I Don't Owe You a Statement, I Owe You a Newsletter.
On choosing to (gently) post through a crisis.
The general sentiment I am picking up online this week is that creators/bloggers/influencers — basically, anyone in the media who isn’t a journalist or war correspondent — feels pressure to “say something” about the war in Ukraine. For a minute, I felt that way too. After such an emotionally traumatic 2020, we all metabolized the lessons of staying silent in the face of inequality differently. But the question I’ve been grappling with is: does everyone with a platform actually need to speak on it?
Most of the people reading this, myself included, have very little power when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That is a very difficult thing to metabolize for a world that is conditioned to confronting problems with tweets and keystrokes. I get it. I’m very upset too. Because the one thing the world seems to agree on is it is a senseless war. And it is natural for empathy to bubble up when we see mass human suffering.
So we do what we can from afar — prayer, donations, protests. But for me, a journalist who has spent her career writing features about food, travel, and fashion, it is hard to see what I have to contribute that would be genuinely useful. In that same sense, it isn’t my moral duty to issue some sort of statement, either. So I don’t say much, because the limitations on my activism are much the same — prayer, donations, protests.
My choice is to redirect you to the far more seasoned and credible outlets — journalists like Jessica Yellin and Mosheh Oinounou — and to tell you to support their work. Amplify their voices. And be very careful what you repost or share from friends, as misinformation is rampant.
And here on The Love List, we will continue on as usual. Because carrying on with life is the great privilege of living in a country where children don’t fall asleep to the sound of air raid sirens in 2022. But please know, I’ll be praying with you.
I’ll be back to our usual schedule next week as I head to Florida.