Emily Henderson Header Image Emily Henderson

A break from our regularly scheduled programming ...

Blogging in the Midst of Daily Tragedy . . .

blogging-sad

I majored in history, and I was obsessed with the late 1960s – Vietnam, protests, intense racial issues, hell, I even wrote my senior thesis on racial appropriation in music. But the 90s were so boring. I remember thinking on multiple occasions, Nothing happens. We don’t do anything. There are no wars, real enemies or issues worth protesting, just some cum on a dress that people are freaking out about.

Of course in many ways I was wrong about the 90s. I was simply a privileged middle-class white kid from Oregon so yea, nothing happened to me. Well, now I’m a blogger and while my makeovers and round-ups are popular, I’m compelled to write about more every now and again. In fact I have and I just don’t publish them out of fear/sensitivity. Maybe the moment passes or maybe we have a post all written and scheduled and I don’t want to interrupt it. But it so often feels shallow and sad. And while this will always be a place that talks more about pillows and poufs, I’ve realized every single one of my unpublished drafts (after each tragedy) has some things in common and that maybe talking about those things, using a public platform for my private feelings is important once a year. But if this isn’t your jam come back in a couple hours – we do have a design post ready for you.

Back to this – the 90s are over and sadly that “utopia” isn’t the case anymore. I think that we can say with absolute assurance that things are “happening” now.

And it’s so bad.

Between the consistent mass shootings – (Orlando being especially devastating), intense racial police shootings, college rapes, TRUMP (in general), last years Paris attack combined with Nice a few days ago, and Baton Rouge yesterday . . . it just feels . . . so . . . endless. When will it stop? I realize that you don’t come here for this, so if this is not your jam, come back tomorrow. Bloggers are people too, and like sharing anything, when I get compelled to write, I WRITE.

Despite my privileged middle class up bringing I have to keep in mind that these type of horrible acts are happening, and have been happening for decades, every day in parts of the world. These are just recent events that are happening in first world countries unaccustomed to large scale violence,  which is why I think so many of us feel especially bombarded by it all – lucky us, we’re not used to it.

Lately it feels predictable with its consistency, yet unpredictable with which category of tragedy. Mass shooting? Racial profiling? Terror attack? Who knows!!!????

So many tragedies on so many fronts.

There is no longer one common threat. It comes at you from every angle, and when you open your laptop in the morning there is a sense of “which is it?” happening.

The amount of times I’ve googled “safest city in America” or “most open minded city in the world” is stupid. I want to escape with my husband and two tiny angels and live off the grid without CNN, or FOX, or even Huffington Post . . . let alone guns.  It’s all just so depressing. But leaving or hiding doesn’t solve the problem. We would be cowards, knowing that so many people don’t get to choose if, how, or when they avoid the violence, because they can’t necessarily afford the same. Our society has set things up so that already disenfranchised people get even more disenfranchised. We aren’t going to peace out. We will stand. 

When I think about all of the different, equally upsetting, tragedies I find two very solid commonalities:

1. Fear of “the other” and 2. Lack of empathy.

Sure, every now and again a baby is born with a chemical imbalance that yes, without the right medical help, can turn him into a sociopath that lacks empathy and kills easily, but more normally the culprits are grown and bred by people and society, and the societal norms that are rarely challenged and painfully slow to change. Society treats people differently and unfairly, and due to disenfranchisement, daily prejudice, and loss, fear is bred. And fear turns quickly into anger and hatred, and hatred turns even more quickly into violence . . . When angry people find each other, and unite on their common hatred, terrorism happens. And then when terrorism happens all empathy for those carrying out the crime gets completely wiped away as if they weren’t people anymore. And we become so polarized that we can’t even pretend to know where each other are coming from.

I think that we can in no way progress and stop the violence/killings without understanding our enemies . . . on EVERY front. Let me be clear, I’m not over here feeling sorry for ISIS, and I don’t think that we should sit down and have a caramel latte with them to help understand their feelings. Some things are too far gone. I’m not a total Polyanna, but I know that on a daily basis over here we can be doing a better job.

Our narcissistic society full of photoshopping thigh gaps and slide-right dating has stopped being empathetic. The vast majority of us are too busy putting a puppy filter on our faces to engage, read, and analyze the nuances of our politics and culture. We don’t know each other and therefore people are too afraid of each other to ask “why?” and “how?” (Do yourself a quick favor and watch this) We’re so comfortable living in our isolated bubbles of safety, and only recently being forced to see the horrible acts of violence, sexism,  racism, and prejudice that so many face on a daily basis.

We didn’t used to be like this – politically.

Politics used to be civilized, full of debate and compromise. Now it’s one big standoff, dick in hand, where politicians fear being reasonable because they might look soft. We’ve lost all common sense and empathy and replaced them with incendiary banter,  narcissism and racism. Even our republican candidate wants to build a wall along the mexican border and not allow people from a particular religion step foot into our country.

Who is to blame? All of us. Society doesn’t grow itself and those tiny babies don’t become mass murderers (consistently) without some help. We have to be better at teaching our children to be empathetic – that nothing is singular, there are multiple sides of every story, our world is huge and full of diversity, and that understanding and listening is the key to preventing hate and disarming violence. We need to teach our children to see peoples differences and APPRECIATE them, rather than fear or hate them. Because refusing to acknowledge someones race, sexuality, political views, religious beliefs, etc. in order to make everyone seem equal is refusing to acknowledge an important piece of themselves. So, we don’t have to treat someone differently because of the color of their skin, but we do have to realize that our different colored skins might mean we’ve had different experiences in life. Pretending to not admit to this is another part of the issue that I think some people, who consider themselves liberal and “color blind” don’t understand. Until prejudices such as racism are extinct, these differences will always alter the course and experiences in someones life, which is what breeds both amazing and beautiful diversity, along with animosity and fear.

How do we fix this? I DON’T KNOW. Service? Committing to public school so there is more exposure and diversity? Strengthening community again?

It doesn’t matter what your politics are. People are real people. Clearly there is a divide, and there are masses of many different factions not being afforded the same educations, opportunities, or assistance as others. There are college rapists, mass shooters, unnecessary black deaths, France attackers, Dallas police shooters . . . It’s our job to look at what they have in common and wonder what can we do better. 

In short: The badness is too frequent and diverse for that many individuals all of a sudden to be monsters. Society, us, had a role in it.

If all of us think a private island is what we need in order to feel safe, then maybe, just maybe,  focusing on changing society, instead of fearing it and blaming others should be our real goal. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s famous quote still inspires: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

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  1. Hi Emily, I have followed your blog, and I’m sure like many others you earned a place in my Feeds because you post about pretty stuff. But this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to visit your site and leave a comment.

    I just want to thank you for raising your voice about these issues. I think it’s of vital importance that as many of us as possible do this. We need to encourage empathy, and discourse, and -thinking-. I try to do my part via social media but I commend you for doing this on your own platform as well. Please keep doing things like this; maybe if enough of us do then we can sit down and start to figure out how to make all this stuff better.

    Thank you.

    PS: I’m always looking for like-minded thinkers who wish to discuss these sorts of topics, so I’d love to continue a discussion with you if you’d be so inclined.

    1. Thank you, thank you. xxx

      1. Hoooo-kay! I live in Australia. An island. A huge island, with pretty darned secure borders; hence the “We stopped the boats” comments that fly around our federal government constantly. Mind you, those boats were about stopping the drownings (similar situ. re the massive EU refugees. Same, same, only different).

        The point is; we have well bound border security and the drugs s.t.i.l.l. get through. They are found this side of customs, in all manner of compartments and containers of soaps/lotions and potions; obscured, but still found by the tonne and destroyed, rather than consumed by our citizens.

        A “wall” as purported by Trump, is a looney tune idea that won’t do much at all to stop the drugs. He is a ‘constructor’ and so, everything he sees is a nail?! Yes.

        Take a slow, deep breath and a step back and look at the greater picture of the global society in which we live. This and these “others” issues are all about us; people. Human beings and what we do to each other to form hatred, anger and violence. This is not even a generational issue; it’s one that can only be changed through decades of concerted and agreed effort, consistently and courageously applied by ALL of us. Wild dream? Probably, but to be sure, we have to start somewhere.

        Ghandi was and still is right…”Truth Force”. Non-violence is the way, but courage is in short supply when all so many seem to be concerned with is their daily bread.

        1. This website is good and always shares new thought….

    2. And therein lies the problem: Both sides speak to “like-minded thinkers,” so their ideas stagnate in confirmation bias. And we are left with the choice of either a buffoon or a scoundrel for president.

  2. Thank you

  3. Damn, I love this side of you, no holding back! And how do we fix this? By doing what you just did! A white woman with a huge following acknowledging her privilege and calling on others to do the same! Yaassss!!! Didn’t think it was possible to love you more but then this!! Thank you for using your platform for the greater good!

  4. Thank you, so well said.

  5. Just curious why your list included TRUMP but not Hillary and all of her fiascos including almost (should have been) indicted?

    1. I was wondering the same…

      1. I also wondered the same.

    2. I agree. Emily, I’m a little disappointed.

      1. Oh please are you guys for real? Sure Hilary isn’t perfect but she’s not calling Mexicans rapists and saying that women who get abortions should be punished. He is a horrible example for our children. You cannot say whatever comes to mind whenever you want. Trump is a horrible horrible person.

        1. I agree that Trump needs a filter on his ever-loving mouth. But as long as you went there, can we talk about the fact that there have been 65 million *known* abortions since the early 70s? That’s like if 1 out of every 5 people just ceased to exist. Waaaaaaay (times a million) more deaths than ANY American shooting or terrorist attack. I know so many people who are just waiting, WAITING for the call that they can adopt an unwanted baby or child. There will always be someone to raise these children that a mother *chooses not to kill*. I wish that this hot political issue, that politicians throw around at their whim, could be resolved. It hurts this mama’s heart so desperately.

          1. No one has the right to tell another living being what to do with their own bodies, whether or not that body comes with or without a uterus.

          2. If there are so many people “waiting” for the call to adopt, then why are there so many children in the foster care system? I get there are two sides to this debate and I understand people have moral objections to abortions, but to say there will always be people to raise there children is just misguided.

          3. Missa, your “facts” are not correct. There will not always be someone there to raise one of these children. Do you know how many kids are in the foster care system in our country that will never find a home and parents? As a nurse, I’ve seen far too much first hand to let this comment go.
            I’m not commenting on whether abortion is right or wrong. Just that your comment is incorrect.

          4. I wish that were true but there are already so many children waiting for homes now. There is no way that all the children who are/were aborted would be/would have been adopted.

            I am not saying abortion is right or wrong, I’m just saying that I believe it is a myth that there would be good homes for most of these children.

          5. Missa, I agree with what you. However, I doubt either candidate truly care about this issue. Don’t let their insincere words on the topic influence your vote.

          6. Ew, get your stupid hands and misinformation off my body.

          7. Amen! Thank you for speaking up for the unborn and adding them to this battle we are all waging! There are no easy answers to life’s tough situations (as Emily says!), but just because there isn’t a clear or easy answer doesn’t mean we should be killing our sweet little babies to rid ourselves of the problem they pose. That doesn’t seem very accepting or empathetic to them. That innocent baby didn’t ask to be conceived! Why should the baby pay with her/his life just because a parent sees her/him as a nuisance?! I pray for empathy and understanding for us as a nation, as a world, and as an individual!

        2. Hillary is equally a horrible person. Are YOU for real? Trump says stupid things and I don’t support him. However, Hillary has already DONE horrifically dangerous things that have put our nation, intelligence agents, and military at risk and then repeatedly lied to cover them up. Can you look away from that? Do you have ANY idea what the danger is to a free society putting National Security at risk? (I’m not even going into Whitewater or the admitted lies concerning Benghazi told to citizens and the victims families about not knowing that Benghazi was in fact a terror attack and the State Department had been warned that an attack was imminent.)

          I can’t go into details of what particular sensitive data I am familiar with, but having intimate knowledge of securing servers dealing with classified and top secret information (military clearance is required), this was a breach of huge magnitude. She did not even have vetted people controlling those servers. She had a “private” company. As Secretary of State she would know how dangerous this is. If she didn’t, then that alone disqualifies her as being fit for the Presidency. They have to SIGN saying that they understand the minute a classified document hits your (dot) gov account…even if the heading doesn’t clearly state, but the conversation moves that way..you move it to the secured government servers. She didn’t even use the (dot) gov server! This was not an innocent mistake. It was a willful “I don’t care about National Security protocol because I make my own life easy”. And you want this person in charge of the nuclear triad???

          Do you really think she is less a narcissist than Trump? I will repeat that I am not a Trump fan, but NOTHING scares me more than the corrupt Clinton Machine that has repeatedly lied to the people (yes, that means you) and no one holds her accountable because she is smart enough to smoothly lie to the public, smart enough to know she has a secure network of corrupt cronyism politics to whitewash it, and a media that chooses parties over truth.

          I’m very disappointed that this great article completely ignores Hillary while repeatedly pointing a finger at Trump. I would expect better, but I suppose the “brainwashing” is complete.

          1. AND lest we forget, in Hillary’s role as secretary of state, she intervened in Haiti to prevent the government from raising the minimum wage $.24 per hour to $.61 per hour, affecting all citizens of Haiti, but especially garment factory workers whop are primarily women. Yet she is still touted as a ‘feminist’ by the mainstream left.

            I am not a fan of Trump either by any means, but Hillary’s proven track record scares me more than Trump does.

          2. Um, seriously? Has Hillary done anything along the lines of Dick Cheney and W cooking up an excuse to cavalierly invade Iraq, abetting Saudi funding of Al Queda, and yes, even Colin Powell has stated that Hillary’s email practices were no different from prior Secretaries of State. Hillary is subjected to significant and disproportionate negative coverage, and I can think of no reasonable explanation other than pure sexism, plain and simple. Furthermore, I’m frightened that anyone (well anyone female) would chose “anyone but Hillary” thus supporting the racist, sexist, narcissistic Donald Trump — whose businesses have all failed, can’t get his facts correct, knows nothing about foreign policy, and makes one continuous sexist or racist comment after the next. I think Emily nailed it when she talked about our lack of empathy (and I would say vapidity as a culture) bravo for speaking the truth.

      2. I edited it a bit to make it less about him but then I remembered that he wants to build a wall along the Mexican border and keep people of a certain religion out of America. That’s not nice. That’s not empathetic and that certainly falls into the ‘fear of the other’ category. He actively tries to incites hate and violence and polarize people at every rally and on social media – daily. He is using his power to mobilize hate and fear. Most politicians, who I agree with or not, don’t try to do that – they have more respect for the world. It’s not a left or right situation. What he stands for and how he is getting his message across that is dangerous.

        1. “We need to teach our children to see peoples differences and APPRECIATE them, rather than fear or hate them.” except for Trump this quote doesn’t apply to him right?

          1. We can appreciate him, but still not want him as president. I think that is all Emily is saying.

          2. lol, except the people we accept and tolerate don’t tolerate us such as ISIS and America hating muslims and take advantage of our passivity.

        2. And you don’t think the POTUS does that?

        3. I’m so so happy that you didn’t apologize–that you explained your rationale and clarified your point, but did not apologize for your choice. Bravo!

        4. In a clear example of what you’re talking about in this post, Hillary used the term “super predator” to label and criminalize children of color. Of course she has now distanced herself from that position, but I think it says a lot about who she is and what she’s willing to do.

          I think this is a brave and totally appropriate use of your personal blog. I now enjoy your wonderful blog even more.

        5. But Hilary is a crook. So do we go with a man of questionable standards or someone who has been proven by our laws to lie, cheat and steal? Power corrupts absolutely.

          1. If she was actually proven guilty of criminal activity she would be in jail. Altho I’m sure you disagree, I have not seen any actual proof of the many crimes she has been accused. Lots of people, like you, speak as if there is proof, but then can not produce it for public consumption.

        6. THANK YOU. He is ignorant, terrifying, and would destroy our rights.

        7. I will comment on “THE WALL” argument. Right now the US/Mexico border is porous. The majority of illegal drugs funneling into the US are coming from drug cartels in Mexico. It is a ($50,000,000,000.00) fifty billion dollar business in Mexico. (Source: DEA) Every state will tell you most crimes in the US can be traced back to either illegal drug trafficking or use or both.

