Posts Filed Under politics

Could the internet please figure out what “free speech” means or STFU about it?

by renegademama

Did you see what I did there? I talked about free speech then asked people not to talk so I violated their First-Amendment free speech rights.

No, I fucking did not.

BECAUSE THAT IS NOT WHAT “FREE SPEECH” MEANS.

I know this may be rough and wild in the world of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” where apparently everybody goes around inventing information at random to suit political aspirations, but outside that special vortex, people try to use words according to their actual definitions.

In fact, some of us get super frisky and use the Google to research what a word means if somebody informs us we are using it incorrectly.

But you don’t. This is what you do, Candy. (I named you Candy.)

Candy: “Milo Yiannopoulos losing his book deal is a violation of free speech! Dangerous! Sad!”

Somebody on the internet: “Hey, hi. That’s not what free speech means.”

Candy: “Hillary Clinton is a crook!”

Somebody: “Okay but that’s still not what free speech means. Please look it up.”

Candy: “Politically correct snowflake liberals love to silence people like Milo!”

Somebody: “That’s probably true, but Milo’s free speech rights are intact nonetheless. Google it.”

But you don’t. Ever. I am convinced you’re not even trying.

But no worries. I am here for you. I googled “freedom of speech” (because that’s the official terminology –I’m not trying to be sneaky), and here is what I found for its definition (incidentally, all dictionaries say the same thing, which is how definitions work):

“the right of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference, subject to the laws against libel, incitement to violence or rebellion, etc.” (source)

Another: “the right to speak without censorship or restraint by the government. Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.” (source)

Okay so this is not complicated, right? The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects our right to say virtually whatever the hell we want without fear of legally enacted censorship (although some speech acts are in fact illegal), meaning we can speak without fear of being thrown in prison, or killed by the government (although one may wonder what happened to some of those black Civil Rights activists of the 1960s and 70s who disappeared into thin air, but I digress.)

I can’t be thrown in jail for saying: “Our President acts like Caillou.”

Or “Gee I wish that Nazi was clocked 50 times instead of one.”

Americans get to burn flags, protest, rage, scream, sing, teach, write, and paint without getting chucked into the poky.

Melissa McCarthy gets to make fun of Spicey. Baldwin gets to mock Trump. Limbaugh gets to say women live longer because their lives are easier. Milo YiannoFuckYou gets to be the head gay spokesman for the racist, xenophobic, misogynistic “alt-right.” Bakeries get to gay-bash on Facebook.

IT DOES NOT MEAN THERE WON’T BE CONSEQUENCES FOR THOSE WORDS.

Please for the love of baby Jesus HEAR THIS:

It does not mean we won’t get fired, shunned, uninvited, criticized, kicked off Twitter, blocked, banned, dragged, mocked, and publicly ostracized. Why? Because other citizens get to exercise THEIR freedom of speech in response to ours, and those of us in the private sector get to fire or ban or drag your ass for being an asshole.

Once again just for fun: “Freedom of speech” does not mean “protection from the natural results of being a dick and/or sharing opinions the majority of Americans have progressed beyond because they result in the systematic dismantling of the civil rights of others.”

If I get mad at a coworker and yell that he’s a “washed-up piece of cow shit,” I can possibly get fired for violating a business policy of employing people with self-restraint and manners.

If I walk up to a gay bakery customer and start shouting: “You are evil in the eyes of Jesus and deserve no cake!” my boss can fire me because I am messing with business. Even beyond economics, businesses often have a mission statement, a corporate culture, and if my opinions are not in concert with that culture, I gotta go. 

It’s a condition of my employment. And whether you like it or not, if you believe gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry, or women should stick with the kitchen gig, or all Muslims are terrorists, you are holding archaic beliefs many Americans do not support, so if you share those ideas, there may be repercussions.

This is called, “Being an adult.”

Feel free to hold and yell and cuddle those ideas like your fleece Nascar blanket, but be prepared for what follows.

