I've been waffling about posting this. A while back I did an interview and I stated that I was not an activist author. I tried to not get involved in political discussions and to hold my tongue on issues facing society. I did pretty good at that until now. At first I didn't think my voice was important and I didn't want to alienate any potential readers. I wanted my work to be accessible to everyone.
I now realize that isn't the right way to go. Should artists be activists? Hell yes we should. As much as I wanted to hide from it I now realize that it is the duty of all artists, no matter the art form, to speak their minds, and to hold a mirror up for society to look in. It doesn't matter if you actively hold that mirror in your work or if you do it in your interactions with the public. It is our job to speak up whenever we can.
Kathy Griffin did this and faced a major backlash. While the photo of a decapitated trump may have been extreme I fully support her. I don't care if trump's kids are disturbed by the image. Obama's kids had to deal with much worse on a more wide spread front. So trump can sit in the corner and cry about it, something he's actually good at doing, and the rest of us can move on.
This brings me to another point. Not only is it our duty as artists to hold up that mirror and to take a stand, it is also our duty to support each other. When one of us starts a firestorm of criticism it is our job to close ranks around that person and let them know we support them. Let them know that our community is a strong one and we will protect our own.
So, if you're an artist, use your voice, even if you don't think you have one, use it. Don't worry about the public reaction, speak out and stand strong. Our country, perhaps the world, depends on us showing just how ridiculous things have become.
If I were asked today if I was an activist author, I would have to answer yes I am.