          These same Mexican drug cartels are #1 in the world for producing and distributing child pornography. (Source: DEA)

          Women and girls captured by the Mexican drug cartels and are the largest source of the “sex tourism” industry in the US. These women and children aren’t coming here to seek a better life. They are brought here through a porous border and are enslaved in the US by Mexican drug cartels. (Source: DEA)

          Who are we helping by NOT securing the border? Is it “not nice” to cut the drug cartels power by stopping their access? This isn’t about turning away legal immigrants. People have pleaded for the borders to be secure long before Trump took the frustration and grandstanded. Securing the border should be a non-partisan issue.

        8. The reason the 90’s were so good is because there was no president Obama and no secretary Hilary. They have destroyed this country.

          1. But it was President Clinton so long live the 90’s (fashion and music included).

        9. Absolutely agree. He is inciting hate and violence against Immigrants, Muslims, women, and African Americans. Through his language he authorizes hate. Thanks for raising your voice Emily, it’s going to take all of us to make changes in our society and I appreciate you opening a dialogue.

        10. According to Pew Research, there were 11.3 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. in 2014. Half of those are Mexican, and they, together with most of the rest, entered our country through Mexico, our southern neighbor. Trump doesn’t want to build a wall because he isn’t “nice”; he wants to build it so that people must enter our country legally. Illegals commit a disproportionate number of crimes. Most of those millions of illegal immigrants send their children to our schools, receive free medical care, and food stamps, and take most of our low-skilled jobs. Even though they are in the country illegally, the children they give birth to here automatically become citizens. In addition to the poor Mexicans and South Americans, who enter our country through Mexico, Islamic and other terrorists and Mexican drug cartels also enter through the southern border. It is not hateful to insist that people enter the country legally, or not at all. Look at what is going on in France and Germany now with repeated, serious Islamic Terrorist attacks. They allowed too many immigrants into their countries. Another thing, I firmly believe that young Muslim men (and perhaps women also) of fighting age, should not be given asylum in Europe or the U.S. They should stay in their own countries and fight terrorism. If there were a war with terrorists in the U.S., as there is in so much of the Middle East, can you imagine wanting to leave the country, and seek asylum in the Middle East, where everything they believe in is contrary to our beliefs? I am a senior citizen now, and if our country were invaded, despite my age, I would stay and fight. I would never become a refugee abroad, where it would be impossible for me to assimilate into the culture. Why should young Muslims be allowed to enter Europe and the U.S., while our young men and women go to their countries and fight their battles for them? Finally, to quote Thomas Jefferson, “A country with no border is not a country.” Trump is gruff, and says things undiplomatically, but that is only because he is not politically correct. I am convinced that he is running for President, because he loves our country, and wants to do public service. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has a proven track record of using public office for her own personal gain. She and Bill have gotten very rich in the so-called service of our country. Also, she has a proven track record of failure and personal enrichment, both as a Senator and as the Secretary of State.

          1. Ann, please tell us which Pew research article you are referring to. I read this one: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/15/crime-rises-among-second-generation-immigrants-as-they-assimilate/ which seems contrary to the claims you made, as do other papers I’ve read. However I am genuinely interested in reading your article. As far as your claim that, “I would never become a refugee abroad, where it would be impossible for me to assimilate into the culture.” Maybe you wouldn’t, but it is not fair to judge refugees for wanting to leave their countries for safety. Very few of us could even imagine the terror caused by friends, family, and neighbors being murdered and kidnapped. This is the empathy that Emily is referring to. I do not believe it is impossible to assimilate into any culture. However luckily for the refugees coming to America, this is a country of many many cultures, where assimilation is not a requirement. I am fortunate enough to have friends who were born in countries all over the world and who practice many different religions and they seem to get along quite well in this country. I believe that the more we can meet people with diverse backgrounds, the more empathetic we will be as individuals and the better we will be as a nation.

        11. Wow. Well I don’t usually comment on your blog Emily. Not because I don’t love everything you do (I do), but because I have very limited time to make comments and you always have hundreds of comments so I know you won’t miss my measly little comment. BUT. I cannot let this post go by without comment. BRAVO girl!! You said everything I want to say. Thank you for staying in the fight. We need each other, those of us who are choosing to stand up for what’s good and what’s right. For ourselves and for our children. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

        12. That’s pretty much what I was going to say. Regardless of anyone’s political stances, it doesn’t take much more than having eyes and/or ears to realize that he is a hateful, vindictive person who is encouraging those qualities in others without any real concern for actual human beings other than himself. It’s scary.

    3. Because Hillary is not calling for the deportation of millions of Mexicans or the banning of all Muslims, or saying judges can’t perform their jobs because of their ancestry, or any of the many many horrible things he has said about women. Feel free to disagree with Hillary’s politics, but a racist or a bigot or a sexist she is not, which is what Emily’s post is about.

      1. But, Hillary is a liar, plain and simple. And if she were not Hillary CLINTON, she would be indicted for her “lapse” in judgement.

        1. I find it very telling that usually when I hear “but Hillary” arguments, they are really “but Hillary is a liar” because very obviously Trump is an honest Abe reincarnated. The only reason he’s never come close to indictment is because he’s never held office.

        2. lol, and you think Trump isnt? They all are.

      2. Despite who we are voting for or not voting for, as HUMANS, shouldn’t we all be concerned about senseless violence and making the world a better place?? It baffles me, why we need to point fingers when we should all be in this together, collectively trying to figure out how to stop the senseless killings, lessen fear and have more compassion and empathy…it’s about the human race, not the Republicans, Democrats, Green, Independent, etc. etc…

      3. Thank you!!! Well said.

    4. you know, this comment is part of the problem.
      It’s called “deflecting” and it’s what happens when people try to divert attention away from the topic that got brought up (for whatever reason) by bringing up another topic that has in truth little relevance to the topic discussed.

      Like, you are really showing your colors here. Regardless of how you feel about Hillary, the topic that is BEING discussed is “fear-mongering and lack of empathy based on race, etc.” And Emily very rightly is calling out Trump, because he IS on record as being a fear-mongering racist bigot.
      Yet you feel compelled to “call” Emily out for not mentioning Hillary, even though, for all the wrongs she has done, she is not known for the “sins” being discussed.

      So go take a hard look in the mirror, please.

      1. Yes, definitely “cum” on a blue dress means nothing…even if it happens to be on an intern only a few years older than your own daughter in the oval office (a public office by the way, not private) and then lying about it and brushing aside multiple previous accusations of rape and harassment. because, you know, people who get off under the desk in the oval office by underlings 30 years younger clearly respect women and the american people.

        oh, and you know that the no big deal “cum” president is buddies with a convicted sex molester who prostitutes fourteen year olds on “orgy island”. google it…

        but yes, let us all concentrate on donald’s three divorces while calling hilary a feminist and women’s rights advocate while never condemning her own husbands actions.

        donald trump “isn’t nice” because he wants to put up a wall? give me a freaking break and look at who you are accepting and saying spreads good will.

        i wish bloggers would stop posting this crap unless they are willing to speak on the hate and carelessness involved on all sides, rather than regurgitating the hollywood norm.

        1. Christina – my reply below was to Tanya above. I should never post via iPad. I apologize.

        2. I wish people would stop reading blogs that they so disagree with and then feel the need to blast the blogger and what they write.

        3. “regurgitating the hollywood norm”? nice. you’re basically telling ms. henderson to stfu, and stick to paint chip posts. how disrespectful of women is that?

          1. not sure how telling someone that they are repeating liberal hollywood/media propaganda is disrespectful to women or in line with sexual harassment. (i would tell the same thing to a man). i didn’t tell her to “stfu” (that is you cursing and being disrespectful, not me). i told her to include the hate and disrespect committed by all, if she is going to talk about empathy and fear in society and the nations leaders. your leap to conclusions is part of the problem, jeannette, and telling me that i am being disrespectful when you are the one implying the cursing is simply wrong. thanks. c.

        4. Exactly. Emily OPEN your eyes! Hilary is as corrupt as they come. Rape of sex trafficking victims is what good ole Bill is about all the while Hillary doesn’t mind cuz hey, it keeps the dog out of her bed. Her beds full with the Muslim brotherhood and their money. She claims to be a women’s activist but is far from it. If you’re going to spout off and CLAIM to care about this world then start at the top with the elite of the elite here in America, the Clintons. She’s as evil as they come.

        5. Ummm… even if President Clinton did have a transgression, what does that have to do with is wife running for president? How horrible would it be to limit what wives can strive for based on what mistakes their husbands may have made in the past?
          And Em, this is your corner of the internet that you own. So say whatever you like. If people don’t like it, they don’t have to visit. 🙂

      2. Actually the TOPIC Emily brought up was the fact that “things are happening now” and they are “bad.” In Emily’s OPINION, the 2 main REASONS for all of these bad things happeng are 1) fear of the other, and 2) lack of empathy. Some support Emily’s reasoning, others do not. I think Emily is smart enough to know that not everyone is going to agree with her analysis and that there will be other OPINIONS expressed. Emily also seems to lament the loss of civil debate among those who disagree. Your comment seems to fall in that category.

        1. what makes you think capitalizing words makes you more logical and persuasive? are you THREATENING US?

  6. Emily, love your site and your style. Whether or not readers agree with all your opinions, good job voicing it. I’ll always appreciate bloggers who use their platform generously.

  7. Emily, I just want to thank you for confidently and peacefully voicing your opinions while admitting you don’t have all the answers. Whether people agree with you or not, I hope we can all see that discussing these issues and telling the truth about how we feel, while still knowing that we can learn a lot from other people’s feelings is a step in the right direction.
    Annie

  8. Thanks Emily, well said!

  9. Thanks for an unexpectedly thoughtful and self-aware discussion of privilege this morning. While I can’t claim to be devoted reader, I like cool, well designed spaces and pop by now and then to check out your consistency stylish work. And while I usually have a firm “go nowhere near the comments” rule, I felt compelled to post this one, just to say thanks. Thanks for not staying silent, thanks for writing something that felt authentic and informed, just, thanks -from one privileged white girl idealist from the nineties to another.

    1. Thank you, and thanks for coming/commenting 😉

  10. I was with you 150% until your article turned political, then it kind of felt like the EXACT OPPOSITE of the “PEACE” and “LET’S UNITE” message you were preaching one paragraph previously. {{scratches head}}

    1. Impossible to find peace and unite until we elect officials who represent those ideals instead of letting orange-faced men threaten to deport and exclude innocent people from the country who has always credited itself as a “melting pot” among other so called welcoming titles. What is going on in the world IS political and always has been and to ignore that is dangerous and naive.

    2. Peace and unity, enacted on a global or national scale, are inherently political concepts.
      Therefore, one of the most effective ways to ensure we live in a better world is to be careful who we vote for. The current political situation can’t be ignored or treated in a vacuum- it is through democratic channels that we can make a change, and in that line, I think it is totally valid for Emily to call out Trump and those who support him. The man is a threat to the ideals of peace and unity, not to mention rationality, on every level.

    3. If you mean “calling a person who happens to be a political candidate for things that are racist and unacceptable” means “turning the article political” then yeah, she really did.

      Please continue to take a stand without actually getting out of your comfort zone.

      1. Ouch, Jessica! You really had to take a jab at a complete stranger?

        Emily, I think you have unintentionallycreated a monster with this blog post. So much for shedding light, hope and a little bit of peace to your blogging audience. I can get all this on sites that are intended to be inflammatory. I’m sorry that I clicked over to read al of this, actually.

        1. I mean, Tanya (above)

  11. Well said.

    I work in the health sector, and a big focus for us are the social determinants of health. The idea is that social factors, such as income, employment, social support, race, gender, education, etc have a big impact on our health outcomes, and that a lot of illness can be prevented by addressing these root causes.

    I think we can similarly think about the social determinants of violence. Many of the people committing these horrible acts are the most vulnerable of us, who have nothing left to lose.

    We need to start thinking about, and voting for, policies that do a better job of making society more equitable and inclusive.

    1. Agreed. Equitable and inclusive. The disparity is insane.

      1. But wasn’t Barack Obama voted into office to address those issues?? And now they seem so much worse! People who support him, can you explain this?

        1. Because President Obama faced a House and Senate who openly admitted from Day One that they would do anything to stop anything he wanted to do and they made no secret of it. That’s why. Plain and simple.

        2. Yes, re: the comment about the obstructionist House and Senate. Why won’t anyone work together and compromise anymore? When did refusing to do your job become laudable?

          But also, many of the social issues only *seem* worse. Thanks to ever expanding social media, the BLM movement, etc., problems that us privileged folks were once blissfully unaware of are now being exposed.

  12. Amen. Every word.

  13. I adore your blog, and I want to thank you for your post. I read a really fascinating article about some Danes in Aarhus who spent time counseling and talking to the “others” in their community, and it has had a dramatic effect. There’s been so much rhetoric about exclusion and fear this election season, and while I know I sound naive, it’s all about understanding our differences and coming together anyway. Thanks for being a positive voice out there. 🙂

  14. Thank you for writing this. Your words echo my sentiments; proud to be a regular reader, who will continue to come back.

  15. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for putting yourself out there in this way.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this. I feel conflicted about going on with superficial things in life with so much chaos around us. It’s wonderful that you were brave enough to step away from your regular content to share your ideas. Thank you!

  17. Thank you for writing this post. I too grew up in the 90s in upper-middle class white America, and I also thought about how boring and safe it all felt while living in it. And now that I have a child, I am constantly afraid of what’s going on in the world and when (just WHEN) it will directly (and not just indirectly) affect me or my family. I hate Trump as much as the next person, but many Americans support him. We all live in bubbles and become more and more drawn to the left or right depending on who else is in your bubble and what else you read. I wish there was an answer to address this problem, but I just don’t have it. All I know is I can only do my best to help support (financially and non-financially) the candidates (HILLARY) and causes that I support and to raise my daughter to be as open minded as possible.

    1. Lisa, You had me until you used the word “hate” in relationship to Donald Trump. We should be able to disagree without hate. Hate is a powerful word and causes much suffering in this world. How can you raise a child to be open minded when you hate?

      1. You can be loving and open minded and still hate.
        Hate evil
        Hate rape
        Hate selfishness
        Hate racism
        Hate sexism
        Hate Hitler
        Hate ISIS

        Everyone has a line – can you honestly say you don’t hate any of those things or people?

  18. Thanks, Emily. Well said.

  19. Thank you! So well said.

  20. I’m so glad you continue to post messages like this one. This is why I read your blog every single day. It continues to feel like a personal blog even though you have diversified the content and contributors. Posts like these are what keep it from feeling like a faceless brand churning out content without intention.
    Agree with your post 100%, but even if I didn’t, I’m glad you’re voicing your opinion and staying true to you!

  21. Thank you for using your privilege and platform to speak truth. It has been a hard couple of weeks, and I have been engaged in difficult conversations at work, at home, in my community. And I appreciate this and am hoping it might reach or affect some who had are still in contemplation of their ally status.

  22. I totally agree with you re: the lack of empathy and community. I once read a fascinating commentary (pretty sure it was by David Brooks) about the impact of declining child mortality. While it is a very good ting for every single reason one can think of, Brooks thinks that the loss of children was something that used to unite humanity – many, if not most people, had lost a child. It’s the absolute worst and mot painful thing that someone can experience, and because so many people had, it was this horrible commonality and created some sort of fundamental human empathy and sympathy that nothing else can. I have two children, so while I would NEVER trade their health and safety for anything, I thought it was a very interesting observation…

    1. That is so interesting and yes, terribly sad, but it makes sense. On another note I have such a huge amount of respect for David Brooks. His recent articles on the decline of politics (and why) are so interesting.

  23. Thank you for breaking from your incredible design content to talk about current issues. This weekend was difficult to stomach. My new husband and I just returned from our honeymoon in Nice and both of us are alums of LSU, in Baton Rouge, LA. As we excitedly discuss bringing children into this world, it is so incredibly frightening to imagine introducing tiny innocent hearts to the world of violence we live in today. We watched as two cities we love and two cities that represent our relationship in different ways suffered at the hands of two different sources of violence this weekend. We feel so helpless; what can we do to make a difference but try our damnedest to outshine that violence with love. As increasingly hard as it is to try to remain positive when it feels like every morning brings more breaking news of broken hearts, I do find comfort in Dr. King’s quote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” You constantly seem to be a ray of light (as does your sunny California home), so I hope that you can find the strength to keep shining amidst the darkness.