Societal progress is a motherfucker, ain’t it?

 

Milo YainannaDoucheNozzleButNicePearls can say whatever the hell he wants, and indeed he was invited to UC Davis and UC Berkeley, but protestors created an environment that the university (or HE) felt was unsafe, so he left. He said all kinds of racist and xenophobic and misogynistic neo-fascist shit, and still got invited places and published.

But then it came out that he stated pedophilia isn’t pedophilia if the kid has hit puberty, which apparently is JUST TOO FAR for Simon & Schuster and that Republican rally thing and Breitbart (who knew Breitbart had standards?!).

The rest though was no big deal for those guys, so not one deserves a cookie, not even stale ones with raisins in the back of grandma’s cupboard.

In short, Milo shares a message that many American citizens believe does not deserve a platform. So they did their best to assemble, and deny him that platform. We can argue over the goodness and sanctity of that act, but his freedom of speech is intact. We know this because he’s still walking around being blathering on as a washed-up piece of cow shit.

 

Boycotts are not a violation of freedom of speech.

Protests are not a violation of freedom of speech.

Losing a book deal is not a violation of free speech.

Being uninvited from a speaking engagement is not a violation of free speech.

Milo’s career is smashed because of the choices he’s made within the context of the world he’s living in. Undoubtedly he will maintain a cult-following of alt-right worshippers, but the rest of us have no time for his bullshit, and kindly ask that you exit your unique snowflake word-definition vortex and figure out what “free speech” means, or shut the ever-loving fuck up.

Alright, not so kindly.

But this is America. Milo and I (I just threw up) and you and duck dynasty homophobe guy get to say what we want, and then, we get to deal with the consequences.

THAT IS OUR RIGHT.

 

Here. I made a handy guide the intended audience will never use.

It’s called “Is my right to free speech being violated: A STARTING POINT”

 

***

Speaking of saying whatever the hell we want,

you should join my April online writing workshop so we can

DO THAT TOGETHER.

“Write Anyway” begins April 5.

108 Comments | Posted in nothing to do with parenting., politics | February 22, 2017

A letter to James Baldwin because I have some questions about the love thing

by renegademama

Dear James,

You’re dead, but I’m going to write to you anyway, because I’m lost as hell and I have a few questions about your love theory.

In 1962, you wrote a letter to your nephew because he was “born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity” that he was a “worthless human being” and James it’s 2016 now, and this week, I’ve listened to and read the words of black mothers talking about their sons, because they were born into a country that has “destroyed and is destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and does not know it and does not want to know it.”

They asked us to know it.

They asked us to know it, but I think we won’t.

In 1962 you told your nephew it’s because white people “don’t know he exists” because they “cannot see” and here’s what I want to know, Mr. Baldwin, how do we make people see?

You talked of the conditions in Harlem, 1962, and how white people said: “No! This is not true! How bitter you are!” and “You exaggerate” and now in 2016 they say “ALL LIVES MATTER” and “if he weren’t a criminal he wouldn’t be dead” and they bring up traffic violations to justify the killing of a school cafeteria manager, who was reaching for his wallet, as instructed, with a toddler in the backseat of a car.

He bled and died anyway.

In 1962 you wrote that on the day your nephew was born, his family “trembled” because “it looked bad that day” (for black people in America) and you said, “We have not stopped trembling yet,” and James, in 2016, they have not stopped trembling yet.

The mothers and fathers and grandfathers and uncles and aunts have not stopped trembling and James I want to know when all people who look like me will care more about the trembling.

When.

Because I thought when people with love and hearts and souls are shown facts and shown the suffering of people, James, that they will see because they are human and even though they don’t HAVE to care, they will.

Because they are human.

But James, I think I’m wrong.

In 1962, you told your nephew, “You were born where you were born, and faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason.”

