest newsletter, as we reflect on digital outrage.
It's been an emotional few weeks - we worry for our queer siblings in Poland, anti-corruption activists in Zimbabwe, and comrades in Belarus fighting for a chance at democracy- all face violent repression.
Still we mourn for Mercy Baguma while raging at the hostile environment. We're heartsick for the students and staff that Universities have fucked over for rent money. And our government is using the cover of Covid / Brexit & the theatre of US elections, to break international law without scrutiny.
All these real fights are served up with a side of daily digital attacks, offences and cynical taunts.
I just finished Dotty's Outraged, a short, wry, powerful critique of misspent social media outrage, highlighting that we live in an unjust world determined to exhaust us into inaction. It was a stark reminder of the historic power of outrage, which I'd also explored, in very different ways, through Isabel Wilkerson's utterly brilliant Caste and the anthology Beyond Survival.
Dotty highlights the real cost of giving our outrage away as freely as we do. It's an old adage, to say we must pick our battles, but it was worth being reminded of in the context of social media 'activism'. If we're to actually fight injustice, to see these battles through, we can't as individuals fight every symptom, all the time.
Here is a short extract:
"Curbing your outrage is not about settling for less. Nor is it about stifling social and political progress. It isn't about silencing the outspoken, restraining the free-willed or making your plight more palatable in the eyes of the oppressors. It is not about being a subservient cog in a system that has been rigged for you to fail and it's certainly not asking you to unlearn the centuries of rebellion that have accorded us our twenty-first-century civil liberties.
As long as oppression continues to exist, outrage will too - and rightly so...I urge you not to interpret this as an instruction to contain your intolerance.
We don't need to care less we just need to care better. Because if we pursued severe social injustice as fervently as we did every insignificant faux pas that wafts under our noses our communities would be far better places." - Ashley 'Dotty' Charles, Outraged
We don't need to care less we just need to care better.
We say it a lot, but we actually do believe passionately in the power of books to equip us for the world at large, to give us place, purpose and sanctuary - books can be seeds of change, but our battles cannot end with the page, we must READ, THINK, ACT.
Which is why we're building that approach into any campaigning issue. We'll bring you books (READ), thoughtful reflection by ourselves & others (THINK), and finally links to organisations or people already doing the work, and campaigns to get behind (ACT).
We know not everyone agrees with our politics or our values, but we wear them openly so everyone can make an informed choice about where they spend their time & their money- We're an unapologetically activist, inter-sectional, feminist, anti-racist, lgbtq+ community space. But more about that, curation & the myth of censorship another time... for now we leave you, with some of the books that have shaped our thinking, and if you're wanting more activism inspiration, we've got a great selection of books HERE too.