How am I doing this? How am I grocery shopping for turkey and ham and potatoes when there are white nationalists being prepped for the White House? How am I reading pie recipes when my indigenous brothers and sisters are being sprayed with water cannons in the freezing Dakota night and being brutally injured by concussion grenades? How am I preparing a new album for release when there are women in Oklahoma City who have to look at their rapist’s face on a giant billboard? I feel so confused and frozen, unable to process emotion and feeling. I’m in some denial stage of grief as I watch my country implode and divide further. I feel like a tiny bug being flicked about by the giant hands of politicians and corporations. For all of my verbal and heartfelt confidence as some sort of activist over the years, at this moment I have no gumption. I don’t know what to do or what to say or how to act. I don’t want us to get used to this or accept this. It is so wrong, so backward. But I feel all of our voices are just getting lost and drowned. I feel my initiative puttering out with no hint of a filling station. How are we doing this? How are we letting this happen? What do I do? It doesn’t feel like enough to give money to lawyers or send supplies or attend protests or make phone calls. The electoral college seems unreachable. Our current president, no matter how likable, is being a complete coward. I know every one feels powerless so they just continue on with their life. But that’s how they win, they win when we all collectively feel powerless. I don’t have an answer, I don’t have an idea, I just feel powerless, and I don’t want to feel that way anymore.
Samantha Crain is a musician and activist of Choctaw heritage. Her forthcoming, (fifth full-length) album, You had me at Goodbye can be pre-ordered here.