Throughout last year’s election I made no secret of my impassioned support of Hillary Clinton. I live tweeted to my followers during debates and beyond; I attended her rallies and primary night event in NYC (seen mid-chant at said event above!), bringing my followers along live on Snapchat; and shared I my support of her campaign on Instagram. To me, Hillary wasn’t the lesser of two evils. Rather, I believed, and still believe, that she genuinely loves America and would have been a fantastic President.
But this post isn’t about lamenting her electoral collage loss. Nor is this post isn’t about the fundamental differences between Democratic and Republican views. No, this post is about speaking up for the values I firmly believe in. It’s about voicing and encouraging support for the minorities and communities and a country that have welcomed my husband and I so warmly since we moved to America 16 months ago.
Of course, I understand and accept that as a people we will hold differing political opinions on general issues such as the economy, trade, healthcare, business regulation and so on. That’s normal and a healthy debate on those areas is important and should be encouraged. However, there comes a point that a line is crossed and issues between the political parties go far beyond Partisan differences. A point where decisions made by an administration become an invasion of fundamental human rights. A little over a week into Donald Trump’s presidency and I strongly believe that this line has been crossed. Now, more than ever before, is the time for all of us to do what we can, in any small or large way, to show the administration how important it is to protect the fundamental human rights for all American citizens and beyond – no matter race, creed, sexuality, religion, gender, disability and so on.
I was devastated on election night; sick to the pit my stomach. I still have moments of deep, deep sadness thinking how different things would be had Hillary become president last week. Still, I know that I lead a privileged life and that affords me with a security many others don’t have. The day after the election my husband and I said how we won’t be ‘moving to Canada’ or running away back to the UK. We’re not American by birth but America is now our our home, and we both love this country. We love its citizens who have welcomed us, buoyed us and befriended us. We’re not turning our backs because times have gotten tougher than expected. We will dig in. We will do our part to contribute to the country, and work towards coming together to move forward as best we can.
Recently, someone with a large Instagram following said to me that they were too scared to speak up and share their horror at Donald Trump’s actions for fear of losing followers and damaging their brand. I was shocked and saddened to hear them say this because I truly believe that as ‘influencers’ we don’t lose our individuality; we don’t lose our personal voice and beliefs for the sake of a ‘brand’ or business. Influencers must not lose sight of what is right and fair simply for the sake of having a sanitized social media feed. I’ve not shied away from sharing my beliefs or voicing my support for minorities (although I know I can always do more; most of us can, probably) on Bright.Bazaar’s social media platforms. During the election, and since, people have asked me why I would risk jeopardizing my brand by speaking openly about political issues, especially as I wasn’t able to vote in this election. The reason is simple: I love America and I will stand up for what I believe is right and fair for all. My hope it that those who wish to work with me will judge me not on the basis of having a sanitized Instagram feed or a social media history that only shares the latest buys, the newest hotels and the highly edited highlights of a privileged life. But rather, I believe – no , I hope – that I will be judged on the quality of my content, my professionalism and my passion and dedication to voicing my opinion and support for others, without fear of jeopardizing my ‘brand’. In my mind, silence is implicit support for Donald Trump’s abhorrent and un-American values. Silence is to deepen the jeopardy of those who need our support the most.
“Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” – Hillary Clinton, Nov 8th 2016.
It’s this fine quote from Hillary that I urge you to hold close and strong throughout this current administration. Please, please use your voice for good wherever you can. Whether it’s calling a local representative, canvasing in your nearest swing state, or constructively and positively trying to change hearts and minds of those who follow and respect you online, it can and will make a difference. Let’s stand together; we’re stronger together.
Here’s a list of ways you can help and support the communities that Donald Trump and his administration are threatening. It includes details of where to donate or get involved with not-for-profit organisations and individuals that are helping to support people. Please let me know if you know of anything worthy of adding to it as this is by no means an exhaustive list, and you can always help with smaller activism groups in your local community etc. Thank you!
– Donate to and get involved with Planned Parenthood.
– Become a guardian of liberty by donating to the ACLU.
– Find your local chapter of Black Lives Matter and get involved.
– Support the work of the Human Rights Campaign. You might like to read their guide of what to do if you were inspired by the Women’s March for additional positive next steps.
– Write to your local government representative, be it your mayor, governor, representative or senator telling them what’s important to you as a voter. Why not do so using one of Brooke’s illustrated cards, the proceeds of which are donated to Planned Parenthood.
– For people like me who are foreign nationals, don’t forgot to write to your government representatives and ask them to put pressure on their counterparts in the USA.
– There are lots of local organisations near you that support vulnerable people that need help. Go online to Volunteer Match and find ways to support those in need in your local community. You can also find ways to volunteer via the Global Way website.