    Love and many hugs from New Orleans.

    1. Thank you, thank you. It does feel helpless. I love that quote from Dr. King and I was trying to find a way to end the post in a more positive way. I’m just going to put that now 🙂 xx

  24. I appreciate your using your wide platform to speak out. These are unusual and sad times for the world and our country. While none of us has the answers we’re looking for, your points are well-taken and good fodder for conversation. And maybe that’s where we need to start…more actual conversation with people in our communities.

  25. Yes–thank you. Your post is everything I want to say. As a mom of two young kiddos as well, I just want to take them and hide but no we will stay and we will stand! Xoxo

  26. Well said! Thank you.

  27. I have a lot of respect for anyone with a public platform speaking out about their beliefs, it’s refreshing and important. Thanks for posting!

  28. Thank you so much. I couldn’t agree more with your stance, or be more glad that you used your platform to voice it. Empathy for president!

  29. Thank you!

  30. As a mom of 2 young boys, I have been wondering how we can fix the broken world we live in. Thank you for sharing your views because I think you are RIGHT ON!! Fear and lack of empathy are a recipe for hatred, anger and violence. While I love my social media, I think focusing on more real connection and teaching our children tolerance for difference may be small steps in the right direction. There is so much more at heart but we need to start at home.
    Again thank you Emily for talking about hard stuff.

  31. I really appreciate this post, and I hear the same dialogue in my head as well. “What can we do to make this stop?”. I truly feel like it all starts with our children. We must teach them empathy, compassion, and love. I think our country is spiraling out of control and turning into a vicious cycle. Both parents must work in order to afford basic living, leaving children in daycares and away from their mothers. Public school in the US is horrible compared to other 1st world countries. Do you ever wonder why other European countries don’t seem to have other problems like we do? Countries like Finland and Switzerland? They care about the greater good of their people from education to healthcare. We only seem to care about money.

    Our current president and the media loves to divide us. Black vs white. Man vs women. Straight vs. LGBT community. It’s getting out of control.

  32. Love your blog, your style and your voice. And you should use it whenever you feel compelled because your opinions have merit and you have a huge following that may benefit from hearing those opinions.

    I’m a mom of one and have enjoyed watching you parent – the travel, the openness, the realness – and now this. Thank you.

  33. Thank you.

    Thank you.

    We sure do need to write beyond our professions.

  34. Hey,
    I just wanted to say kudos for posting something on violence and racism in the US, even while knowing that no matter how carefully you worded it, you would face nasty sentiments in the comments. Since a lot of the policy stuff is so divisive (gun control) the focus on community, service, and connection makes sense for this space and is worth reflection.

    1. Beautifully put, and my thoughts exactly. I wish the comments were able to focus more on the meat of Emily’s post – fear, racism, and violence – than on the presidential candidates. I feel her main point is that the onus is on all of us – not just those running for public office – to make the change we want.

  35. as a veteran whose endured emergency surgery with 3 screws in my leg, I’m so done with politics right now, or maybe I should say Politicians. they don’t care about you and they definitely don’t care about veterans.

    but on a litter note, no pretty things to look at today? 🙁 maybe a roundup of accent chairs that match navy sofas?? *hint, hint, nudge* 🙂

    1. Don’t worry! A design post is coming later today! 🙂 Said Emily, earlier, haha.

  36. It’s refreshing that you took the time to step back from the editorial calendar to post this. Thank you for hitting publish! I know what you mean about letting things sit in drafts. It’s hard, not only to know what to say, but what not to say. I love your blog and posts like these only make me love it more. It’s important we stand for something and speak up, ask others about their views, and educating ourselves.

    The best way to unite and become a more understanding world is fostering open dialogue, so thank you!

    I also think there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing. It’s hard to balance your personal views with things that are down-right wrong. I don’t believe we all should necessarily agree on everything — so kudos to you for replying rather than deleting some comments. It’s a hard balance, but the more we all talk, the better. And at the end of the day, not seeing eye-to-eye is okay (it’s impossible to think we might all agree on all the things!), but that doesn’t mean violence or hate is the answer either. Living in peace, despite our differences, is!

  37. thank you for the heartfelt post. i agree: empathy. so important, yet lacking on many fronts. keep shining your light. i feel like we are in the midst of a movement that we will look back on someday — and i hope it’s the beginning of us all realizing we need to stop looking at what makes us different from each other and instead focus on what we all share.

  38. thank you for speaking up during this incredibly sad time in the world.

  39. Thank you for tackling this topic, and thank you for calling out the politician who is the most ignorant and divisive of all. There can be NO peace and unity when political discourse reaches such a low level, so I appreciate that you didn’t shy away from “the political” (pretending that politics has nothing to do with culture and recent events is absolutely cowardly).

    I know there are other great designers out there, but your eloquence and savvy perspective are the reasons I read every day.

    1. Wow. thank you. xx

  40. Thanks for writing this and even more publishing it. In a time when I am so sad for our nation, and scared of the overt hostility that seems to be stoked by Trumps rhetoric – it is heartwarming to see people such as yourself with public platforms use them for the greater good. Let us hope that this discussion as uncomfortable as it may be – might open up peoples hearts, encourage them to use empathy in their daily lives – and eventually change attitudes & policies to allow for more equal oppurtunity for all.

  41. I’ve never been prouder of you…

  42. Thank you for sharing from your heart!

  43. First, I love your style. Whether it’s a space in a home or your writing about the horror taking place in our world. Second, I love your response to Susie regarding your comment on Trump. As individuals we can truly make a difference whether it’s in our own home, our city, our country or the world. Trump as an individual is abusing the power he currently has by creating a negative division between the United States citizens. We need to learn to work together to solve our differences. Hillary Clinton once said “It takes a village”. Hope I quoted her correctly but I think everyone gets the concept. Third an last, Emily Henderson, you are my dream stylist/designer and I miss your show.

  44. As another commenter said, I so rarely read the comments under posts anymore because they just leave me sad and angry. Thank you for giving your thoughts a voice, and for sharing them with us, your readers. I wholeheartedly agree with what you’ve said, and hope that other readers can forego political commentary (e.g., Trump vs. Hillary) to see your real message: we need more empathy, and we need to break out of the bubbles we each live in to find common ground with those who are “other”. Thank you again and again for speaking out.

  45. Thank you, Emily. Your intelligence and kindness of course shine through the (lovely) posts on curtains and kitchen tile, but thank you so much for writing, and posting, this today. xx

  46. these are no doubt important issues, and, though we come to your blog for pretty pictures and styling tips, i don’t mind occasionally hearing your thoughts on issues like these. one thing stuck out to me that i thought was maybe worth pointing out…and i don’t think i have ever written one political opinion on any social media, so i’m not looking to get in debates by any stretch of the imagination, but it did stand out to me. part of your piece was about being open-minded and trying to understand other opinions. yet, you said donald trump wants to build a wall so that no one can step foot in our country. i am NOT a trump fan, but i am all for listening to what others say and not putting words in their mouth, so i thought i might mention that i think he wants to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the border without getting the proper authorization. i am NOT making a comment as to whether that is right or wrong–not saying if i am democrat or conservative, etc. so please don’t comment about whether a wall is right or wrong or racist or hateful, etc. this isn’t about the wall itself. again, not a political statement…but, wouldn’t trying to listen to what other people say and understanding their positions include not characterizing his “wall” (no matter how ludicrous it sounds) as meant to keep out ALL mexicans? my understanding is that he has been pretty clear that it would be to stop people from entering into the U.S. without the proper authorization (but tell me if i’m wrong). i’m not sure why i have written about this for this long at this point haha….because, like i said, i’m not even passionate about this specific issue and i’m not a trump fan, but i just think it’s worth noting that we should listen to all sides and know exactly what they are saying rather than assuming things…

    1. I totally hear you and in a way you are right that I simplified the issue too much. It’s not the facts that I take such issue with the wall (although I do) its how he says it, how much fear he’s creating and growing, how much hatred and racism he is enciting and I would even say he is doing this knowingly because he knows that it gets him a lot of attention. I do think that its our jobs as open-minded liberals to try to understand why his base is so angry and feels so disenfranchised and I’d love to know how he is going to help them/us. I literally don’t know one person who is voting for Trump personally but I truly would like to so that I can understand better. I don’t have to like him, but yes, I do want to understand better why what he is saying resonates with so many people.

      1. Side note (and unrelated): before i saw what today’s post topic was, i was planning on commenting to let you know that i received your book for my birthday this past week (i had put it on my birthday list), and i am LOVING it so far! thought i’d tell you anyway, despite the seriousness of today’s post 🙂 i’m only one-fourth of the way through, but it is far and away the best design/styling book i’ve read so far. so helpful, practical, down to earth, and funny. i am also amazed at how you identified my style through the style quiz…although, at first, when i saw that i got “zen,” i was like “no, nuh-uh, i don’t like paper lanterns and bamboo-inspired decor, she missed the mark on that one!” but then, as i re-read your description of zen a few times, and as i realized that i liked and identified the most with the photo next to the zen description, i realized you TOTALLY nailed it! i think i get what you are saying the zen style is–not necessarily asian-influenced decor or paper lanterns, but more so of a mindset when approaching my home: my home is my retreat, so it isn’t frilly or too “exciting;” i like a lot of nature-inspired things (wood, greenery, ocean scene art, colors that aren’t crazy saturated or wild, etc.), and i am always lighting candles; i am definitely not a minimalist because i like my home to be warm and inviting, but i don’t like a lot of clutter or small decor items because i like to feel calm and relieved when i am at home. i like the clean lines of crate and barrel (and sometimes west elm), and i don’t like anything too curvy or complicated. i had never been able to pinpoint or articulate what my style is and NEVER would have thought it would be zen…but you are so right! i won’t ever have paper lanterns, a japanese zen garden, or asian insignia on my decor, but i DO like the zen style. so interesting. so glad i got your book! i will leave a nice review on amazon 🙂

      2. I would like to add onto this because Trump has been insinuating that Mexicans are coming to America illegally, daily by the dozens. What he neglects to acknowledge is that majority of the people who are here illegally, came here legally and then their visas expired. Getting a visa extended is a long, tedious and costly process. Compounded with this is the fact that many of these people do not have the resources to an attorney, transportation, cash and whatever else is needed to extend their visa it’s not an easy process. Forcing Mexican parents to take their U.S. born child back to Mexico is unethical. The U.S was built on the grounds of diversity and religious freedom. Forcing Muslims to wear IDs badges is not religious freedom. Trying to make Americans live by rules set forth by Christianity, is not religious freedom. Trump is the least honest “politician” there ever was. He is a glorified reality star who spews hate and.

        1. Chance – I do not believe that the majority of illegals here in this country have overstayed visas but entered via other means. Can you provide a basis of fact for your position?

      3. I think what you’re getting at is that Trump doesn’t come across as a person open to hearing anyone else’s opinion other than his own. He doesn’t seem open to listening to others, or considering other’s points of view, which IMHO isn’t the type of person we want representing and making decisions on behalf of our country. If he is going to be in public office, he needs to start listening to the public vs. only publicizing what he thinks because he knows how to work the media and marketing. It’s his style of communication that is too aggressive, too combative, too narrow-minded to be productive. Good leaders are good listeners first.

        1. Very well said. Thank you Anna.

      4. Emily – I’m not sure you are truly as open-minded as you would like to believe. You are painting Trump’s base with a pretty broad brush. I think you might want to go back and re-read your own post above.

    2. “We need to teach our children to see peoples differences and APPRECIATE them, rather than fear or hate them.”

      Unless that person is Trump and then somehow the statement doesn’t seem to apply.

      1. I’m all for appreciating people for their individuality, but that doesn’t mean any or every individual should become president.

        1. Indeed. I appreciate him and honestly try to listen to anybody i know that is leaning his direction (most of my family) but I don’t know anyone that is excited about him and I would like to speak to them, too to help me understand what we need to do to unite so many people with seemingly very disparate needs and wants.

          1. Boy do I wish I could say that I don’t know anyone who supports Trump, but living in north Florida, I sure as hell do, including my father-in-law, mother-in-law and own father. What I’ve observed is that support for Trump comes directly from fear. Fear of guns being taken away. Fear of taxes. Fear of other races being granted more privileges. Tellingly, the supporters I know are all wealthy and white, and for the most part, male. The Trump narrative stokes the fires of fear and hatred…which ties directly into what Emily is advocating against. I wish I could say I’ve observed otherwise.

    3. To be fair, if politicians (on both sides) wanted to fix illegal immigration, they would a long time ago. Why would Trump fix it? Trump’s company benefits from illegal, barely paid workers without health insurance in the service industry as well as construction industry. He doesn’t even want to pay taxes to fix the infrastructure he is using for his own benefit. It’s easy to fix the problem. It’s enough to put a large financial penalty per each illigal worker that a business hires. Fixing the employment laws would help a great deal as well. Instituting a higher minimal wage would also help, and most importantly would lift many people from poverty. When there are options, fewer people take the crime route. We might pay a little more for services, but we would pay less in taxes to support prisons, and able bodied individuals who are on welfare. It’s not possible to lift the country and decrease the poverty and crime without improving the social welfare of individuals through legislation, minimal wage, healthcare benefits, longer maternity leave, education, public preschools. It’s just not possible, especially in the service economy.

      1. There are federal laws that deal with hiring illegal workers that include fines. Can you provide proof that Trump hires illegals?

        1. Obviously the fines are too small and not a real deterrant. If they were detering we’d not have milions of working illegals in the country. There were investigations against Trump specifically. However it doesn’t matter if Trump hires illegals personally, all it matters is that there are millions of illegal workers in the construction, hospitality, agriculture, and service industry in the US. Trump benefits from all of these industries and based on reports some subcontractors working on Trump’s projects were hiring illegals. I know first hand that the cleaning company in my office has 10% of janitors that are not legal. It’s not a Trump company but I know that this still happens on daily basis. In best cases they are paying taxes using other peoples’ social security numbers. In the worst case they are not officially on the books. It’s like that everywhere. You may not believe it but I have been living in a major city since I was a kid and and I knew enough immigrants and illegals to understand what they do and where they work. I’m not particularly against any group of people, I just want everything to be regulated and I want these people and the companies to pay taxes. Hiring illegals hurts underpaid illegals and citizens as well.

  47. Even though I’m sure we have very different leanings politically, I was nodding my head at many points while reading this post. Your point about about public schools and integrating with our communities struck home in a big way. The best/only way to learn about other people who are different is to actually go GET TO KNOW people who are different – in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in our churches, in our Instagram feeds, etc. etc. etc. Hiding behind concerns of “safety” is BS. Dangerous and heartbreaking stuff happens in all communities – Amish, rural, urban, upper class, lower class, to name a few – and it’s so much more important to actually get to know people who are different from us. Yes, yes, yes.

    I have been wishing so hard that some of our world/political leaders would stand up and really use their platform to unite people internationally. While I adore the use of voice in the blog community as a whole recently, there is a limit to how far this goes. And in many cases, you’re preaching to the choir. Where is the MLK Jr. or Roosevelt or Thatcher or Susan B. Anthony of our time? Why are our leaders so meek? I don’t care who it is or what side of the aisle he/she/they come from, I want a leader to actually take a stand on an international level and be a voice of reality and hope in the midst of all these messes.

  48. Well done, Emily!

  49. Yes. Thanks for taking a stand. I too grew up essentially middle class privileged in OR. And my parents made sure we knew the importance of seeing others’ suffering and lack of privilege. And I have been so angry and upset lately over the state of things and I am SO glad to see you take a minute to speak on the issue. Bc while design and house and beauty are important (I think!) we can’t pretend all the other stuff isn’t happening. So thank you. And keep it up.

  50. So sorry to see your true political colors – I’ve loved your design work and your occasional ventures into expressing your personal philosophy on parenting, vacationing and every other aspect of your very public private life. You’ve gone too far for me with this post.
    You’ve every constitutional right to do this (so far) but I for one, will no longer be able to, with a clear conscience, support your very uninformed political viewpoint via your blog.

    1. Most people in design/artistic fields are liberal, and it’s pretty clear from her other posts that Emily is as well. I don’t bother scrutinizing these types of posts by her since I know they are reflecting her liberal bias. I’m not criticizing her by saying that–I understand that most people/bloggers are on one side or another and it will bleed out into the words they write. I just try to remember that I go to her for design advice and pretty pictures, not political opinions. If I stopped reading or watching everything that didn’t agree with my own opinions, I probably wouldn’t have much selection at the end of the day.

