I wouldn’t normally choose to write about divisive politics or controversial world issues, especially under the guise of Mr Merpola. After all, this is a relatively new business and every bit of income earned from it helps me tremendously, why rock the boat? It would be far simpler to blind our collective eyeballs and to make this website a safe haven from the wicked winds of the world, to tell you that everything is brilliant, life is a song and you should buy a tote bag. I can’t. Not right now.
Yesterday I marched. I’d usually prefer to have my feet up and my fists plunged deep into a bag of crisps, but yesterday I got up off of the couch, walked into the centre of Brighton and I marched. I marched with a thousand or so others, many raising homemade placards and chanting phrases like ‘say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here’. Why I left my relatively warm house and hit the cold English streets is a long story, but it involves a president making outrageous statements and enforcing a racist immigration policy within his first fortnight in office, and a Prime Minister who stood by his side, holding his hand, silently.
I'm somewhere in this photo.
History will look back on this period of time with horrified clarity and I do not care to be remembered as a person who stood by silently. I’m not willing to build the kind of business or community that is complacent in the face of intolerance. I have no time for bigotry nor patience for hatred. If you agree with all the inclusion stuff I’m talking about then we’re already the best of friends and I’m thrilled you found Merpola. If you just came here to look at the pretty clothes I make and don’t want to be reading about this, it’s time to wake up. If you have fear in your heart then shake it out, it has no place there. If you have hate in your heart then kindly get off my website.
We’re living in a divisive time, and it’s healthy to be a little furious about the state of politics around the world when people 'unlucky' enough to be born in war-torn countries / with a vagina / are LGBTQ / look different than you do / worship differently than you might (etc) are being bullied and persecuted. But please also take a moment to marvel in the coolness of humanity too. Millions of people have come together in the face of horror these past few weeks. Peacefully yet forcefully, they’ve made their voices heard. It’s truly humbling to be a part of.
I’m not often proud of my grossly-human legs and spend a great deal of time whimsically wishing I had a fish tail or tentacles instead, hence Merpola, but this is not a time to be splashing around under the sea. Get up and speak up for diversity. Get up and champion inclusion. Get up and make yourself proud to be part of this world.