– Bid on a piece of art from Buy Their Fruits, a nonprofit coalition of female artists in support of women’s reproductive rights.
– Buy (and wear!) a bow tie from Tie The Knot. $20 of every $25 purchase goes to the Tie The Knot foundation, which is working to progress LGBT equality worldwide.
– Keep abreast of current affairs, try to stay informed from multiple news sources. Be involved, give your opinions and speak to people about how you feel; share your personal stories as they are the most powerful things you can say to convince others. Personal stories that individuals can relate to are much more likely to change someone’s perspective so that they move away from bigoted, hateful, racist etc. views.
– Consume news from outlets that you wouldn’t normally turn to. This will help you see other perspectives; you may not agree but I have found that this has helped me understand and speak to people with different views to my own.
– Look at your nearest swing state to see how you can help canvas support and votes for the Democratic Party ahead of the mid terms in two years time.
– Run for office!
– Support the #NoDAPL cause via donations, signing petitions, or calling your representative to let them know you oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline.
– Start a group text to with close friends and family so that you can keep each other in the loop about protests, community outreach, meetings, news etc.
– Donate and support RAINN. It’s the largest national anti-sexual assault organization in the country.
– Subscribe to a newspaper or website that you trust. I subscribed to the NYT as I believe they need our support to continue working hard to deliver authentic journalism.
– If you’re in a position to give a large sum of money and would like to use your donation ability to inspire others to donate as well, then why not pick a charity you’re passionate about and offer to do a donation to match those of your friends and followers. This can be a lovely way to make people feel that they are actually giving double their donation amount. Here’s an example of where this worked really well.
I sincerely appreciate this post and your effort to encourage action and involvement from your community. Thank you for being an influencer that uses their platform to discuss relevant issues, and being unconcerned about “being on brand.” Thank you for also including a diverse way of being able to to help others. May I also suggest contributing to the #NoDAPL cause whether it be donations, signing petitions, or calling your representative to let them know you oppose the pipeline? Much love & respect from a fellow blogger ❤️
@Megan – Of course, it’s the very least I could do. Thank you for the great suggestion of adding #NoDAPL to the list – done and done!
Clapping as I read this. THANK YOU!
@Jessica – Glad you are in support of action to support these minorities and communities. Thank YOU.
I’m glad you shared this post Will. I feel the same way and wish many others would speak up and use their influence like this. Great to learn of Vounteer Match!
@Sam – Isn’t VM great? I just learned of it while researching ways to help and support for this post, and It seems like a wonderful way to help with a variety of voulunteer efforts at the local level.
Brilliant post Will! We are all tying to stand together and be string and have our voice and support be heard back in blighty. This list is brilliant and I’ll be sharing. x
@Lori – Thank you! Great to see so many people back in the UK resisting DT’s actions. I just hope Theresa May starts speaking out more strongly against them too as she represents a country that strongly opposes the hate and division DT’s administration are peddling.
Hey Will, love this post. It’s also just as simple as helping at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Social services funding is always tight and I’m certain it won’t be a priority for the new administration. Or donate to a large organization like United Way that supports many smaller groups in local communities. If you believe in the importance of public television or the arts (which have always been at the forefront of protest), remember that those groups are at risk of losing all funding in the new administration. Support your nearest national park by visiting and making an extra donation. The environment is obviously not a priority any longer; critical climate and science work has already lost support when the EPA was ordered to stop grants. So many ways to get involved. During the last eight years, it was easy to be complacent because our President was fighting for things many of us believe in, but all that has changed now. Fight for what you believe in.
@Michael – Thanks for the suggestion of United Way. I’ve added it to the list alongside Volunteer Match. You make a great point about funding for public television and I agree that climate change is of grave concern, too.
Thank you for this post Will, and for using your platform to stand up for what is right. I have great respect and gratitude for you both staying here and fighting for your new country – love to you both.
@Susan – It’s the absolute least I could do. Sending much love to you all in Philly.
Yes, yes, yes! Speaking up for what you believe in is critical to the authenticity of your outlets. I’ve had the hate messages and emails after sharing, but would much rather have those than be in a position of not being able to share my opinions in the first place. Keep it up!
@Phillip – Right there with you! Thanks for using your platform and voice for good, too.
THANK YOU, Will!! Right there with you. xx
@Anna – Our tweet convos. have helped keep me relatively sane during this uncomfortable and crazy time, so thank you!
Thanks for speaking out and do so, so eloquently.
@David – Of course, it’s the least I could do.
Way to go, Will. You’ve been outspoken with your beliefs this whole time and I admire it coming from someone who is as big a blogger as you. I hope other bloggers who are remaining silent will take a page out of your book -losing a few (or many) followers shouldn’t be the priority compared to what’s going on currently. You’re right, it’s not about the typical partisan differences, this is completely different and not normal. Thanks for having the courage to use your platform to speak out.
