In the face of tragedy and fear, be proactive

Hello from North Haven.

What to say? How do I intelligently respond to the last week? With the possibility of an end to federal recognition of transgender, gender-nonconforming, and intersex identities, pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats, a racially-motivated shooting in a grocery store in Kentucky, and today, an mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue? How do I wrap my head around the willingness of some, even in the face of all of this hatred and the fear it causes, to ignore the lines connecting the lack of condemnation of hate groups, and the actions that now are being taken by domestic terrorists?

I’m scared. Again. Still. I’m tempted to just hide out here in comfort with the wood stove, the shows to binge-watch, my job, my music. But I have to be proactive, and I invite you to join me.

VOTE. Everyone should vote. A decision will be made either way – make your voice part of the conversation. (And if your right to vote is being suppressed, report it. And if you hear about someone’s right to vote being suppressed, report it.) Vote, vote, vote.

Speak up, if you can. No matter your political affiliation. Ask your elected officials to communicate in a way that represents you and doesn’t leave room for hateful extremism. If friends, family, coworkers or acquaintances are using language that marginalizes someone’s identity, let them know how harmful that is.

• Check in. Do you know someone who might be impacted by these events? (Shouldn’t we all be?) Let them know that you see them and their anger or fear.



Little actions can make big waves. That’s true in the negative – use of marginalizing language leads to the acceptance of “othering” which can lead to legislation restricting the rights of some groups or inspire hate crimes – as well as the positive. Do something, even something as small as sending a message to someone who might be a little or a lot afraid right now.

Oh yeah, and vote.

Courtney Naliboff

About Courtney Naliboff

In addition to this blog, I'm a contributing writer to, a Jewish parenting site, a blogger and book reviewer for, and the author of Salt Water Cure, a column in Working Waterfront. I report news from North Haven for Working Waterfront and Island Journal, and was a speaker at the Maine Conference for Jewish Life in 2015. Follow Frozen Chosen on facebook or visit my Web site for more writing and free music to download!