And that was Harlem. And he was expected to “make peace with mediocrity” and was told where to go and how to act and how to be and that’s still here, in 2016, in the narratives surrounding “inner city ghettos” and “black on black crime,” and it’s here through the prison pipeline and racial profiling and economic inequality and the media. Yet it seems almost nobody looks to explore what we’ve done to create, reinforce and secure the failure of people trying to survive in a place “intended for them to perish.”

Intended for them to perish.

They’re still perishing, James.

 

You wrote of “inhumanity and fear” and that’s what I see when I look around at most of my white brothers and sisters and I don’t know if I want to scream or ignore them or get on my knees and beg them, and that’s why I’m writing to you.

You said we are “trapped in a history which [we] do not understand; and until [we] understand it…cannot be released from it,” but they teach and nobody listens.

People don’t BELIEVE what they’re hearing. Why?

“They have had to believe for so many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men.” This is true. I know this because I grew up white. I know what it feels like to learn from unidentified sources, from the air you breathe, from something, somehow, some way, that your race is just a little better but you are for sure not racist because “racist” is slurs and not hiring someone because of the color of their skin and you would never do that! You have black friends.

And if people would just act like “normal (white) people,” everything would be fine for them.

And the people “set down in Harlem,” you see, they don’t act white. And so they don’t count. They don’t matter.

And when people insist they matter, white people don’t have to see. They don’t have to listen. They don’t even have to be vaguely curious. They sit back with a sigh and a “fuck you” and they don’t even hear, James.

This is my worry. This is my worry with your love theory.

 

I feel the silence in my bones of the people around me and the ones doing mental gymnastics to justify police brutality and I wonder if they know in their guts they’re wrong.

You say many “know better” but “find it difficult to act on what they know” because “to act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger. In this case, the danger, in the minds of most white Americans, is the loss of their identity.”

Of course they know better. I’m done pretending they don’t. They know. But it’s easier to PRETEND than admit you’re wrong, especially when all that power is at stake.

I knew better when I learned I had been lied to. When we know better, we do better, right? Isn’t that the way it works?

THEN WHY ISN’T IT WORKING?

Most of the time, I see no way in.

 

“Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shining and all the stars aflame…[it] is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one’s sense of one’s own reality. Well, the black man has functioned in the white man’s world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar: and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations.”

And in 2016 I want to ask you, is this what it feels like? Is this the shaking of the foundations and the dislodging of a star until it comes crashing to our side? Is this it, James?

Because I’m not so sure, and I don’t feel much hope, and you say that love will fix it but I’m not sure, because what good is love if the recipient feels it as VIOLENCE?

An attack on their personhood.

A violation of who they are.

I want to tell them they’re better than this, James. I want to beg them. I want to punch them in their faces.

SEE IT. 

 

You say “these men are your brothers—your lost, younger brothers… and…that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.”

I wonder if that’s so, James. I wonder if we will ALL ever cease fleeing from reality. I wonder if we need them anyway. I wonder if anything will change, other than some of us dying out, to become stars fixed forever on the wrong side of history.

James you promise there’s a transformative love, a powerful one, a love that shakes foundations and sets stars aflame, but it’s hard to believe such power exists.

I’m kinda tired of “love.” I hear a lot about it but don’t see much action. I’m tired of anything that doesn’t make us USE OUR ACTUAL BODIES to dismantle our place, a place that was never actually ours, a place that was stolen, ripped off, burned and murdered for.

You say love IS what makes our feet move.

You say this is how you make change, and you said do not be afraid. I know you weren’t talking to me. I’m not black and I’m not your nephew.

But I am afraid.

Because I wonder when all white people will feel this pain as their pain and this perishing as their perishing and stand up and set the stars aflame themselves, shake the earth themselves, become an immovable pillar in the fight for the moment when, as you say, the “dungeon shook, and the chains fell off.”

So I’ll keep fighting, in love, I guess.

And hope to god you’re right.
actcommitted

 

Note to fellow white people interested in dismantling white supremacy: ALL THE LOVE IN THE FUCKING WORLD IS USELESS IF IT’S NOT BACKED BY ACTION.