      1. So true!

    2. I have always wondered why some people choose to dissociate themselves with others who do not share the same political views. Does your love for Emily’s design/parenting/vacationing posts magically vanish once you learn she might disagree with your politics? This attitude is a huge part of the problem we’re facing today: people who decide to disconnect themselves from others who think/look/act differently instead of leaning in because of those differences.

    3. Haha.. buh bye to you then!

    4. Apparently you missed reading this in full. Here’s a good excerpt: “We need to teach our children to see peoples differences and APPRECIATE them, rather than fear or hate them”…Or you know write a design blogger off because she has different political leanings.

    5. If democrat is an “uniformed political viewpoint”, it’s odd that the more education one has, the more democratic they lean.
      http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/a-deep-dive-into-party-affiliation/

    6. And your viewpoint is informed and accurate?
      I must echo everyone else who responded to you. What did you expect her political viewpoint would be? Did you even read her blog?

  51. Thanks for bringing in these recent situations of fear and suffering. This blog is a type of community, and all aspects of our communities need to find a way to break through our fear and share our resources in compassion and empathy.

  52. I’ve never commented on a blog before. Thank you

  53. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, i feel the same, we need more empathy around. From Barcelona, with love. Clara

  54. Glad you are going with your gut and sharing your feelings. You’re keeping it real, and I so appreciate it. Like when you were concerned about sharing too much about Charlie early on, I’m glad you’ve come to the side of balance. We can’t just talk about prettying up our houses when the big house – world – that we all live in is so out of order. Thanks for the little bit of peace this morning and for being true to yourself. I agree that instead of searching for the safest place to live, we need to make this a better place. Take good care and hug your babies xoxo

  55. Well said, thank you. It certainly feels wrong to say nothing, and even when we don’t always know how our saying something makes a difference, we all can play a part.

  56. Thank you so much for speaking out. It’s so inspiring to see you use your voice and platform for such an important issue! You have always been one of my favorite bloggers and your willingness to discuss topics such as these continues to remind me why I love your writing and perspective. Thank you!!

  57. Hi Emily-

    I appreciate you talking about these very important and very charged issues on your site.

    I would like to bring up that all though to many, the 90’s were not the utopia you claim. I think again, living in a peaceful bubble allows you to call it that, but see that others did not live in that bubble. Perhaps due to lack of documentation that is so common now due to cell phone footage and social media, but trust that the same police brutality was happening. Remember Rodney King, Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo, Central Park 5 ? These were all cases of rampant abuse of power and corruption by the police. Not to mention the 3x’s policies implemented by the Clinton administration that has jailed non violent offenders and drastically increased the amount of black men incarcerated….

    I appreciate and understand the sentiment, but understand that we are not all lucky enough to remember (recent) history with rose colored lenses, and these movements have been building for some time.

    1. Hi Janelle, I totally agree I brought that up in the second paragraph – that ‘nothing happened’ only to me (and many of us in priveledged bubble). xx

  58. Thank you, Emily. I blog (about my life and my house, garden, etc.) and I’ve addressed this issue off and on for a while. And yes, I’ve spoken out against Trump and have, of course, lost some readers because of it. (How anyone can compare Trump and Hillary is beyond me.) So be it. There will always be those who disagree. Stand strong. It’s your blog and you have a right to speak out on something you feel passionately about.

    To your main point: I agree. We have to change, we have to work together. We have to stop being a selfie-obsessed, snap chat filter-crazed society and work together. Like you, I don’t have all the answers, or even some of the answers. I do know that speaking out and working for change has never, ever been more urgent in my lifetime, and I’m quite a bit older than you. Hate breeds hate. And hate is never the answer. That’s why ‘building a wall’ and deporting those of a different religion or color can never be the answer. Those who campaign and manipulate based on fear and prejudice are demagogues.

    Those who campaign based on hope and love and moving forward, who remember “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and honor those words? They take us higher. They lift us up. And I, for one, refuse to sink to the level of fear and prejudice.

  59. Preach!
    Thank you for speaking up to encourage civic dialogue in this nation. When a common bloodline/history/geography doesn’t unite us as nationalists, something else must…. let it be LOVE, EMPATHY, PEACE, JUSTICE.

  60. Thank you for this. As a Canadian I feel somewhat immune to gun violence, however the unrest in the world does affect us all. I know I’m praying TRUMP with his dick in hand does NOT get elected, I’m kinda ashamed for Americans that they let him get this far. and yes, we are all in this together.

    1. I’m kinda ashamed that we have an amoral woman running for president as well.
      So sad that only opportunists such as she will be able to raise enough money to actually become a presidential candidate. I am praying that Hillary is not elected, please God…

    2. My, you’re classy!
      I think you’ve convinced me who not to vote for with your intelligent commentary.

  61. Thank you for sharing. It is so important that we are part of the conversation on race, recognize our personal biases and privilege, so that we can work together to solve our societal problems.

  62. Emily, I’ve been a fan for such a long time and I so appreciate that you took the time to acknowledge your real person perspective on life lately. Thank you! I agree with you all the way. These are some of the same thoughts I have when people talk about moving to Canada — I understand the impulse, but if we believe there’s a better way, I think we should stay in our communities and work within them for positive change.

    I saw an interesting article on The Billfold about how to help reduce residential segregation — one option for how to make our communities better: https://thebillfold.com/there-is-something-well-meaning-white-people-can-do-but-you-may-not-like-it-63a3e532e29c#.32g7s6odv

    Thanks again Emily! Love all your posts.

    1. Thank you Emily for this beautiful post, and thank you Alix for the link to this Billfold article.

      My husband and I have decided to raise our family in a diverse Chicago suburb where most white families send their kids to private school to avoid the public schools that are majority-minority. Admittedly, the public schools don’t have the greatest test scores. I know in my gut that sending my kids to our public schools is the right move, but it’s so hard to defend this choice when the other white parents say they want the very best education for their children. Of course I want the best for my kids! But there are so many things to learn outside of what is measured on a standardized test. Empathy is one of those things, and is one of the best qualities a person can have. In order to love all different kinds of people we have to know all different kinds of people. I want all of our little babies to grow up to be loving, understanding, warm, peaceful human beings, who live with their eyes and their hearts and their arms wide open.

      1. KUDOS. Brian and I have the exact same plan. Our public elementary school is admittedly one of the best in LA so easy for me to tout how brave we are to send our kids to public school, but our junior high and high aren’t as good and we are committed to staying there for the same of the community and our kids social education. I may someday tackle that post because the more of us that keep our kids in public school the stronger all our communities will be and the more socially diverse and empathetic our kids will be, but man I don’t want to battle a ton of moms who are also doing right by their kids by going private. It’s a sticky, tricky topic. So give yourself a HUGE pat on the back – I’m proud of you and I really hope that we continue to make that same choice for our family (I’ve learned never say never as I don’t know the needs and wants of my future kids but it is our absolute intention to try to make the schools better to prepare for the best for our kids and community).

        1. Love you for this.

        2. I agree with you Emily about public schools. I’m so in favor of public schools, and I believe every child in public school should receive the same education, the same investment level into their public education, regardless of the neighborhood they are from. There are things you can do to better your public school. I plan to be involved in afterschool activities that are constantly cut (arts, crafts, music, sports). Having the time is the biggest challenge. Everything else I can learn, and then teach kids.

        3. Our children’s private school supports a 25% ratio of underprivileged children. Which means I willingly pay more for my child’s tuition. Our student body representatives lead a social services organization that benefits the community, not the school. MLK day is a day of service, etc., etcetera. There are socially responsible private schools. So, again, your comments semi to be another example of painting with a broad brush. Please, Emily. You are really not being as open minded as you may think you are.

          1. This sounds like a truly wonderful school, Catherine, and I’m so happy that schools like this are being supported. Well done! However, Emily and I are not saying that private schools are terrible. Emily even said above, “moms who are also doing right by their kids by going private”. No broad brushes here. Everyone is just making choices they feel are best for their lives. I don’t, and I would guess that Emily also doesn’t, have any problem with private schools or people who use them.

            (This next part is not directed at you, Catherine. Just wanted to clarify so that people don’t think I’m attacking anyone!)

            Something I have noticed recently is our quick assumption that support of one thing automatically means condemnation of another thing. If I say “I love cake!” I’m not also saying “I hate cookies and people who eat cookies are idiots!”. If I say “I love blue!” I’m not also saying “Green is gross and anyone who paints their room green has terrible taste!” If I say “I support my public schools!” I’m not saying “Private schools are evil!” Cake and cookies are both awesome, blue and green are both awesome, public schools and private schools are both awesome. We all make choices that we feel in our hearts are right, but that does not mean we necessarily think that every single alternative is wrong. It’s those people – the people who are not willing to see the value of other ideas – that are bringing us down.

          2. How many students in your kids’ school have disabilities?

            Look, I live in a suburb on purpose so my kid can attend top-notch public schools and because of that, I don’t think my choice is more “moral” than yours.

            But there is a huge difference between private schools who can cherry-pick exactly which “disadvantaged” kids they serve (that is why I am betting yours does not have a lab classroom for very involved autistic kids or aides helping students who are medically fragile), and public schools which are run by democratically-elected boards and serve EVERYONE residing in their jurisdiction because every.single.kid has the exact same civil right to a free, appropriate public education. Equal treatment under the law and all that,

            Supporting public schools is supporting democracy, really.

        4. Thank you, Emily, that means a lot to me. I definitely agree with never saying never. We have many many years ahead of us, and who knows what will happen! But I think we owe it to everyone – our children, our neighbors, our community, our society – to at least give it a shot.

    2. Very interesting article. But I think that if you bring poverty to working-class and middle-class neighborhoods these people will feel a major burden. Perhaps if we integrated poorer demographics with upper middle class and upper class suburbs we’d get where we need to be. I have a lot of empathy for people, and I don’t think it’s fair for someone who’s upper middle class or upper class tell others how to live and who should be their neighbors. Often times the law makers come from higher socio-economic background and make decisions about everyone else, not understanding what others deal with on daily basis.

  63. Thank you so much for this! Bloggers are absolutely people too and shouldn’t be afraid to talk about real life happenings. We are dealing with very serious issues in our society and all over the world today and while I come here mostly to view your gorgeous projects and inspiration, I appreciate this post so much. Something has to be done so if you can use this platform to encourage readers to think and maybe even take action I think you should!

    Many people are not going to agree with you but I completely support this post and agree with everything you said! You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  64. Emily, I am thankful for this post. I watched your blog closely the week after the Orlando shootings, wondering if you would say something, knowing those deaths must have broken your heart but also knowing that you walk a difficult line as the host of a design blog. It’s a hard balance, but I am glad you spoke today.

    I am bewildered by the world I live in. The question that keeps running through my mind is, “What is going on?” We can do better, I know we can. Why aren’t we?

  65. Love you, Emily!

    That being said I’m going to be a bit of a dissenting voice here. I have been a fiscally conservative Republican my entire life, and will continue to be. No, I do not like Trump and I am not sure what I will do in November. For the first time since getting the privilege to vote, I’ve thought of not voting. But my love of country may prevent me from doing that so I may just write in the name of the person I think has the integrity to hold the office of president of the greatest country that God has put on this Earth. And no, I could never support Clinton! She may not be a known racist or bigot but it has been proven that she broke federal law whether charges were filed or not. Yes, that is very important to me and quite frankly showed me huge character flaws that I could never support. What a great role model for future generations, break federal law and you can still become presesident. I’m flabbergasted that in a country of over 300 million people those are the 2 people who will vie for the presidency and to become the leader of the free world!

    You speak of emapathy but I don’t think that looking the other way when people enter this country illegally in showing empathy. I am first generation American. My grandmother came to this country from Central Ameria in the 1950s and did so legally. She waited her turn! Just because you want to come here doesn’t give you the right to come into this country illegally. Can I only show empathy by looking the other way when the first act of a person is to break the laws that I live everyday adhering to? Sorry, I don’t buy that. I will be the first person to offer a hand to the person who respects this country enough to come here legally just like my grandmother did. My grandmother had to show money in the bank and a letter showing she had a job so she wouldn’t be a burden to US tax payers. She also underwent a medical exam to make sure she wasn’t bringing in any disease, tuberculosis at that time. She had never worked a day in her life until she came here and worked for the next 25 years until she was eligible to retire. For the rest of her life my grandmother was grateful for the opportunities that this great country offered her. I totally get that life in many countries is terrible but I still stand by my belief that that does not give anyone the right to break our laws and enter the US illegally.

    As far Trump banning all Muslims, he’s never said it is forever. It is a temporary halt until we can get a handle on exactly who is coming in. Did you know that it is very difficult to know who is coming into our country from the Middle East with the current guidelines/criteria we have in place? Is it wrong to want to protect our citizens from the worst of the worst whose only goal is to kill as many Americans as possible? Jimmy Carter put a halt on Iranian immigration after the hostage crisis. Was he wrong as well for trying to protect the US after the hostage crisis? And again, let me say that I am not a Trump supporter but totally agree with making sure the people that come in from the Middle East or anywhere are totally vetted.

    My final point is that we are quick to blame the use/availability of guns on the out of control violence that is occurring. While I totally believe in the right to bear arms, I am not totally against criteria that would limit the type of arms available. I also believe that people kill people, and if someone wants to do harm they will find a way to do it. Case in point: Nice, France. No guns used, just a truck. And, that truck did so much damage! Will we call for a ban on trucks next?

    Something is wrong with society, I agree with you on that. I also agree that we have all done something wrong to create a society that feels it’s ok to do these horrible deeds. I am so sad at what I see happening to a country that I love with all my heart, and to a world that I am part of. Sorry for such a long vent……I, too, am extremely frustrated.

    1. Thank you for this.

      I had wanted to share my own opinion of “the wall” when I read your post. While I don’t think a wall will work, I do understand the sentiment behind it. My family (I’m asian and husband is latino) has tried successfully to bring over some of our relatives. We have also tried unsuccessfully, and we have accepted that those relatives will be staying in their home countries. No one is perfect, but we do try to respect the laws of the country that we are in (or trying to get into). If the situation gets so dire that my family feels compelled to break the law, then they understand that they will face the consequences of those actions. I may not agree with the immigration laws as they currently stand, but until the laws change, I am perfectly fine with keeping people here illegally out of the country.

      I am in the same boat myself and don’t know how I will vote. I’m looking into Gary Johnson to see if he’s someone I can support more than the others. Sigh!

    2. Finally, a thoughtful and informed POV.
      Emily’s post is so very uninformed and although I love her and her staffs design information, i do not read the posts of a design blogger to get political opinion. I absolutely agree that she has, of course, as each of us have

      1. every right to express her opinions…possibly a design blog is not the place.

      2. No one forced you to read this post…

      3. I too loved Teresaf’s comment and found it enlightening. I would love to know how I am misinformed. I believe in some sort of immigration control that works I just don’t believe in spending our tax dollars that should be going to public education, to build a wall (I realize he says that he’ll make mexico pay for it). It’s the symbolism, the aggression and hatred in which he speak that is causing more of a problem. I’m absolutely down for a dialogue about immigration, but as someone representing our country I would appreciate a more empathetic tone towards peoples lives.

    3. The greatest country God has put on this earth…?
      I’m not so sure.
      Please don’t sully a good faith with the terrible American system.

    4. Thank you for posting a different opinion respectfully. I agree with your views on immigration. I grew up along the border – when I was growing up the people that were the most opposed to illegal immigration were those that has entered the country legally! Has that really changed or are we being led to believe that? I don’t honestly know. As a young attorney, I took several immigration cases pro bono. I can honestly say I had empathy in spades for my clients. I don’t know if that changed my overall opinion, but I have been on both sides, a bit.

  66. This.
    And I think you will like this – http://www.villagevoice.com/music/ask-andrew-wk-my-dad-is-a-right-wing-asshole-6644226

    It is from a few years ago – but just as relevant, and important. Every word, every sentence, every thought is gold. But this sums it up well:

    “Our beliefs and behavior don’t make us fundamentally better than others, no matter how satisfying it is to believe otherwise. We must be tireless in our efforts to see things from the point of view we most disagree with. We must make endless efforts to try and understand the people we least relate to. And we must at all times force ourselves to love the people we dislike the most. Not because it’s nice or because they deserve it, but because our own sanity and survival depends on it. And if we do find ourselves pushed into a corner where we must kill others in order to survive, we must fully accept that we are killing people just as fully human as ourselves, and not some evil abstract creatures.”

