Today I did concrete things. I set up monthly donations. I signed petitions.
I read a lot of things that made my blood chill. This thread is a very good example.
Many years ago, my life was very different – probably unrecognizable to many who know me now. I was a very different person in a very different relationship. The people that surrounded me were more diverse than those around me now in ways that I didn’t recognize then, but that feel very important now.
In the days since the election, I have yet to encounter any of the nastiness or hate that is clearly happening all over the country. The people in my social circles are angry, devastated, sad, and scared – but they are rising up with nearly one voice to express the desire to move forward, to love and care for each other, and to be the light in the darkness, both now and in the days to come. And this is a wonderful thing.
But it also means that I am acutely aware that I’m in a bubble, and I’m not sure how to get outside of it, particularly when what’s outside the bubble is terrifying.
I remember what it felt like to be in conversations about guns and the government, and to wonder what circumstances resulted in these otherwise lovely people prioritizing the rights granted in one particular amendment over the rights granted in all the others. I remember what it felt for casual racism and misogyny to be the norm. I remember what it felt like when my body was more valuable than my brain. And I remember, later, and then over and over and over, realizing how narrow my understanding of the world had been.
But I fled one bubble for another. And now I find myself wondering – how do we bridge these huge gaps in order to understand each other? Especially when the rhetoric of Tuesday’s winners is laced with hate? Are respect, listening, and engagement really even on the table? I want to believe that they are, but I really don’t know.
One thought on “Day 2”
Responding here instead of Facebook I don’t think I can take much more today. 😉
Sorry for the screed!
This is exactly how I feel. I recognize that I am in a liberal bubble, but I have been in the other bubble and I know I never fit there.
I lurk a lot on twitter and tumblr and I try to read a lot written by young women of color. They have said over and over again that white women will not side with them and that white women will align themselves by race even if means submitting to sexism. I understood that historically, that was true. And on an intellectual level, I believed them.
But to me, when the choices were so stark, I didn’t think this was going to be the outcome. One candidate had managed to say something offensive about pretty much any group I could think of AND treated women like sexual objects (including his own daughters, how classy) and basically demonstrated very little maturity or forethought. The other candidate had a long record of public service, was a bit ho hum, more hawkish than many liberals would like, etc. I assumed white men would vote for Trump, but I assumed white women would suck it up and vote for Hillary even if they didn’t want to go out and get a margarita with her. Boy, I was wrong. I was really, really wrong. A man promised white women he would protect them from “brown people” and they voted for him.
And now people are telling me to give Trump a chance and that I shouldn’t call these voters racists and that I should try and understand their pain. Well, I’m sorry but that is very hard to do right now. I will not resort to (public) name calling. I will not say “he’s not my president’ (b/c it always annoyed me when people did that to Obama). Trump did win because of our very flawed system.
But honestly I feel like I owe a greater obligation to people whose very lives are threatened. I hope I’m overreacting, I really do. But I’ve decided I don’t want to tell my children I was on the wrong side of history.