@Jackie – Thank you. This is the least I could do and I’m trying to have respectful yet difficult conversations with those that share differing views in the hope they might understand why their is so much resistance and push back to DT’s actions.
Just wow! Thank you. Thanks for speaking out, Will! I admire you, I really do. I hope the whole world will stand up against what is wrong and fight for what is right. Like you and many others are already doing. Like you, I try to speak up and share and read and talk about my beliefs and also try to see things from new and other perspectives. And in times like these, I always try to remember the Dalai Lama’s words: “if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room”…
Big warm hug and much respect and love from this blogger to you,
@Inge – Adore the quote you shared, thank you. Hugs back!
Thanks for the post and solidarity. I encourage you and your followers to give to RAINN. It’s the largest national anti-sexual assault organization in the country. Too many people have had to endure sexual violence and are now triggered on a daily basis by this man. RAINN is a critical resource those on their paths to healing. #NotOneMore
@Manuel – That is a great suggestion, I will add it now. Thank you!
Just curious…are you an American citizen able to vote in this country?
@Patrice – I’m a green card holder so I can’t vote, sadly.
As if I couldn’t love you anymore Will. I started following your Bright Bazaar and it quickly became one of my favorites. Your mix of style, fashion, food, and design all done in a upbeat, positive, non pretentious way. I was happy to hear of your support of Hilary as I was one as well. This blog has added respect and admiration to the previously mentioned adjectives I’ve used to describe you or your posts. I am of South Asian descent, a Muslim, and gay, with a lovely boyfriend who is nice white boy from Pennsylvania. I more than some others understand the hate of Donald Trump. My parents immigrated here in the 1970’s and have no desire to move back. I hope more people read your blog and get inspired by it. Keep up the great work and I look forward to what you will surprise us with next! All the best to you and your husband!
@Aown – I’m always grateful for your kind and warm support of my work, thank you. I’ll be standing with you to help protect your rights during this administration and beyond. Hope to meet you and your boyfriend soon! Take care.
Will this is a brilliant piece, I always come to your blog for amazing design inspiration and colour but it’s more than a little heartening to find such an eloquent and empassioned piece and one that calls for positive action amongst the sadness. The U.K’s loss is definitely America’s gain, you are true gem of the blogging community xx
@Ruthie – Thank you for your lovely words. This was the very least I could do. x
I love it when a community comes together 🙂
@Boha – Yes, we are stronger together without a doubt.
Thank you! From a fellow Hillary supporter, this means the world to me that others are more invigorated than ever to fight for our beliefs. It’s what Hillary will keep doing, and so we must do it too.
@Brendan – I couldn’t agree more!
You captured how I’ve felt–the admiration I have for Hillary and the sadness on election night. I have shared about my feelings a bit on my blog but mostly felt that wasn’t the place for it. Thanks for enlightening me. We are so fortunate to have immigrants to our country like you and your husband. Thanks for hanging in there with us and fighting to make this a better place to live. We are stronger together.
@Susan – Thank you for being so welcoming and for being willing to speak up about what’s fair and right. It really does make a difference!
Thank you for posting about your beliefs and sharing them with your followers. Often, the bigger the amount of followers, the more scared we are of offending people and as such we tend to hide our true beliefs. We try to be as unbiased and politically detached as possible. Thank you for being brave enough for using your voice and for encouraging people to do so as well!
@Didier – Of course, it’s the least I could do. Thanks for your support.
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@Treasure Tromp – Thank you for sharing the post on your blog.
I’ve always admired your candid honesty for what you believe in. It’s what makes you real Will. Each of us around the world should resist what is happening now, this is not a time to be silent. xx Mel
@Mel – Thank you for your readership and agreeing that we need to all speak up. x
Thank you! Love this post. Taking steps myself to be more involved in my community and causes I believe in.
@Renette – So good to hear, thank you!
We are in the same -not American but living here- boat and just wanted to say that this was not only well written from the heart, it shows why your brand is strong – you stay true to yourself. Love it Will! *heart emoji*
(they should make emoji’s for a Mac…)
@Maureen – Thank you for your supportive and kind words!
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I was so pleased when I read this post. I think is fantastic we as “influencers” use our voice for the greater good and talk about important issues and not only about cute stuff. And you also inspired me to create my own. Feel free to check it out https://iammanchic.com/2017/02/03/standing-my-ground-in-trump-administration/
@Jorge – Thanks for sharing your thoughts, too!
If the Koch’s can support the Republican party with their billions then we can absolutely do the same.
The first amendment is for everyone, not just bullies.
Just found your blog through Centsational Girl. So glad. Fabulous!!