We know what to do. “Be an accomplice, not an ally.” The time for talking and feeling super bad at dinner is over. It’s time to move our bodies and use our voices to join the new Civil Rights Movement. Suggestions to begin are here, here, and here

37 Comments | Posted in politics | July 11, 2016

Gender-neutral bathrooms are a parent’s dream

by renegademama

So, people are concerned that male pedophiles are going to prey on girls in female bathrooms.

UMMMMMMMM geniuses. These flesh-eating-bacteria-scum were formerly sharing the bathrooms with your boys.

How were you not concerned about that?

And if you are so concerned about the safety of your children, why the hell aren’t you super freaking happy at the prospect of gender-neutral bathrooms? Gender-neutral bathrooms mean we get to accompany our kids no matter what their gender and age into restrooms.

For example, my 10-year-old son is too old to use the women’s restroom but I hate letting him use public restrooms alone because I’m weird and overbearing and have internalized irrational threat narratives, so my only option is to stand wild-eyed halfway in the doorway, glaring at the people and repeating his name loudly until I’m sure he’s peed safely. And washed his hands.

I’m kidding. I don’t do that. But I want to.

Gender-neutral bathrooms would allow my kids and I to all use the same bathroom as one big hand-washing batshit WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY KIDS family.

It’s a damn parent’s dream.

Everybody keeps talking about family safety. Family. Family. The threat to our girls! And now businesses are like, “Hey, you can stay in bathrooms with your kids to ensure their safety” and you’re like WHY DON’T YOU CARE ABOUT THE SAFETY OF MY FAMILY?

Also, our kids are way more likely to be hurt by people we know. This is awful. This is also a statistical fact. We should all get down with facts.

And if you’re worried about you as a woman getting raped, well, I understand that. That is a worry. I too am a woman, but frankly, we are at some risk no matter where we go, and I’m pretty sure if a rabid rapist were hell-bent on attacking a woman in a bathroom, some stupid fucking plastic sign outside the door wouldn’t stop him.

I don’t think sociopathic degenerates are like “Oh, well, if it says I can’t go in there I guess I won’t” when they plan on assaulting a human being. Something tells me societal decorum is not at the forefront of their minds.

I wish they would die in fires.

Let’s move on to freak-out number 3: Men dressing up as women to creep on females in the women’s bathroom. First of all, this already happens, only with men dressed up as men. Have you not heard about that fucking freak show that like lived in a porta-potty or some shit so he could watch women pee, and, evidently, get pooped on?

I read about that years ago and to this day I can’t use a portable toilet without glancing down to make sure a face isn’t staring up at me. Oh god. I should not have said that. I feel gross.

I hate porta potties.

My point is that there are sick fucks everywhere, people, and transgender people are not more likely to be those sick fucks, and if you think they are, you have bigotry transphobia issues. I suggest you work those out somehow, possibly with education. I am not being sarcastic. I am sincerely asking you to learn about what transgender means and how it is not associated with sexual deviance.

Well, unless you’re some sort of religious zealot like that lady who walked through Target waving her bible with her children in tow (how is that not abuse(?)) screaming about how Target hates babies. In that case, we’ll just hope you don’t homeschool.

And if some dude were claiming he is a woman and hanging out in the Target bathroom just kind of chillin’ randomly, don’t you think somebody would see him and he would get kicked out of the bathroom by security? Like all the other sick fuckwits in the world? 

For example, a couple of years ago there was a creepy-ass looking dude sitting at a table in the children’s section of the public library. There were no kids with him. He was filthy and glassy-eyed and had a coat thrown over his shoulder and lap. I’m going to let your mind wander to the foulest thing you can think of, because you would be correct.

You know what I did? Walked up to the librarian and demanded that the sick lap-stroking subhuman be removed from the library immediately, and castrated. Sorry. So wrong. But fuck that guy. And fuck all the men and women that want to prey on our babies. And fuck the people who think trans and gender non-conforming individuals are those people. 

