For Those Who Feel like Speaking Up Doesn't Matter

I grew up in Virginia, in the suburbs of DC.

I was raised by *very* conservative parents.

Like a lot of teenage millennials, I didn’t really want to explore politics and

Growing up and becoming more liberal and progressive has, unsurprisingly, not always been easy to challenge their beliefs (which is almost always my fault because I get frustrated and argumentative).

In the past I wouldn’t have even considered myself “political”—I found the emotions around politics too intense, the information (and false information) overwhelming, and the decision to land one way or the other almost impossible.

But slowly I’ve been educating myself and asking questions and getting answers (thanks to the best partner ever).

And I’m becoming more aware of my privilege than ever.

The privilege of not feeling compelled to speak out before this last week.

The privilege of considering not going to the protest this last weekend because I had work to get done..

The privilege of choosing to stay ignorant when there are endless resources out there.

I’ve had plenty of political conversations with my parents before. I’ve watched documentaries on their couch, hoping they’d sit and watch with me (and they did sometimes).

My husband and I have talked with them about some of our beliefs (and his Christmas present to my dad was a book about white privilege, which my humble dad really appreciated and actually read).

I talked to my parents last night and expected to not be supported or understood by then for why I went to the protest and marched.

But instead heard their pride for me, their appreciation of my care to stand up for what I believe, and their own indignation for the injustice.

I’m so grateful I was willing to argue with them and that it ended up being an encouraging and supportive conversation.

This has taken time. It’s taken time for me to get to where I am. It’s taken time for me to get educated. It’s taken for me to be able to talk with my parents.

Don’t stay silent. Don’t be afraid to say the wrong thing. Don’t think you can’t make a difference with your voice.

Los Angeles, CA


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©2020 by Victoria Janka