Editor's Letter February DIY
Original thumbnail taken by Olga de la Iglesia
I Am Legend stars Will Smith who plays U.S Army virologist Robert Neville. Robert resides in New York City and is tasked with one job only: to survive. A virus was created to cure cancer, but instead wiped out most of humankind. As the only human immune to this incurable virus, he spends each day going out into the post-apocalyptic streets of New York in an attempt to connect with other survivors. With his dog in tow, he releases radio messages daily encouraging anyone within the sound of his voice to link up and come together. Unfortunately, all those messages fall on deaf ears as the only lives left on Earth are those who have contracted the virus and have become a sort of mutant people lurking in the shadows. “The infected” as they are called watch as Neville maneuvers through the city with hopes that he gives up and does not try to reverse the effects of this virus that man himself has created. Man has always been his biggest threat. Man creates and destroys over and over with no particular rhyme or reason. When man recognizes that he is destroying himself, oftentimes it is too late. His successor is left to pick up the remnants of what was in order to build something new—to create once more. But creating on broken soil has proven to be exponentially more challenging.
On November 8th, 2016 a hush fell over the city of New York. The cabs honked less; the men outside handing out newspapers seemed to have no desire to yell about this morning’s latest news. The trains were divided. Filled with those who feared for their lives and those who felt like, for the first time, America would return to its former glory. America would be great again. Except we at Brainwash know what Neville knew, that the only way to return the city to its former glory was to rid the place of this virus that man had created. A virus that had infected its people and had turned them into beings that were unrecognizable. Folks that were once our co-workers and our small town friends and college roommates were suddenly transformed into these mutants who let their desire for something new and shiny cloud their judgment. But perhaps elements of the virus lived in the soil of our cities all along. Perhaps Man was only fulfilling what this country had told him. Made to believe that the reason they live in a trailer with no job and no way out was because the Mexicans had jumped the border and stolen their jobs. Or the Blacks, thanks to affirmative action, took away a golden ticket for their son to go to school on that basketball scholarship. Or perhaps the Muslims were threatening their safety and destroying the country that they fought so hard for.
A country that they were told was theirs and theirs alone. Except you can’t claim stolen property as your own for this land never belonged to you. Here at Brainwash, we pride ourselves on the fact that we are a d.i.y platform, creating spaces for marginalized folks to come together, have meaningful conversations in a safe space and leave better than they came. With that comes some level of responsibility. Robert Neville never stopped calling out to his fellow man and we will never stop tackling issues that affect black folks. We are not a news site and never claim to be but we recognize under a Trump presidency it is our duty to our readers to remain in formation, challenge “alternative facts” and continue to remind folks of our humanity by telling our stories for that is the only way to control the narrative. This right here is for us, by us. And if they won’t make room for us, we’ll do it ourselves.
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This month is all about D.I.Y and in the spirit of doing it yourself; we do not have any prompts for contributors this month. However, we do encourage anyone who would like to share their story or join the Brainwash team to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org