 

This is my daughter, Georgia:

12961222_10209132545693807_1597598430076518130_o

She was recently thrown out of a bathroom by older children who insisted she was a boy. 

But I’m a girl. 

They blocked her from the stall until she left crying.

Please, be the change, in your family. 

AND BE IT NOW.

 

To the “angry” women of the internet

by renegademama

If you are a woman, and you critique social, political, or cultural institutions, figures, or narratives through your voice, art, writing, music, or social media, you will be called “angry” and told, directly and indirectly, to “calm down.”

Behave better. More pleasant, please. Maybe add a bow to your hair. 

If you are a woman of color in the aforementioned scenario, you will be called “angry” even if your tone is not angry at all, and Super Helpful White People will instruct you how you could “gain more allies if you were nicer.”

(People sit DOWN with that redemption bullshit. Nobody needs you.)

If you are a woman and you write satire, which, by definition, is used to call out another’s bullshit by elevating the situation or behavior to ridiculous extremes, you will be told you are “shaming” that “poor soul.” Even if the poor soul in question SHOULD be called out and NEEDS to be called out and you, as the motherfucking critic, have CHOSEN satire to do so.

That’s right: “shaming.”

Mean girl stuff. You know, vaginas in dispute.

If you are a woman and you say things people don’t want to hear, and you refuse to do it in a tail-between-the-legs, indirect, gentle, subdued way, your argument will be reduced to perpetuation of “mommy wars” or some other contrived battlefield of female bickering.

And as such, people will dismiss you as just “too much.”

Yes, even if your critique is balanced, researched, thoughtful and nuanced, your arguments will be ignored in light of your TONE. Your words will be reduced to the ravings of a “jealous,” “envious,” and “hateful” “shaming” woman.

But if you would have been nicer we would have listened to you, so it’s your fault.  

One wonders how many male comedians are told they are “shaming” people, how many male social critics are told they really should “stop being so angry.” That they are “mean” and “envious” and that is why they’re cracking jokes and writing satire and political commentary.

Even if the thing you’re writing about deserves anger, outright rage, clinched fucking fists and screams, even if the thing kills people, rapes people, unjustly incarcerates people, removes freedom and bodies and choice – the violence of the thing itself will fade to nothing under the shadow of your unpleasant delivery because check it out: YOU CAN SPEAK OUT BUT DO IT WITH YOUR INSIDE VOICE, please.

Nobody likes the yeller.

In other words, you’re not making me feel good about this topic, and I like feeling good, so in the interest of my feelings, please deliver ideas to me gently in a way that makes me feel good about myself and my pick-and-choose activism so I can go home and remember what an aware and enlightened human I am.

I love supporting causes, but I don’t like feeling uncomfortable. 

And it’s not just expected of women writers. It’s actresses and musicians and teachers and mail carriers and doctors and marines. Mothers and daughters and wives and friends.

WE GET TO BE FUCKING ANGRY SOMETIMES.

We get to say what we think in the way we want to say it.

And we get to say it out loud. And loud.

We get to not be “nice.” And they get to deal with it.

 

If you are a woman and you critique and publicly analyze people, systems, and rhetoric of society, you will be called mean and “judgey” and angry and irrational and shaming and “not displaying your best self” so often that one day you will wonder if they are in fact correct.

It will creep in unannounced and plant itself right there in the center of your mind, where faith in yourself lives.

You’ll wonder where it came from, that voice. Was it there before? When did it arrive? When did I grow afraid?

When did I start wondering if it is worth it?

When did I grow so tired?

And when you sit down to write that thing you want to say, you will wonder if silence is perhaps a better option, because you’re not sure you can take one more assault reducing your brain to petty shit-slinging, your voice to the squeals of a little kid not getting their way.

In that moment I hope you come back and read this, and say it anyway, because every time you do, I hear you, and I see you, and even in your rage I witness your love, and turn around to do the same, maybe even a little truer than last time.

 

gofuckyourself

****

WRITE WITH ME.

