Northern Virginia Ethical Society

"Act so as to bring out the best in others, and thereby in yourself"
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From Social Justice activist Meg Riley
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From Social Justice activist Meg Riley

I would add my personal suggestions about media for people attending alternative events this week all across the country surrounding the inauguration, learned the hard way: If people want to interview you and come up to you with cameras, you may feel the exuberance of the moment and say whatever is on your mind. I encourage you to do three other things instead. (nod to Helio Fred Garcia): 
  • First, ask them who they are and what they are using the film for. Many of us have been quoted out of context in hateful videos. If they don't give an answer that seems solid to you, decline to be interviewed at all. 
  • Second, if you are planning to talk to cameras, have your talking points ready. I strongly encourage you to look at the talking points the organizers of any event you go to have created and stick as closely as possible to them. Only amplify with personal story if it helps to tell a bigger story. 
  • Third, if you are a white, cisgender, middle class, heterosexual, citizen, encourage them to talk to other voices instead. "I hope you're talking to the people most impacted by these policies." I suspect at the women's marches the press will be dying to talk to men about why they are attending, just as they always want to talk to white people at events organized by people of color. Sample response: "I always believe in centering the people who do the real work. Please talk to (a member whatever group the event is focussing on) instead of me." Or even more simply, "Today isn't about me. Please talk to the people most severely impacted by the policies of this administration."