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that. I’m headed to read it now. xx

  67. PREACH. thank you for raising your voice. We all need to raise our voices. It’s easy to feel so powerless in the world right now. Patriarchy is dying and it will get uglier before it fully does. In the mean time we need to build bridges or empathy, raise our voices and find whatever we can do/say to help spread hope and abolish the fear rhetoric that is pervasive on all sides. Thank you for this.

  68. Thank you for venturing into these murky waters… I wish they weren’t murky. I wish we could all just politely say how we feel so we can come to a better understanding. But those of us who mean well are far too often afraid to offend. At least, I know I am. But, recently I decided not to politely bite my tongue. Instead I politely spoke my mind. And, it felt so good. And, you know what? It all worked out and brought me closer to my neighbors. Here’s hoping we can all politely speak our minds and find what common ground we have to build our communities.

  69. Hi Emily! I’ve read through most of the comments, and just want to extend my own thank you! Thank you for not being afraid to hit ‘publish’ knowing that it could cause some waves, thank you for being gracious with your opinions – not forcing them on others or saying you can only read my blog/ see my work if you think like me, and thank you for so eloquently voicing your thoughts!

    I do have to admit, I found the people who will now never read your blog again, who chastised you for sharing your opinion, who even shamed you, to be a prime example of fear of “the other.” Regardless of my opinions, I respect your right to yours and hope that there will be a shift to increase appreciation of our differences and respect for one another – on blogs, social media, in person, in thought – because as another posted, “hate cannot drive out hate – only love can do that.” So while I may or may not agree, I thank you for having the courage to post!

    1. Thank you. It’s been an interesting day reading all the comments but I absolutely appreciate every one (so far :))

  70. Well spoken. Yes, we need to be better and raise our children better, but ultimately people need Jesus and until they accept Him as Lord and Savior their hearts will not be transformed. My prayer is for people to come to Christ. 🙂

  71. Thank you for your thoughtful words, Emily. I agree 100%. It is not easy when you feel like there are no answers. I think the best we can do is help lift each other up. To try and be our best selves.

  72. Thank you so much for this. I agree that not everyone on the other side is bad and not everyone on our side is good . We have to understand that. We need to be like you, Emily, and voice our opinion even if people disagree. I like how you took the time to write this and give people a new perspective. Thank you so much and good job!

  73. Emily,

    I, too, applaud you for using your platform to speak up and acknowledge that our conversation around these tragedies needs re-calibration, and really, so much more depth. There are no easy answers. I’m from Canada, and we face a lot of the same issues, although – and this is a generalization – Canadian culture values difference and diversity much more readily. There are certainly still issues with police use of force, racism, and homophobia, but because we (thankfully) have proper gun control laws, fewer lives are lost.

    I listened to a really great NPR Invisibilia podcast recently that I think is really on point: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/07/15/485900076/how-a-danish-town-helped-young-muslims-turn-away-from-isis (I’m in no way affiliated with the podcast).

    In my view, this is the kind of novel thinking and action – executed with empathy and pragmatism – that has a chance at making a positive change in this world.

    Keep speaking up. For my two cents, I’m glad to know that there is a thoughtful, progressive minded, caring person behind the “Emily” character that so effortlessly guides me in my troubled adventures in mixing pillow patterns. 🙂

    Andrea

    1. Thank you, Andrea. I’m going to listen to that podcast asap (I’m a huge This American Life fan but only have listened to a few Invisibilia and need to catch up). thank you thank you. x

      1. Thank you Andrea, and thank you Emily for this topic.

        Waters in Europe are really muddy as well. Illegal immigration, refugees, Isis are too near and here the fear is escalating as well esp. now with what happened in France and Turkey this weekend. Hate is not the answer, I know, but what we are experiencing is deeply disturbing.
        I don’t know how to process it all…

  74. THANK YOU. We are living in such turbulent times. I was just wondering yesterday if this is what the 60’s felt like. So much tragedy, sorrow, and HATRED. It makes me feel scared for my little ones and all-around hopeless for humanity. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and taking the time (and courage) to explore deeper matters and acknowledge what is going on. I’ve admired you for years and now I’m an even bigger fan. You have a wonderful heart, Emily. Your children are in good hands. ❤️

  75. Thanks, Emily, for your post. I believe the Dallas police chief, David Brown, said it best… “Don’t be a part of the problem. We’re hiring…Get out of the protest line and fill out an application.” It’s too much to ask our hired officials to solve all of our problems. Be part of the solution, whether you like Clinton or Trump. It frankly doesn’t matter who is in the White House if we stand by and don’t try to be more empathetic and see the problems first hand. I lived in Los Angeles during the times of the riots and the height of gang activity. Correction. I live in Los Angeles. Nothing has changed. Emily, your makeover of the family center was at least something! We need more of this, and making the world beautiful is just another way you contribute. Thank you!

    1. Hi Emily, thanks for writing this. Really. I often feel the same about the shallowness of social media (not because of your pillows and poufs) and lack of empathy in the world around us. I struggle to stay focused on my day-to-day “stuff” as a creative because it feels like there are far more pressing issues out there in our world that needs fixing. I’m so glad you posted this, it’s actually quite heartening to see a creative and a blogger taking time out to talk about these issues because they are so very big and they are about all of us. So thank you.

  76. Thank you so much for writing this, Emily. It means a lot that you step outside of the design posts and speak from the heart like this. I agree with everything you wrote.

  77. I am really glad you have written this Emily. We all need to search within ourselves and be who we say we are. Acknowledge the genuine struggle of people everywhere but especially those we interact with on a regular basis. We do need to provide funding for better schools. Kids need recess, arts, physical education and lessons in community service for all neighborhoods. there are small things we can do; speak to the people in line at the grocery store, coffee shop or Target. Sure some grumps may scowl but you would be surprised the wonderful conversations you ca have. We have far to go but this grandmother and child of the 60s is not giving up. Peace!

    1. Just wanted to offer up some thoughts. Abortion: passions run on both sides. My only thought is re late term abortions. Second and third trimester premature births are viable live children( my daughter included). How do we square that with the ability to abort this same fetus? Second: Integration. It’s been done and resulted in inner city children bein driven long distances to schools where they felt even more alienated. Race aside, do you want your children bussed an hour or more out of their way to an inner city school? The proposed answer is not as simple as “more integration” Thirdly I must comment on Mr Trump: Political affiliations aside, we are a nation with borders and laws. I respect our laws. If I broke the law I would be arrested and suffer the consequences. Should we not uphold those same standards for everyone? If not then we must change or amend the law.
      The above instances are only the tip of the iceberg. I don’t have the ultimate answers just questions like why are some inner city minority children are driven and successful while others are driven to hate, resentment and crime? Why do we have immigration laws and sovereign borders if we are not held to uphold then, and if not then why is no one suggesting we repeal these laws? I’m concerned that some issues are more of a “cause cu jour” rather than a sincere, committed cause. I also hold Dr King as a great man of the 20th century who dedicated his life to civil rights. We lack men like him today instead having men who cater more to their own notoriety than the causes they espouse. Our greatest challenge in my opinion is the ability to discuss the issues calmly, without anger and be empathetic not sympathetic. Sympathy makes US feel better about your situation but does nothing about making Your situation better.

  78. It’s so interesting that you perceived the 90s as a time when nothing was happening or even a “utopia.” Even though I was young, I vividly remember the riots after the Rodney King decision, the OJ Simpson trial, and the general sense of racial tension. I would guess that’s because I grew up in Los Angeles, where so much of that was playing out. Things like that make me feel like I want to raise my children in a diverse place like LA, where they are exposed to these important issues.

    1. Agreed. I was in Oregon with little TV. I think that exposure is a very good thing and plan on it myself.

  79. That’s what is beloved about this particular designer. A woman of substance, not afraid to have a voice, not all pillows poufs 🙂

  80. I am joining the chorus of grateful readers who appreciate your willingness to step outside of your usual focus and comment on what is happening in the world. I, too, have been agonizing about recent events and wishing I had some way to make things better. It is so gratifying to see someone who does have a larger voice using it to champion empathy instead of hate. We will no longer be the America we believe in if we allow ourselves to close down in fear.
    Good work. Thank you.

  81. Yes!

    Thank-you. Well said.

  82. Thank you Emily for addressing important issues on your BLOG! I agree Ms. Clinton and her husband have made terrible mistakes as well as Mr. Trump, those should be noted too. What our nation needs is leadership – someone who thinks of our country and the world people in it, as human beings not as groups or classes. A leader who cares about all of us not just their political future and agenda. A leader with integrity and honor is rare and we need one.

    1. Thanks, Emily! I agree that a lack of understanding of others creates fear which creates the kind of ugly dialogues and actions that prompted some of the violence we’ve been seeing recently. Keeping an open mind and being empathetic could take us a great distance to changing our course. Thanks again.

  83. Thank you for your honesty and for this beautiful message, and especially for taking time out from focusing on the beauty and pleasure that design brings us to focus on the incredibly painful and important events happening throughout the world today.

  84. From one privileged, middle-class, white kid to another, THANKS. You have said what I lack the guts to say out loud. Surrounded as I am by family, friends, and co-workers who heartily espouse “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” every chance they get … but NEVER “Black Lives Matter”. Because black lives DON’T matter, not really, not to many, many – far too many – white people. Us privileged, middle-class, white kids need to speak up and you’ve given me the courage to do it.

  85. Thank you for having the courage to voice your thoughts and concerns about where we are and where we’re heading. I have one young son and another on the way and I feel so strongly about all the same things that you wrote about. It gives me some peace to know that there are so many of us taking the time to think seriously about how we make real change.

  86. YESSSS!!!!!!!! Thank you for speaking your mind. Whether you agree with her opinion or not, we do need to stand up and speak our minds and condemn actions and ideas that are JUST PLAIN WRONG. These are scary times, but maybe we needed something to happen (even though so horrific) to bring forth the fact that there are obviously still people with prejudice and hate in their hearts. That is no way to live. As Edmund Burke said “All it takes for Evil to prevail in this world is for enough good men (or women!) to do nothing.” Emily, you have every right, and even an obligation, to speak up for what you believe in. The next few months will be very scary here in the US, but hopefully love will prevail. CHOOSE LOVE!

  87. I have followed your blog for over a year now and even though I came for the pillows and poufs, I stayed because of your voice. I have found your honesty and transparency to be completely refreshing, and while I will always look to you for design trends, you have become a role model for me in so many more aspects of life.

    Your voice is incredibly powerful, and its a wonderful thing to use it to share such a positive message. I too believe that empathy is the only thing that can help us navigate these trying times. Anyone who uses this post to debate abortion or Hilary Clinton in the comments has already missed the point.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, and try to ignore the noise in the comments 🙂

    Much love,

    Claire

    1. wow. thank you very much.

  88. Emily: Thank you for sharing. We all need to stand up for what we feel is right. We may not agree, but we should show respect. You are very brave!

  89. Right there with you. I misread the title of this post as “Blooming in the midst of daily tragedy.” It is difficult for us all to walk through these days, but I find constant small opportunities for making real connections with people in a way that is not always possible. It requires discipline not to fall into the traps of easy judgement and othering. Us/them will not help, and there is no answer to any of this but to remain open and compassionate, no matter how challenging it can become. And then to get up and do it again tomorrow, with love and patience and commitment to living this way in every moment. Heartbreaking, true, and the only positive way forward.

  90. I applaud your openness. I also am heartbroken over the many tragedies that happened as of late, but honestly these atrocities have been happening all over the world since almost forever. Most of which we turn a blind eye to… For me, it’s just overwhelming for my heart and mind to contemplate so much evil/hate/hurt exists in the world. I want to fix everything but of course that’s impossible. What I aim to do is care for those that are around me, show kindness to to I come in contact with, pray for our enemies have love rather than hate in their lives, and teach my children to treat others with respect.

  91. The ’90s were boring but be careful what you wish for. I’d give anything to go back to a pre-9/11 world. I think the rise of violent culture in media and 24 hr news has a lot to answer for, as well as the Internet and other means of electronic communication that makes communication faster. I think corporate journalism isn’t taking on issues and is misusing issues for ratings not education. I think we need term limits for our elected officials and we need to get corporate money out of politics. I think we need better educational systems and we need to teach children how to peacefully resolve conflict in the schools since so many children are being let down by their parents at home. And we need gun control NOW.

  92. Hi Emily!
    I’ve never commented before, but today I wanted to say THANK YOU!!!!! Bravo to you and thank you for speaking up! X

  93. Thank you emily. That was very well said and I could not agree more!

  94. My cat had a really terrible case of fleas recently. Like a total infestation. It was horrible. The vet gave her a pill to start treatment, and she said “she’s going to seem a lot worse in the next 30 minutes or so because the fleas go into a frenzy right before they die.” I like to think that’s what is actually happening in our political system. Things are starting to get better, and the people who don’t want things to change are afraid and panicked. NPR did a story the other day about how white Americans think race relations are worse than the 1960’s but black Americans think they are getting better because things have always been terrible but privileged white people didn’t know they were terrible. Now we know, we can see it, and we can either choose to believe the people who have lived it, or stick our heads in the sand. We now have Black Lives Matter, gay people can get married, the Supreme Court is holding up our reproductive rights. Things are changing for the better, and I think we are in general becoming more accepting as a people. I’m trying very hard to believe that most people are good and the terrorists among us and the bigots are just being really really loud because they’re afraid. They feel like they’re losing power. I’m hoping that we are just seeing a last ditch frenzy before enlightened minds prevail and we can settle back in to calmer times.

    Thank you for talking about these things. These things are important, and I love escaping to happy shiny blogs for a bit of relief, but we need people to speak up.

    1. I love this comment. thank you. I want to listen to the NPR thing because I’m sure there is so much truth in it. thank you.

    2. Wow, Meltown’s comment was one of the more hopeful things I’ve read in a while. Thank you for that. You have a way with words.
      As do you, Emily. Thanks for being another voice in the crowd of goodness. As difficult as times are, the crowd is growing and being heard.

    3. Thank you for your kind words Emily and Maggie! I found the NPR link if you want to listen. It’s under 6 minutes long, and I found it really interesting!

      http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2016/07/11/how-divided-is-america

    4. This is a wonderful viewpoint, and one that I will try to remember going forward. Thank you, Meltown, for a bit of sunshiny hope during this storm.

    5. Thank you for that!

  95. Thank you for speaking up. Lots of my favorite bloggers seem to be shying away from these topics, and I get it on a certain level, but we have to STAY in these difficult conversations and avoid pretending like it’ll all go away and be okay if we just ignore it long enough. And unfortunately, it seems like people are either thunderously vocal/abrasive or numb/apathetic–where is the middle ground of respectful conversation? Agreeing to disagree without fear of anyone dying over it?

    Hopefully the comment section doesn’t get out of hand–obviously not everyone will feel the same as you (even though I happen to), and that’s okay. I just want to live in a world where people are respected, equal and safe to live their unique lives regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, economic background etc. Appreciate your candor and your willingness to put yourself out there <3

    1. Wholeheartedly agree with your comment!

  96. Thank you, Em. I recently decided to stop being quiet about all of this as well. It felt good to SAY SOMETHING. We all need to say something, especially when we know things are just not right and that people are simply afraid to say it. I applaud you using this platform to get the conversation going. xo

  97. Thank you…I hope many people read this and are inspired to look at how each of us can be better, do better and expect better.

  98. I aplaud you Emily for posting this even though you knew it would bring out some haters. I am Canadian and I think I can speak for most Canadians when I say we are appalled and saddened by what has and is happening in the US (and the world of course).

    I just don’t understand how one of the wealthiest countries does not value its citizens. You do not protect your citizens from gun violence despite almost monthly gun rampages (and yes I know violence would still happen but its a heck of alot harder to go on a gun spree when you can’t easily get a gun so why not make it a bit harder for the crazies?). You don’t value your kid’s early childhood from what I can see. You get what 6 weeks mat leave if you’re lucky? And probably unpaid? We get a year paid mat leave and you can split that with your husband if you like. We have had medical for everyone for decades. No its not perfect but no one here has to die or go bankrupt because they can’t get treatment.

    Which leads me to another point (and sorry if I’m rambling but this situation is f*cked up people). Good luck to all you Moms who will need a nanny for your 6 week old baby when Trump ships out all the illegals. Who do you think does all the dirty work in the US? The illegal Mexicans! They take care of your babies and elderly, pick your friut and veggies, clean your toilets, mow your lawn, etc. Trumps hotels would grind to a halt without Mexicans legal or not. Hilary may not be a peach but she’s a damn sight better than the alternative. As my grandpa said sometimes there’s nothing to vote for, just something to vote against. So all of us in the rest of the world implore you to think long and hard before you vote and don’t embarrass yourselves. The rest of the world thinks Trump is a joke but a very scary one.

  99. Six years after winning Design Star, you’re still my hero.
    Because of this post here, and the posts you make everyday across social media.

    Even if we don’t agree – by dismantling fear and embracing empathy,
    I hope we all can save our society from destroying itself.

  100. Hi Emily,

    I really can’t express enough how much I agree with you, and I thank you for sharing your honest and heartfelt opinion. I’m a teenage girl who has loved your design and style since HGTV and Design Star, and while your blog and Instagram have inspired me before, this kind of brought it to a whole new level. These recent and tragic events have really impacted me and made me question my own beliefs and opinions. Often times it has made me confused and fearful, even hopeless, because I don’t know what I can do and I don’t know how to fix it. But when the people I look up to speak out against it, I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one who is trying to make sense of what is happening, and I’m not the only one who wants to do something about it. I just wanted to let you know that your post has touched a young girl across the country. I wish more people with social media popularity would speak out about important political issues because when they do, they reach an audience of kids like me who are desperately looking for answers.

    Thanks again.

    1. Wow. THANK YOU. That means a lot. Seriously. xx

  101. Thanks so much for writing this. I feel like you put into words what I have been trying to formulate in my head. This was a really great read

  102. Hi Emily, I have followed your blog for years, and I love the work that you do. I wish you had more empathy for the cops who risk their lives every day to allow you to live in such a safe city. As somebody who claims to have studied history, perhaps you should also look at crime statistics so that you can tell the difference between media hype and the truth regarding “intense racial police shootings.” See this post for one African American officer’s perspective: https://www.facebook.com/jay.stalien/posts/911372818974402. When you lump together the shooting of a felony suspect with an illegal gun fighting the police with the murder of eight police officers (and glibly describe the events as “Dallas police shooters” and “Baton Rouge”), you lose all credibility in your argument. If you were really “taking a stand” and “not acting out of fear” you would have been able to actually call the events of Dallas and Baton Rouge what they were – racially motivated murders. The families of the murdered officers are not going to be encouraged by your naive post which will only stir the pot for more attacks on those trying to keep all of us safe.

    1. I have so much empathy/respects for cops, I promise. I’m sorry that is not clear. Thanks for sharing that FB article.

    2. Hi Ari,
      I just wanted to jump on and give you a cyber hug. I don’t need Emily to say anything more than “Dallas” or “Baton Rouge” to have my heart just ache for those police officers -People just doing their (honorable and probably scary at times) job. We need great men and women not to complain about the police, but to flood the departments with love, support, and job applications. I agree with Emily on this post, but hope you don’t feel like agreeing with her denigrates these murdered police officer’s sacrifice at all, or that her not speaking up for the police officers more specifically means she or her readers don’t care. We do. I do. I resoundingly think everyone does.

      1. Ditto. And to say her post “stirs the pot for more attacks” on police offers is literally absurd, it makes no sense.

  103. Thank you!

    Amidst the gloom and misery of the world it’s people like you who make me believe in the future again! As we (society) made this happen – we can also make it un-happen! It’s a lot of work, but WE CAN FIX THIS!

    Love to all!

  104. I’m really glad you were brave enough to write this. I’m a design blogger and follow other bloggers (although you get the Gold Star) and I have noticed this recent trend of design bloggers going off-topic and confessing to feeling overwhelmed or depressed or questioning the ratio of time spent living through the lens of social media versus just living, etc., which I think is their watered down way of saying, “Something just doesn’t feel right,” and hoping their readers don’t revolt and hit “unsubscribe”. While I think we all enjoy seeing how to put together perfection in rooms, dinner parties, etc., it is SO REFRESHING to read someone admitting to caring about what is going on and acknowledging that what’s going on is scary and bad. Pretty stuff is important and I think it serves its purpose as a happy place for many of us, but it’s kind of like that ol’ bumper sticker quote: “If you aren’t pissed off, you aren’t paying attention!” So thank you to being pissed off. I’m right there with ya!@

  105. Emily-Thank you for writing this. Please ignore the haters. We get you girl. This is not a political piece-this is a human piece. I’ll stand with you for more love and respect. As a public school teacher/Principal who works in our some of our country’s most underserved communities I appreciate this.
    Love-Amanda

  106. Thank you so much for posting this. We need this. I applaud you for writing this, opening up, and asking the questions every single one of us needs to be asking. It’s not easy, you’re putting yourself and you opinions out there while acknowledging your privilege, and I’m some sure there will be a few people upset by it. Some people are what I call “human ostriches,” sticking their heads in the sand of beautiful decor (or whatever) and not facing the issues that are staring all of us in the face. Thank you for talking about something so ugly on a platform that usually focuses on and celebrates the beautiful. Thank you for putting people instead of profit first ( I know you’re not making any cash off of today’s post) even though this is your profession and livelihood.

    Thank you!

  107. (1) thanks for this post, for acknowledging many things and also calling out for better.
    (2) i read a bunch of the comments until it was too much — sigh. so props to you and your team, who i know will be reading/fielding these, sending you guys lots of strength and self-compassion and love to spread externally.
    (3) having traveled/worked extensively overseas, in low-income countries, and who now does part-time work in a low-income school district here in the US, we are so very fortunate here in the states. because most of this stuff really doesn’t happen to us, and we can also insulate ourselves so easily from the bad stuff that does happen. i can easily drink $15 cocktails with my friends just a few miles away from where my little kids are going to bed hungry, because the only two meals they got that day were from their school. there are so many times i want to get lost in my beautiful, curated instagram feed and forget about all the problems, and while one needs time to self-care and recharge, we must also not forget and use what we’ve been given (whether fairly or not) to make a difference.

    i am moving to the los angeles area soon for a new job and i’ve joked that in my dream world you and i would be friends. it’s posts like these that make me even more confident of that statement 🙂 be proud that you are a woman of substance and that you are open to asking questions, learning, and allowing yourself to hurt.

    1. Thank you and welcome to LA. And yes, the economic disparity is insane and so easy to avoid, unfortunately (I’m guilty of it). xx

  108. You should not feel badly about talking about the current state of the world and how you feel about it. It can’t all be about pillows. And I agree, it seems to be coming in on all fronts, lots of hate, killing, us vs. them. It’s exhausting. I try to keep myself informed, but end up feeling so helpless and sad for my child that this is what is getting passed on to him. Lots of fear going on out there, and it makes people react and over react. I feel like empathy is talked about but not practiced. It’s a great buzz word, lets put it on a necklace. It’s hard to be empathic. to stop in the moment when everything is moving so fast, to step out of your own moment and take the time to think about how someone else may see things and be feeling. that’s work! And it’s hard to practice when everyone is so disconnected. The pressure to be relevant on social media has made us all much less social. I think most of the issues lie in what is being taught. What we allow ourselves to view everyday teaches us and we teach our kids. But I don’t think they are always our own thoughts, just sound bites of an agenda driven world. I don’t have an answer to any of our worlds current problems other than to try and be a better person myself, and to teach my child that he can think for himself and that he can make a difference everyday to himself and others by acting in a manner that is authentically himself.

  109. Bravo for posting this. I deleted a comment on a design blog with a similar topic. I think one point you make that is spot on is empathy. When we start looking at each other as human, rather than race, religion, politics, etc. I hope things will get better. Thank you again for being a voice.

  110. More of this please, Emily. Pillows or politics, I will read it, even if the buffoons commenting below insist on turning it into something it’s not. Carry on.

  111. Emily, I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the world and what is going on and welcome the interruption from the ushe!!!!

    100% think fear fuels so much hatred, aggression and the like but I also think fear comes from a lack of LOVE. And not just a feel good kind of love where you just blindly love but the kind that loves like a brother or sister — that serves and cares and sacrifices. The kind that would keep you in L.A. even though you want to run to safety. I always remind my kids before sending them to school to love (i.e. help, befriend, encourage) on the kids that are hardest to love.

    Here’s to loving everyone well!

    XO, Rae

  112. First, I was reading your post, and thinking “well said! thank you Emily for posting this! finally a blogger that doesn’t keep on posting their usual content like nothing ever happened! I really like what is said here! For once, I should leave a comment to let her know that I appreciated this post!”

    and then… I read some of the comments… and I was like -insert face-palming and eye-rolling emojis here-.

  113. Emily,
    Thank you so very much for your transparency. It’s a breath of fresh air.
    ❤️??❤️

  114. Thanks for your take on what is happening. It is a great idea to occasionally comment on
    what is real and happening in the world. We can love color, design, and happy things, as
    well as feel and think deeply about important things. Thanks for your working on the homeless shelter last year. We should all be using our talents to reach out and give ourselves whenever we can, as well as voting and acting on our convictions. It is our country, and we are actors here not just reactors to tv (something I feel at times when I am glued to the TV thinking I imagine that if I just watched more my own empathy will reach them).

  115. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s encouraging to see someone in your field use your platform to speak up about causes you care about. And thank heavens that you care! Thank you for acknowledging your privilege, and being committed to doing something with it. It’s so vital to put aside pride for the sake of really searching out what feels right to you, so thank you for inviting your readers consider all the facts and opinions and sources they can get their hands on to make their own informed decisions.
    I don’t necessarily agree with your position of each one of these issues but I wholeheartedly agree with the way you’ve shared what you believe in and that you’re inviting others to pursue common good. It’s unrealistic and unhelpful to think that we all need to agree on issues, but we each absolutely carry a responsibility to agree to protect human rights and to promote good, kind, and healing causes.
    In a very oversimplified way, it’s not so far off from design: you can be 100% in the MCM camp, or be all about glam, or go for the white-linen-everything look, but whichever style you choose, it’s more about good design than about the specific styles you use. There’s so much room for the good in every philosophy, and no room at all left for hatred and divisiveness.
    Thank you for posting this; it’s so important.

  116. Thank you, Emily. I always appreciate when you comment on issues like this. And frankly, I love that we’re discussing it on a design blog. Sure, talking about styling rooms is fun – but those rooms exist in a world that is not very kind right now. To ignore the time and place in which these rooms exist would be to ignore the full experience. Each person reading your blog is also carrying the weight of these intense times on their shoulders. It’s affecting everything we do. To ignore it here would be strange. Certainly we can continue to find joy and diversion in decorating our homes, but to expect that we should sweep anything real under the proverbial rug because this isn’t CNN.com is just silly. Thank you for sharing. Keep doing it when you need to.

    1. Thank you.

      I will keep reading and so appreciate this.

  117. Thanks for this timely and wonderful post. I couldn’t agree more. We all have a part in what’s happening now and what makes me worried each day is the polarization of the world. There’s so much hate and people like Trump give others permission to let their hatred and prejudice out. What we used to think of as politically correct, people no longer care about. They also don’t care about feelings or manners. I am afraid for the young growing up in this kind of society. Adding guns to the equation just make everything so much more frightening. How some countries can make gun control a priority and we can’t, even after the massacre of small school children says so much. I have hope if we can just get more people out of their complacency. So many are afraid to speak out and even share their views. If we don’t join together in we will never conquer this mess. Wake up people and stop thinking it’s not in your backyard, because it will be coming soon enough, if we don’t do a thing and sit idly by.

    1. Who is adding guns to the equation? Guns have been in the U.S. since the first white Europeans brought them. Children could legally own guns then, and did. Unsure how many school shootings there were.

      I take your point, just wanted to add that the kinds of guns and society’s molding of people are the issues, rather than guns in general.

  118. Perhaps, I missed it as I scrolled through this huge list of comments….but perhaps our world or more specifically our country wouldn’t be in such a mess if we hadn’t kicked God out of everything. We don’t want God in our government, yet our country was founded in Him. We don’t want him in our schools. We don’t even have him in some churches these days. There is no way to fight the evil in this world without the armor of God.

    1. I am content to keep God in my heart and my home if I choose, and keep him out of state and school affairs. People draw very different conclusions about what “God wants”. If everyone’s personification of God was the altruistic loving kind you likely believe in, having him in schools could work, but unfortunately even God is used as a weapon or medium of coercion in so many countries of the world and even in various tenants of Christianity. Many terrorists die thinking they are giving that glory to their God.

      I find that people in largely homogeneous neighborhoods are quick to want God back in school, but would you really be ok with Jewish God, or Muslim God running your child’s school? Or would that make parents nervous, and cause them to start worrying about a teacher’s particular belief system, which is the intrusive slippery slope that IS indisputably what the Founding Father’s cared about. The truth is, good, kind, moral people have drastically differing opinions on God and what he (or she, case in point), thinks, so I am very very glad to leave him out of school. Everything good he presumably stands for…unity, grace, kindness, forgiveness, selflessness, charity, integrity, honor, can just as easily be found in the hearts of (gasp) atheists, or secular humanists, or Buddhists, or Yogis, etc. You even can continue to think that God is originator of this good, but I am glad there are public places free from men’s differing and often incompatible thoughts on God.

    2. Kristi, I agree what you said, wholeheartedly. I am praying hard every day for our country, for our politicians, for the children that we are raising, for all of us, Americans or not.

    3. When God was in our schools, whites kept the blacks out. When our country was founded (supposedly) with God in the government, whites determined that God had created Africans to be their slaves and natives to be savages who needed civilizing. Catholics were not welcome in some colonies. Jews were suspect, too.

      Not to say that God is to blame for all of this. Just that believing in God has not generally kept people from being awful to other people. For the 21st century equivalent, see ISIS.

      1. Amen DRK. And I sincerely think it is a wonderful for people to pray for our country as well.

        1. Agreed. Whether you believe in God or not, he/she can’t be our only option/hope. Relying on that is miopic. But I love the idea that with what God brings, LOVE, that regardless of your religion we can make things better. xx

  119. Thank you for not being afraid to speak up, Emily. Writing about politics is not easy, especially for a blog focused on styling spaces and pretty things. I applaud you for speaking your mind even though you know many of your followers may not agree.

  120. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THIS.
    I am continually heartbroken by the lack of response, commentary or acknowledgement by so many in the blogging community on the state of world affairs. We are all real people in a real world so might as well acknowledge that once in a while between your ‘picture perfect’ outfits/kids/pets/interiors/charcuterie.

    thanks again!

  121. Just wanted to add my voice to those thanking you for speaking up. Thank you. You are being a light in the darkness.

  122. You’ve got guts, girl! Thanks for being daring enough to speak your mind. 🙂

  123. Well written Emily. Everything I’m feeling but add in hopelessness. The availability of guns is the destruction of society. Until government in America have the guts to take on the manufacturers there is always going to be mass slaughter how easy is it to walk into a shop and buy a killing machine just like it was an ice cream. The mass destruction of people in all parts of the world all comes down to greed power and money. It’s becoming a virus ….hey they got away with it we will do it too and probably also disappear. So much of this begine with America. The anybody can be president crap! Look who you’ve got now…..an insane , everone should carry a gun powerhungry mad man. God help America.

  124. As a high school teacher, I hope every school day to reinforce this message. I come to your blog almost daily for the beautiful home updates, but I love when you take breaks to talk about real things, like when you posted about post party depression or about a seemingly obvious message like empathy. Applause from me.

    1. *partum, not party

  125. Excellent. Thank you.

  126. Wonderful. May this be linked all over everywhere!

    No one is exempt; all have responsibility. Let’s breed some gratitude, humility, patience, tolerance, wisdom, knowledge, charity, kindness, respect, love, and courage.

    Xx

  127. You have a beautiful soul and spirit, in addition to a beautiful eye, Emily! Thank you so much for writing and publishing this post! I read it this morning and came back to it throughout the day to reflect. Thank you for making a difference in our world!

  128. Thank you for your thoughtful and very well written post. I know it took a lot of time to make sure you conveyed just what you were thinking and you did an excellent job. You consistently rise above, Emily.

  129. From a privileged brown girl from the 90s to a privileged white girl from the 90s, thanks for being brave and using your platform. Solidarity is powerful.

  130. Not really on topic with your post, but I also went to University of Oregon and majored in History and love learning about the 1960s (although I graduated a little after you…in 2012, haha).
    I also feel this stuff pretty acutely, because I’m now in the process of becoming a teacher, and we’re supposed to “fix” future generations so they’re not like this. I don’t know what to do either, except I hope I can foster an atmosphere of kindness, respect, and understanding in my classroom. Because we definitely seem to be lacking in those values.

  131. This may not be the type of post people come here for, but it was needed. I too loved learning about the 60s. I loved the music, I loved the fashion, I loved the passion. There is one big difference, the 60s were about a war that a generation didn’t believe in. What has been happening is pure hate. While I like that more people are accepting than people were in the 90s, what the last decade has proved is we still have an incredibly long way to go.

    Brittany | thechicette.com

  132. Bravo, Emily!! While I love design as much as the next person, we are living in mind bending, tragic times, (and your point about being of middle classed privilege and not being aware of certain daily atrocities is well taken.) There are life style blogs I read that are blithely going on as if “Nothing has happened”. Talk about shallow!! The repeated incidents of horror and terror in this country, regardless of partisan politics, is terrifying, and so very, very sad. We need to band together as people, pray for peace, and think about what we can each do as individuals to promote love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance and change for the future of the planet. Thank you for saying Ouch when it Hurts. Thank you for for not ignoring the elephant in the well -designed living room!!!
    Thank you for being you!! And may God, or the Universe or all of our ingenuity and good will or whatever you believe in help make this planet a place of peace and tolerance for all of our children, grandchildern and future generations. Please, people, meditate for peace, five minutes a day # one hundredth monkey syndrome…(read the study) Bless you , Emily!!!

  133. There aren’t enough thank you’s to express my gratitude for your honesty, candor, and compassion. This means the world.

    I would love to read a post on your decision to send your children to public school through high school, and hope the overwhelmingly positive response you’ve received from this post encourages you to do so. We need more conversations like this.

    xx

  134. Emily, thank you so much for the thought provoking, heartfelt commentary. As a retired NNICU nurse who worked in a county hospital in Dallas, I have seen the despair and anguish from both native born and illegal immigrants who just want what is best for their families. On the day of the prayer service in Dallas after the tragic police killings, I stood by the side of the road to catch a glimpse of our president and his motorcade. While standing under a tree waiting, I had a wonderful conversation about race relations in our country. There was no shouting,no hateful rhetoric. Just two people trying to understand what is going on in our world.

  135. oh friend. THANK YOU..! as always, I adore and respect your wise words on how high to hang my curtains, but I ESPECIALLY acknowledge you for using your voice in a moment that truly matters on a topic that is impacting us all.. especially since you are a mother, raising part of the next generation, know that I am so grateful. I respect who you are and what you stand for–thank you!!

  136. Well, I am a historian and I take some (small) comfort in the fact that the past really wasn’t better. In the 20s we had the Klan and Red-baiting. In the 50s, McCarthy. Before that, annihilation of the first nations and brutal slavery. Women and many others were not full citizens, etc., etc.

    So, yes, it is bad. Depressing. Sad. Horrifying. But humanity survives. And maybe, maybe, if the police start speaking out, we might rethink the whole let’s everyone walk around openly carrying assault rifles.

  137. Why would you not mention Hillary in your blog post?? It amazes me how liberals are so willing to overlook all that she has done. Why is that??

  138. Emily, please bring more posts like this. You are so inteligent and you do that in such a humble way that is only refreshing, not annoying. Thanks!

  139. Hi Emily, thanks so much for being brave and stepping out with this blog. I can imagine that it is a scary thing to do – especially (as proven by the comments in this blog), people can jump on one comment and totally miss the point of what is being said.
    Please keep being brave and doing this… These are thoughts that need to be heard, discussed and acted on if we are going to see any change. I agree what you said about fear and lack of empathy being major factors to the tragedy that continues to happen all over our world… And change for good is only going to be made by the brave – those that choose to act despite their fear, and love despite difference. I’m thankful that ultimately, love wins… and reminded of this section from my favourite book as to where to start to initiate this in the world I live in… “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13, The Bible.
    Thanks Emily, please continue to write about this stuff! xx

  140. “The badness is too frequent and diverse for that many individuals all of a sudden to be monsters. Society, us, had a role in it”

    I do agree with this. However I also feel that there is another force against us, that being the devil. I know it’s probably not a popular thought, or perhaps seen as juvenial, old fashioned or naive…but the evilness in the world is out of proportion to the evil people involved. Think about it, are you a good person? Are your neighbors? Workmates? Friends and relatives? There just seems to be an larger force at play.

    Just my thought. And it does not negate the need for empathy and love by any means, these qualities are sorely needed.

  141. Thank you for your empathetic post. I do come to your blog to avoid news outlets and disassociate by thinking about pillows, poofs, and beautiful things/spaces. What you do is valid because you continually add more beauty to the world. You and your writers are also witty and funny and often add a laugh to my day. Take that terrorists! We can all be happy in the midst of great tragedy and chaos. I think that is the true art. Pillows, window treatments, and tile are my method to deep internal peace and not in a shallow way. Appreciation is the highest form of love and I come to your blog to do just that.

  142. BRAVO! Thank you for writing and posting this, Emily. I have followed your blog for years and this post was refreshing and for some reason I almost feel relieved. I know that’s sounds strange, but like so many others, this topic has weighed on my mind. Your putting this out there helps lift that weight. My heart is broken and I feel like our society is unravelling. More than anything else, I want my daughter to have empathy and be kind to others. Those are the values that I am trying to instill in her, which means I have to live them every day. I’m happy to know that you, and so many of your readers, want the same. xx

  143. Thank you Emily. I’ve never commented before here because, pretty! Happy! Doesn’t need my voice. This post I feel compelled to thank you for and please use your voice. Maybe that’s the change you bring in the world – that and fabulous style of course. X

  144. Well said, Emily. I commend you for putting your position out there and I agree with your thoughtful, deliberate insights.

  145. Hi Emily. Thank you so much for posting this. You might really enjoy this interview with Thich Nhat Hanh on Being Peace in a World of Trauma. http://bit.ly/29yAcst

  146. I don’t think I’ve ever come across your blog before (Hello *waves*, I’m gonna have a snoop around now), but THANK YOU for writing this and putting it out into the world.

  147. Thank you, Emily, for having the courage to publish this post, which happens to echo many of my own views but would be equally appreciated if it didn’t. I can’t even articulate a comment (type, delete, type, delete) so I can only imagine how difficult it was to put into words everything that’s going on in your head. Granted, as a blogger, you have more experience with that than I do, but it’s great to see you using your platform to promote core human values that are hard to disagree with: equality, love, empathy and understanding. The world needs more of all of this, and it starts at an individual level. Keep the conversation going.

  148. Thank you for being the kind of blogger who addresses things like this occasionally. I know it might be more difficult for others who base their entire livelihood on the blog, so while yours is only part of what you do (and I would guess people who disagree with you might still come back for the style), but I imagine it is still difficult because you never know what your readers think about non-style topics like this, since they are not discussed here that often.

    So while I know there are some critical voices in the comments I just hope the good ones come through too and encourage you to feel like you can do this again in the future.

    As for the Hillary debate. It’s done, whatever you think about it, people still have to chose the lesser evil in a few months. (& I might be using my European standards here, but Bernie wasn’t a proper socialist either.)

  149. Well said Emily! What a clear and rational voice. Thank you for sharing.

  150. Good night in heaven! I think it’s ridiculous that people are being so rude and condescending. You are allowed to have a different opinion than them and since this is YOUR blog, you’re allowed to voice that opinion on said platform. Any of these people who have read your blog for a while and are “shocked” by you’re opinion haven’t been paying attention. I don’t know you personally, but just by what I’ve read of yours in the past, I had a pretty good idea on where you stand on a decent amount of social and political issues.

    Bravo for speaking your mind and holding strong to your beliefs! Regardless of my opinions on these issues, you should be applauded for having the courage to speak your mind. Well done. 🙂

  151. Thank you! I think it is a good idea to take some time to express what you are feeling. Many of us are feeling the same confusion and sadness.
    no matter what your personal or political feelings, we are all in this together. Reaching out in kindness and empathy might get your hand bitten but is always worth the effort. I am a grandmother and child of the 60s. We worked for and demanded change, fought a war and made progress. More can be made together.

  152. Well said, Emily. Thanks for being brave enough to share your thoughts.

  153. Wow. Just…wow. So well-said. I absolutely love your design posts, but I always wait until there is a more convenient time to read them. Like at night, once the kids are asleep, once I’ve done the dishes or folded the laundry. This post? Stopped everything I was doing, turned down the volume on my work computer, and read it, from start to finish. Work can wait. This is so important. Thank you for writing it.

  154. You are a Brave Girl, Emily Henderson! I say that, because your words are powerful. And, because you will probably lose some readers because of it. Taking a stand is the right thing to do, of course, when we see injustice, and you have spoken what needs to be said. You did good!

  155. I appreciate this post so much, Emily. Thank you for speaking up on something that is so important. I live in France now (for the last 10 years) and I am in despair both for my home country and for my adopted country. We have to do something to make it better.

  156. Love this post Emily. Thoughtful. Open-Minded. Honest. Earnest. Everything you work to be, and your voice at its best.

    The only thing that shocked me was learning about the number of highly-conservative and close-minded readers you have. Yikes. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that! Stay strong!

  157. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I read this blog daily for your design and your conscience, I so appreciate you for both.

  158. Wow. Well I don’t usually comment on your blog Emily. Not. Exhausted I don’t love everything you do (I do), but because I have very limited time to make comments and you always have hundreds so I know you won’t miss my measly little comment. BUT. I cannot let this postbox by without comment. BRAVO girl!! You said everything I want to say. Thank you for staying in the fight. We need each other, those of us who are choosing to stand up for what’s good and what’s right. For ourselves and for our children. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    1. That should say “not because I don’t love…” Should have proofed this.

  159. i’ve followed you since design star and the reason is you’re real. (also plenty of pillows and poufs.) thank you for letting the smart, politically engaged and soulful citizen shine through. you’ve got my attention now for another 500 paint chip posts. love to you and yours. power to the people. <3

  160. Thank you for sharing your voice! And I think it’s your blog so you get to write about you want to so don’t listen to any Negative Nellies that tell you can write only about poufs and pillows. Though I like those posts too. 🙂

    I always appreciate your positive attitude and I agree with your sentiments above. Though I do have to say that politics have been this divisive for centuries though. In the 1850s a congressman was beaten on the US Congress floor by another congressman over abolition. John Adams was accused of “securing” a girl for Russian czar. Andrew Jackson’s wife was called an adulterous. Etc. etc. etc.

    My point is that this is happened before but that we must still fight the negative today. Just like others before us have. We must be the helpers to help each other and create the kinder world we want to see.

  161. Dear Emily,
    I like your blog but I love that you spoke up in this summer without a slump! I’d be happy to read more of this having majored in political science but I would also be happy to read only about design things on your websites cause that’s your focus. But acknowledging that you take note of these things is huge to me!
    I also happen to agree with a lot of what you said content-wise but the fact that you had a blog post with this title was what made me give you two thumbs up!!!
    Tina

  162. I applaud you for taking the time to actually speak up about real issues – I find myself shaking my head at bloggers’ tight lips after these events and even more so at their tone deaf posting schedules. So thank you for being real.

    I am, however, disappointed to see you fall into the same pattern I see MOST everybody on social media takes: talking about how heavy a heart you have about Orlando/Baton Rouge/France while ignoring the recent attacks in Turkey and Baghdad, where more than 300 men, women and children died while shopping for Ramadan. I know it’s easier to feel for people who look like you or who live in countries that look a loot like your own, but it breaks my heart (again) so see people only talking about those tragedies while ignoring others.

  163. Hello! (It’s pretty rare that I comment, but here I go!)
    Fun fact, my future goal is to obtain a PhD in History; with a goal to become a professor and work on what I like to call, Human rights. Therefore I appreciate your comment. Too often people on the internet (so it seems) loses empathy as we are not literally talking to one another; so a little shocked by many comments. You are lucky in that you have a powerful voice to lend to this discussion, and please keep using it. You have greatly influenced my style, but your personality is the reason I read. If design is all I care about, well, is that not why Pinterest is around? (That sentence was not directed towards you)
    I can tell you, that this is an important discussion about humanity. As we both know, history has a tendency of repeating itself. Too often people are mainly concerned about the now and push thoughts of the future aside, till (sometimes) it is too late. I live in Texas, and due to a certain political party, some aspects of the history books have been removed or the wrong things have emphases (like a middle name). That is a discussion in itself for later. FYI I have worked with children, time and time again I see that racial and other forms of hate passed down. As a society if we want to change, we must push these (positive) thoughts out in the open and try to make the younger generations see the light. After all, all society depends on children.
    I am sorry I might be jumping around, but I just got off work (and yes, dealing with some of these issues). I hope you have a wonderful week, and to all of those who hate. Hate breeds Hate, and as ANYONE in education will tell you, your children are LEARNING it and ACTING on it. Please, to move forward, we stop using so much hate in our actions, thoughts, comments, etc.
    Now, I am off my soapbox and Thank you!

  164. Emily, I didn’t think it was possible to like you more than I already did! Wow, you’re one brave and amazing woman. Loved every word of this article. Thanks for speaking your mind and putting your thoughts so eloquently into a blog post.

  165. I appreciated your heartfelt post at a time when many of us are struggling to go on with daily routines in the face of so much violence and tragedy. As you said, in many parts of the world (and in certain parts of our own nation), life has always been this way.

    Instead of using the comments section to lift each other up, many of your readers saw it as a place to tear you and each other down. This is exactly the kind of energy that leads to the problems we are seeing in America right now. Keep shining your light, Emily, and thank you for continuing to blog.

  166. Dear Emily,
    I share this perspective, but here is where I get hope:
    We, culturally, are still figuring out this social media thing. This is the first time in history that we all have so much exposure to people, opinions, and perspectives outside of our own. I think as a society we are in the midst of growing pains. We are like a bunch of 13 year olds in a fancy restaurant for the first time: not exactly sure how to behave, thinking our playgrund language will suffice, still learning our manners. I think we will watch the evolution of our society and see major (positive) change by the time our children are our age. Politics are more polarized BECAUSE things are changing! That is what makes some grasp even tighter to the old ways. The ability to be informed is easier, the ability to help others is EASIER now than ever. I have faith in the young. They (we? not sure if I an still lump myself in that group) see the world differently. I really believe things will get better.

    1. Melissa, your comment is so positive and hopeful! I agree we are just beginning to navigate social media and need to be more prudent with our responses. I watch our children teaching and modeling empathy and kindness to their children. It gives me great hope. I appreciate your thoughtful response.

  167. ? <3 <3 <3 Thank you.

    Empathy and inability/inaction of making the "other" "us." A lack of "thinking" and rational thought, and true compassion to bridge our divides.

  168. Well said, Emily.
    I am disappointed while reading some of the comments below the discussion has devolved into exactly what Emily is trying to point out, having more empathy and compassion for people who are different. Even if those differences are political view points. You are not going to convince me that Hillary is an evil, lying person and that Donald Trump is better than she is. I’m not going to convince you that it would be awesome to elect the first woman president of the United States, who by the way is uber qualified to run this great country of ours. I believe in a woman’s right to choose and no amount of discussion is going to change my firmly held belief about that. Just as my views on abortion rights are not going to change a right to life supporter’s views.
    So unless someone truly has not made up their mind about a particular position, and is open to hearing varying viewpoints, then we all should agree to leave our firmly help positions in check and respect the right we each have to those beliefs. Not that I’m closed to learning new things but some positions are not open for negotiation and we should respect that, and instead work on things where there is common ground, like treating people with respect and leaving the world a better place.

  169. Thank you, Emily, for this post!!!!! You ROCK!

  170. Hi Emily,

    Thank you for not staying quiet and instead moving this from a “draft” to a “post”. It’s difficult and brave to speak up; especially with such a large following and the potential to be judged. We may not all agree on specific topics/ideas (as shown in some of the comments), but I hope we can all learn to respect our differences and remember that we are all human beings. This world needs less hate and more love. Thank you for sharing.

  171. Thank you for this Emily. One of the reason I enjoy your blog so much is that it allows me escape from real life for a wee while and indulge in a ‘perfect world’, where I can obsess over small details and crave beautiful things with no guilt…but when I finish ‘escaping’ I’ve often wondered if you are immune to the fear and alarm of recent events that we feel over here in Europe and whether it even registers. Although I loved the blogs I felt increasingly disconnected….I loved this post, you speak for many, many of us and it is comforting to reaffirm that values of truth, love and understanding are universal. It so easy to focus on what divides us, and the media certainly like to, but it’s so important to remember what can brings us together. Your post was all the more poignant for being so unexpected, it really made me stops and think and not despair. I will enjoy your blog all the more now.

  172. Emily, congratulations on an excellent blog post. My comments are several days late (I’m on holiday in Germany) but I feel compelled to add my penny’s worth anyway.

    I have just lived through the EU Referendum (Bexit) in the UK and was a Remain voter. One of the things that became apparent subsequently was that in the great debate facts didn’t matter. In fact, if you were resorting to presenting facts you’d already lost the argument. The emotional and patriotic call to “gain back control” held greater appeal than any form of intellectual argument or indeed analysis of what was in the best interest of the country. Some people used the result as as pemission to be racist and there was a manifold increase in reported hate crimes.

    Sociologists have argued that areas that voted leave in deprived areas such as South Wales and the North East of England (and yet were receive texts of large amounts of EU funding) voted Leave as a form of self harm. If you are at the bottom of the pile socially and economically you have nothing to lose. That is one of the reasons I think Trump’s message holds so much appeal.

    As I took the train from the airport to my parents home on Monday I was reminded of all the soldiers who travelled the same train tracks to the 1st and 2nd world wars and the Gypsies, homosexuals and Jews taken to concentration camps. I felt a horrible shiver at the thought that hatred and intolerance as well as lying and populist politicians could lead to world down the same path again. History teaches us to prevent making the same mistakes again and again- yet human nature appears to want to follow the easy, simple, unintelectual path, not the more difficult and complex one.

    1. Apologies for any typos etc. I’m writing this from my IPhone

    2. Beatrice…BRAVO!!

      1. I just wanted to say- thank you for your wise words Beatrice! I too am scared of history repeating itself- Japanese internment camps, Jim Crow laws, etc. People voting based off fear and thinking things couldn’t get worse- it’s a dangerous gamble.

  173. I have so much respect for you as a person and a blogger. Thanks for bringing these important issues up and using your platform for good.

  174. I am grateful that the topic, “the state of the world today,” was raised and for all of those who were willing to share their thoughts. Lately, after the Orlando tragedy, the unexpected result of the Brexit vote, the unnecessary heartbreaking deaths of African Americans and police officers and the hatred at the Republican convention, I’ve been feeling for the first time ever a sense of the forces that cause global conflict to erupt. At the company where I work, we have the news on all day, yet many people say they don’t pay attention to what current events, or to the election campaign. I know many people are reluctant to discuss political issues at work, and I also think that people experiences growing up in a communist regime, or as children of parents from another country where circumstances were very difficult, there might not be a major incentive to stay engaged with events beyond your immediate circumstances. Doing so could represent too much risk when fear of survival is at stake.

    Having said this, I was bothered by the fact that one person I work with said that he planned to vote for Trump, yet he didn’t watch the news, or pay attention to the campaign. After Trump’s acceptance speech, I was asking people if they had watched it. Several people said no, but I did get into a productive discussion with two who had seen convention’s final speaker.

    One person, a white man who is most likely not motivated by personal financial or economic difficulties given that he is working in a city and industry where wages are quite high, enthused about how wonderful and inclusive Trump’s speech was. He mentioned how bad things had been under Obama and how divisive they have become. I said that I didn’t see it that way, and asked him to explain further. He said that every time something bad happens, Obama makes it worse by emphasizing divisions. I couldn’t help but think that he and others like him (there are several people at the company who have voiced support for Trump, some white, some non-white, either immigrants or children of immigrants)

    1. [may be I reached the character limit? I am not sure but somehow posted the above without meaning to] are influenced by conservative media. The person who made the comment seems very intelligent to me, yet this comment about Obama seems illogical. I am not sure what is behind it, and didn’t find out more because the discussion turned to the problem of police shootings. The said that before the facts are out in these cases, the protesters take to the streets. The other person in the discussion, a black man, and I, a white person, replied that this is because they are

    2. [may be I reached the character limit? I am not sure but somehow posted the above without meaning to] are influenced by conservative media. The person who made the comment seems very intelligent to me, yet this comment about Obama seems illogical. I am not sure what is behind it, and didn’t find out more because the discussion turned to the problem of police shootings. The Trump supporter said that before the facts are out in these cases, the protesters take to the streets. The other person in the discussion, a black man, and I, a white person, replied that this is because African Americans have been targeted for so many years by law enforcement and others in society haven’t been paying attention. The Trump supporter agreed that this was wrong but didn’t know what we could do.

      The conversation later turned to global events when I mentioned that I didn’t see how Trump would improve America’s standing in the world. The Trump supporter listed many circumstances in which he felt that Obama made the wrong foreign policy decisions, including alienating our friends in the world (meaning Israel), not standing up to Putin in Ukraine (he hearkened back to the criticisms of Obama from the 2008 Presidential election, saying something like he wants to talk with our adversaries), and not enforcing the red line in Syria. The other guy and I suggested that the reason Obama didn’t do more in Ukraine is because Obama didn’t want to start world war III. And the Trump supporter said that Putin felt empowered to take territory in Ukraine because Obama didn’t hold the red line in Syria, which we conceded.

      Before ending the conversation, I mentioned that Black Lives Matter and allies came out with a list of recommendations for how to improve relations between police and citizens. The Trump supporter said he’d be interested in seeing it, and later the other guy sent it to us. The discussion ended with me saying that a friend had asked me if I had seen coverage of the Pokeman phenomenon, suggesting it could be an antidote to all of the awful things in the world, as both police officers and civilians like Pokeman!

      Sorry, this turned out to be so long! I have very little experience as an internet commenter. Before ending, I wanted to address a few of points raised in the comments below:
      – I am in no way anti-immigrant, but suggest that instead of a wall, if we want to make immigration fairer and control our security, that we enforce the laws we have in place. We can begin by telling the hotel, restaurant and construction companies that employing people who don’t have a right to work will result in the arrest of the company owner. I believe this would change practices without resorting to the terrible hatred we hear so much of these days.
      – Currently, it is difficult to get Syrian refugees here because the vetting process is so arduous, so we aren’t cavallierly letting people here and we don’t need to ban all those belonging to one religion
      – On how to have a more compassionate and equal society, I highly recommend the This American Life episodes on school integration and the recent New York Times cover story article on this topic. It really does seem like this is the answer to some many ills and I am so moved to read that many of you, even the many who are very well off, are making the choice to have your children attend public schools!
      – There is a philosopher called Marsha Nussbaum, who has so many constructive things to say about privilege, I recommend the little I know of her (she has written 24 books) from the Brain Pickings blog, and from her New Yorker profile. To paraphrase what I think are some of her ideas, anger is almost always an emotion evoked when our status has been challenged, we are all vulnerable and we are all victims of something at some point in our lives. We also all have dignity and agency in this world, That this is the case should lead us to be more empathetic with one another. (I need to read more on these ideas)
      – It is so hard to know the extent to which Hillary Clinton’s ability to lead is compromised by the charges of corruption, self-dealing and improper handling of classified information. If Trump had been in politics for 40 years, of course there would be many ways that people could challenge his record, call him corrupt and call him a criminal. But as many people have said, his methods are reprehensible. To those who would reply that I have been brain-washed, I will acknowledge a bias toward views shared by friends and family members, but also constantly seek out new information from all points of view. I am open to learning more, but don’t think it can be denied that Trump has used racism as one of his key selling points. I don’t think the same can be said of Hillary Clinton, even as she does acknowledge differences as a way to gain support for her candidacy. If Trump did that, it would represent a major change from the tactics he’s used during his campaign.
      – I keep wondering, were things really so much better people in a different era? I know that the global economy has changed a lot, but even given that, were things so much better, really? Either way, isn’t the way to change things to elect a leader that truly addresses the uncertain nature of the future given changing technology and globalization, and offers a positive vision of some kind? Fingers crossed for elections to come!

    3. The other person in the discussion, a black man, and I, a white person, replied that this is because African Americans have been targeted for so many years by law enforcement and others in society haven’t been paying attention. The Trump supporter agreed that this was wrong but didn’t know what we could do.

      The conversation later turned to global events when I mentioned that I didn’t see how Trump would improve America’s standing in the world. The Trump supporter listed many circumstances in which he felt that Obama made the wrong foreign policy decisions, including alienating our friends in the world (meaning Israel), not standing up to Putin in Ukraine (he hearkened back to the criticisms of Obama from the 2008 Presidential election, saying something like he wants to talk with our adversaries), and not enforcing the red line in Syria. The other guy and I suggested that the reason Obama didn’t do more in Ukraine is because Obama didn’t want to start world war III. And the Trump supporter said that Putin felt empowered to take territory in Ukraine because Obama didn’t hold the red line in Syria, which we conceded.

      Before ending the conversation, I mentioned that Black Lives Matter and allies came out with a list of recommendations for how to improve relations between police and citizens. The Trump supporter said he’d be interested in seeing it, and later the other guy sent it to us. The discussion ended with me saying that a friend had asked me if I had seen coverage of the Pokeman phenomenon, suggesting it could be an antidote to all of the awful things in the world, as both police officers and civilians like Pokeman!

      Sorry, this turned out to be so long! I have very little experience as an internet commenter. Before ending, I wanted to address a few of points raised in the comments below:
      – I am in no way anti-immigrant, but suggest that instead of a wall, if we want to make immigration fairer and control our security, that we enforce the laws we have in place. We can begin by telling the hotel, restaurant and construction companies that employing people who don’t have a right to work will result in the arrest of the company owner. I believe this would change practices without resorting to the terrible hatred we hear so much of these days.
      – Currently, it is difficult to get Syrian refugees here because the vetting process is so arduous, so we aren’t cavallierly letting people here and we don’t need to ban all those belonging to one religion
      – On how to have a more compassionate and equal society, I highly recommend the This American Life episodes on school integration and the recent New York Times cover story article on this topic. It really does seem like this is the answer to some many ills and I am so moved to read that many of you, even the many who are very well off, are making the choice to have your children attend public schools!
      – There is a philosopher called Marsha Nussbaum, who has so many constructive things to say about privilege, I recommend the little I know of her (she has written 24 books) from the Brain Pickings blog, and from her New Yorker profile. To paraphrase what I think are some of her ideas, anger is almost always an emotion evoked when our status has been challenged, we are all vulnerable and we are all victims of something at some point in our lives. We also all have dignity and agency in this world, That this is the case should lead us to be more empathetic with one another. (I need to read more on these ideas)
      – It is so hard to know the extent to which Hillary Clinton’s ability to lead is compromised by the charges of corruption, self-dealing and improper handling of classified information. If Trump had been in politics for 40 years, of course there would be many ways that people could challenge his record, call him corrupt and call him a criminal. But as many people have said, his methods are reprehensible. To those who would reply that I have been brain-washed, I will acknowledge a bias toward views shared by friends and family members, but also constantly seek out new information from all points of view. I am open to learning more, but don’t think it can be denied that Trump has used racism as one of his key selling points. I don’t think the same can be said of Hillary Clinton, even as she does acknowledge differences as a way to gain support for her candidacy. If Trump did that, it would represent a major change from the tactics he’s used during his campaign.
      – I keep wondering, were things really so much better people in a different era? I know that the global economy has changed a lot, but even given that, were things so much better, really? Either way, isn’t the way to change things to elect a leader that truly addresses the uncertain nature of the future given changing technology and globalization, and offers a positive vision of some kind? Fingers crossed for elections to come!

      1. Oh no, I am sorry. I am very inexperienced at this and have really made a mess of things by posting accidentally before I was ready then trying to fix it and my comments turned out to be so long!

  175. Wow! You better just stick to decorating.
    Your political views are very biased. As a Trump supporter I am really disappointed in you. Trumps comments are often taken out of context (especially if you are getting your information from biased media sources).He loves this country and wants to give back. Maybe he is not always politically correct but he is honest. Hillary has sold out Americas interests to foreign countries. She lies to the people, the FBI, and now more emails are leaked. If you are a history major do your research.

    1. Taken out of context? Did you hear Trump’s campaign speech? I did, and I have an understanding of who he is, and it is alarming. And just to be clear: Trump loves Trump. Clinton loves this country.

      1. I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone, much less a woman, could ever defend Trump. He is the most vile human being and would be catastrophic for our country. I love how people like to say that Hillary is a criminal but yet she’s never been indicted for ANYTHING. It’s always a witch hunt with the Republicans because they hate the Clintons and would do anything to keep her from being president. But you know what? Love trumps hate every time!

  176. Appreciate this so much!

  177. Emily,
    I am so proud to be a fan of yours. I woke up feeling desolate and alone and to go to my favorite blog for inspiration and find this is so very meaningful to me. Thank you for reminding us to protect our humanity.

    1. Thank you. Stated so well.

  178. Hi Emily, like others who commented, I follow your blog almost daily, but this is the first time I’ve commented. Your post was thoughtful and well informed. Thanks for putting so much time and effort into this post. Although this post was a diversion from your regular content, it is important to acknowledge the ills of the world. Based on a few of the other comments I read, this may have alienated some of your readers. But for me, it only strengthened my support for you and your brand. It’s nice to hear you acknowledge privilege, and situate interior design as somewhat superficial alongside current political and social strifes. Thanks for your bravery and voice.

  179. So happy to read your post about that..

  180. Thank you Emily for using your platform to communicate with your fans about issues outside of the design industry. I realize that you received a lot of negative and positive reactions to your published thoughts, but I hope that the negative commentaries do not discourage you from continuing similar discussions. Very few designers/bloggers use their platforms to shed light on current events, and I am constantly disappointed by this. One thing that I learned in design school is that empathy is one of the most important steps in a design process. If one is unable to identify and acknowledge the perspective of a client, then the durability and appropriateness of the final result is always compromised. Empathy is important in all industries, including politics. I appreciate you for reminding us of this. Keep shining, and doing what you’re doing! I and many others appreciate you for it.

  181. This post is very nice as well very helpful

  182. Thanks Emily! I am a way-left woman of color and I love design. I appreciate that you take the time to write this. I also loved when you just simply stated Black Lives Matter in another post. Because hell yeah they do. This political moment is overwhelming, but it’s so important not to be silent.

  183. I never comment, but thank you Emily for being brave enough to voice your opinion and to stand for truth. I really really appreciate your thoughtful words!

  184. Damn, I love this side of you, no holding back! And how do we fix this? By doing what you just did! A white woman with a huge following acknowledging her privilege and calling on others to do the same! Yaassss!! Thanks a lot for this wonderful comment.

  185. Thank you for sharing…this world is nuts, so distraction is good, but we need to still not hide our heads in the sand, no matter how difficult it is to face. Remember, protect and take care of your immediate circle first. Your little family is first and foremost, but having empathy for the rest of the world is vital. Sad that there is so much greed and nastiness in the world. thanks again…

  186. I would love to play games online, but I was bored because no rival. I was always the winner, so if someone wants to beat me they try to play with me, please

  187. I am falling in love. And I feel very happy with boyfriend. I hope we we would always be together

  188. Great post. Thank you for sharing.

  189. I enjoyed over read your blog post. Your blog have nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog.

  190. Our narcissistic society full of photoshopping thigh gaps and slide-right dating has stopped being empathetic. The vast majority of us are too busy putting a puppy filter on our faces to engage, read, and analyze the nuances of our politics and culture. We don’t know each other and therefore people are too afraid of each other to ask “why?” and “how?” (Do yourself a quick favor and watch this) We’re so comfortable living in our isolated bubbles of safety, and only recently being forced to see the horrible acts of violence, sexism, racism, and prejudice that so many face on a daily basis.

  191. Bless you for writing this post. I feel the same way about moving my family away from this.. I am completely broken that this is what my child is growing into. We’re in this together. I know more people who side on this end than the other end. There is hope. Love you and your blog, Em. 🙂

    1. P.S. huge fangirl since you were preggo with Charlie! 🙂