LOUDLY. Or quietly, actually. It’s cool.

We just need you to say the thing as opposed to not saying the thing.

We start May 24 (and we need your voice).

bastards1

 

We built this house. We can tear it down.

by renegademama

When Trump first announced he was running for president, I found it weird and awful in a “fuck this shit” kind of way but also vaguely amusing in a sad, bad reality-TV show kind of way. Another idiot on the screen. I didn’t take it seriously though.

How could I?

You see, I thought outright racism, xenophobia, and misogyny disqualified someone from presidency. I thought over-simplified, ignorant (if not downright moronic) proposals such as “let’s send all the illegals home” disqualified somebody from a position, say, as PRESIDENT OF OUR FUCKING NATION.

I thought emptiness behind the eyes and acting like an overall buffoon would repel people on a superficial level alone. Simply, I don’t want that asshat representing my nation.

But I was wrong.

I watched the media put him in the spotlight over and over again, and I wondered how they could care about clicks more than the future, about circus over substance. I know. I know. This is how they’ve always been.

But damn.
And with each one of his bigoted, misogynistic, homophobic, idiotic statements, publicized relentlessly, I watched his following INCREASE instead of decrease. It was like an out-of-body experience. I kept thinking, this. This will be thing that wakes up his supporters.

But it made them love him more.

And now, I’m fucking terrified.

Last week, Trump refused to openly and immediately disavow the support of a known KKK member.

THE KKK, PEOPLE. The lynch-ers. The murderers. The children-murderers. The church bombers. Arguably the most violent and hated and ugly group of wannabe humans to ever walk our soil.

Not a deal-breaker, I guess.

 

Trump thinks Mexico is going to “build a wall.” He stated that Mexicans are drug addicts, criminals, and rapists. He wants to register and track Muslims. He wants to survey and close mosques. He wants to lock down our borders based on ethnicity and religion and lock down the internet. He wants to repeal marriage equality. He makes fun of his supporters. He thinks climate change is a “hoax,” invented by the Chinese (?). He mocked a disabled journalist. He mocks “fat” and “ugly” women and said rape in the military is expected if you put men and women together (NICE ONE!). He said he would have sex with his daughter if she weren’t his daughter. He said he “could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot somebody” and not lose voters. This is a small selection of what he has to offer.

And yet, his support grows.

Are we really this fucked up?

Yes. The answer is yes. We know this because his followers love him BECAUSE of his bigotry, not in spite of it.

 

It’s hard to believe this is really my country, right now, in 2016. It’s hard to believe a huge number of Americans think they will “make America great again” by returning to a time the rest of us look back on as the darkest moments in our history.

Make America great for whom?

At this point, supporting Trump unequivocably means support for racism. But this doesn’t bother Trump fans. In fact, I believe his openly white supremacist stance IS THE MAIN ATTRACTION of this circus.

 

Yesterday I read this tweet by Hend Amry: “If you’re an American confusedly watching the darkest forces of ur nation rally behind a demagogue-maybe u can understand the Mid East now.”

When I read her words I felt a moment of relief, you know, the way writing speaks something you’ve been unable to put into words? That’s what I feel. Confusion at watching dark forces I didn’t fully know existed bring to power a man that represents everything I thought my country was moving AWAY from.

Look, I knew they existed, but I thought they were a small, distant number. I thought they were radicals hiding in the corners, not enough people to elect this “rabid coyote,” as Stephen King calls him. (Undoubtedly I thought that because I am white, and have lived my whole life in California.)

 

I’ve listened with anxious curiosity to Trump supporters. They say things like “He’s going to keep us safe from terrorists;” “He isn’t reliant on lobbyists because he’s independently wealthy,” “He tells the truth,” “He isn’t a regular politician,” “Our country is being overrun by immigrants.”

The truth thing is wrong. He lies all the damn time and they’re just ignoring that. But the rest? We made that. We made the whole thing. We built this house one motherfucking brick at a time.

They are afraid. They are fed-up. They are fucking tired. They’re mostly poor and uneducated and overworked. And they live in a country telling them brown people are the reason why. They live in a country breathing racism. It’s in their bones. And now, they’ve found somebody willing to say it. He is voice to their family talks while watching Nascar over dinner. He is their conversation after “church.” He is bar talk with buddies. He’s the motherfucking knitting circle.

He is them.

And we made it all.

WHY DO THEY THINK IT’S OKAY TO SUPPORT AN OVERT RACIST? No, why are they straight empowered by him? Why do they see his devotion to white supremacy as the solution?

Because this is America. This is how we do.

 

We do it every time we call brown religious extremists “terrorists” and white ones “mentally disturbed.” White rioters “upset about the hockey game” and brown ones “thugs.” We do it every time we shoot unarmed people of color without recourse while claiming racism was “fixed” during the Civil Rights movement, a story that allows us to return to bootstraps mentalities while ignoring systemic inequalities in healthcare, education, class, and the justice system.

In other words, we blame “them.”

We set this up, one day at a time. Through our media and national rhetoric, we’ve planted images of the “other,” and the fear and power and entitlement wrapped up in those narratives have materialized in a man speaking that which the nation has been whispering under its breath since inception, carrying out with its hands, pitting poor working whites against people of color to justify the exploitation and powerlessness of their own lives.

Hey, I may be fucked, but at least I’m not brown. We’ve been doing this for years, and it’s worked beautifully.

We’ve bolstered our national (freedom-loving, land of equality) identity in spite of reality through the white-washing of history: by teaching the Japanese Internment in 15 minutes at 2pm on a Friday; by glossing over our Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1790 defining citizens as “free white people of good moral character,” and the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Geary Act; antisemitic efforts and the one-drop rule and nationwide, state-enforced anti-miscegenation laws and the 1907 Gentleman’s Act with Japan; denial of citizenship to Asians, blacks, Filipinos; the Johnson-Reed, National Origins and Asian Exclusion acts that tilted immigration in favor of Western European whites; America’s colonization of the Philippines and the resulting slaughter of 2 million Filipinos; the special gun we made to kill them; denying citizenship, voting rights and representation to America’s colonies, which we call “territories” because “colonizing” is what mean British do; we did it by forgetting the Tydings-Mcduffie Act of 1934 and Mexican Repatriation and the Bracero Act and Yellow Peril…

Make America great again.

Like that?

 

Our nation was formed through exclusionary racist laws, social and cultural forces, but we don’t teach that, not loudly at least, because it hurts our feelings. Is that why? Because it undermines our understanding of precious America?

Nah, I think it’s about power. Maintenance of power.

And I’ll be damned if we’re not getting what we asked for.

This is it people. This is what you fucking get when you let fantasy override reality and rather than face and learn from mistakes, reframe them into vague rhetoric about “the greatest country of earth.” City on a hill. Better than the rest.

THIS IS WHAT YOU GET THROUGH AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY.

You get a bunch of white Americans believing they are exceptional and entitled to supremacy.

Or, Trump supporters.

The people shoving this black teen yesterday in Kentucky are the same angry mob yelling at Elizabeth Eckford as she attempted to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School, in Little Rock, Arkansas, September 4, 1957.

If you don’t teach history, you get history back again.

And now, everybody’s freaking out. It takes a batshit blowhard explaining that he needs to “check his sources” before speaking out against the KKmotherfuckingK to make us scratch our heads and say “Geeeee I guess we should do something.”

Yeah. We better.

Fuck party lines. This isn’t about the GOP or Democrats. This is about not allowing a bigoted almost-fascist (all we need is direct violence!) wannabe dictator to return our country to oblivion. This is about tearing down the mind-boggling danger of him and his followers and the rhetoric they embrace. (Incidentally, let’s not vote somebody in who just says this shit more quietly, mmmkay?)

Use your writing. Use your voice. Use your canvas use your spray paint use your music. Use your car your home your mouth. