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Blogging in the Midst of Daily Tragedy . . .

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 And while this will always be a place that talks more about pillows and poufs, I’ve realized every single one of my unpublished drafts (after each tragedy) has some things in common and that maybe talking about those things, using a public platform for my private feelings is important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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4 years ago

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.

Heidi
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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,… Read more »

4 years ago
Reply to  Heidi

This website is good and always shares new thought….

Michelle
4 years ago
Reply to  Taheerah

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.

Ensi
4 years ago

Thank you

4 years ago

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!

Ivana
4 years ago

Bravo!

Jenny
4 years ago

Thank you, so well said.

Susie
4 years ago

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

Kristen
4 years ago
Reply to  Susie

I was wondering the same…

Kate
4 years ago
Reply to  Kristen

I also wondered the same.

Hari
4 years ago
Reply to  Susie

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

Sara
4 years ago
Reply to  Hari

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.

Missa
4 years ago
Reply to  Sara

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.

Erinorea
4 years ago
Reply to  Missa

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.

Kelsey
4 years ago
Reply to  Missa

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.

Vee
4 years ago
Reply to  Missa

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.

Alice
4 years ago
Reply to  Missa

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.

Susie Q.
4 years ago
Reply to  Missa

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.

Chloe
4 years ago
Reply to  Missa

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

Shan
4 years ago
Reply to  Missa

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!

Dee
4 years ago
Reply to  Sara

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… Read more »

Maria
4 years ago
Reply to  Dee

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.

Chloe
4 years ago
Reply to  Dee

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.

heather
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

“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?

Vee
4 years ago
Reply to  heather

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

Molly
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

And you don’t think the POTUS does that?

Amanda
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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!

io
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Sherrie S
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Linda
4 years ago
Reply to  Sherrie S

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.

Sally
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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

Dee
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Debbie
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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

Emily
4 years ago
Reply to  Debbie

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

Anastasia
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Ann
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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… Read more »

Karin Gately
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

happydaysarehere
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Erin
4 years ago
Reply to  Susie

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.

Melissa
4 years ago
Reply to  Erin

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

Tanya
4 years ago
Reply to  Melissa

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.

angelica
4 years ago
Reply to  Melissa

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

Theresa
4 years ago
Reply to  Erin

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…

Abby
4 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Thank you!!! Well said.

Tanya
4 years ago
Reply to  Susie

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.

Christina
4 years ago
Reply to  Tanya

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.

Catherine
4 years ago
Reply to  Christina

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

Linda
4 years ago
Reply to  Christina

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.

4 years ago
Reply to  Christina

“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?

christina
4 years ago
Reply to  jeannette

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.

Kay
4 years ago
Reply to  Christina

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.

Rae
4 years ago
Reply to  Christina

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. 🙂

Catherine
4 years ago
Reply to  Tanya

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.

4 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

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

Julia
4 years ago

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.

4 years ago

brava!

Annie
4 years ago

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

Jody
4 years ago

Thanks Emily, well said!

Kate Holmes
4 years ago

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.

Anna
4 years ago

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}}

Daria
4 years ago
Reply to  Anna

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.

Ana Maria
4 years ago
Reply to  Anna

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.

Tanya
4 years ago
Reply to  Anna

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.

Taza
4 years ago
Reply to  Tanya

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.

Taza
4 years ago
Reply to  Taza

I mean, Tanya (above)

Jessica
4 years ago

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.

Catherine
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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?

Karin Gately
4 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

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.

Emma
4 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

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.

Susan
4 years ago

Amen. Every word.

Katie
4 years ago

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. 🙂

KC
4 years ago

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

Suzanne
4 years ago

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

Katherine
4 years ago

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!

Lisa
4 years ago

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.

Mary
4 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

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?

KD
4 years ago

Thanks, Emily. Well said.

L
4 years ago

Thank you! So well said.

Grace
4 years ago

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!

Amy
4 years ago

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.

Hilary
4 years ago

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…

Kelsea
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Cynthia
4 years ago

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.

Lisa
4 years ago

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

Dana
4 years ago

Well said! Thank you.

Amanda U.
4 years ago

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!

4 years ago

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!

Erinorea
4 years ago

Thank you!

Sadie
4 years ago

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.

Rosie
4 years ago

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.

Amanda
4 years ago

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.

Annette
4 years ago

Thank you.

Thank you.

We sure do need to write beyond our professions.

Sarah
4 years ago

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.

Vivian
4 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

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.

k
4 years ago

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* 🙂

Amanda
4 years ago
Reply to  k

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

4 years ago

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!

4 years ago

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.

kristin
4 years ago

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

Nora
4 years ago

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.

Melkorka
4 years ago

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.

Suzane Henderson
4 years ago

I’ve never been prouder of you…

Camille
4 years ago

Thank you for sharing from your heart!

Yolanda
4 years ago

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.

Colleen
4 years ago

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.

C.
4 years ago

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

abby
4 years ago

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… Read more »

abby
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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… Read more »

Chance
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Catherine
4 years ago
Reply to  Chance

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?

Anna
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Catherine
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

heather
4 years ago
Reply to  abby

“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.

Ana Maria
4 years ago
Reply to  heather

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

Christine
4 years ago
Reply to  Emily

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.

Lane
4 years ago
Reply to  abby

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.

Catherine
4 years ago
Reply to  Lane

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

Lane
4 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

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… Read more »

shannon
4 years ago

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… Read more »

Lisa H.
4 years ago

Well done, Emily!

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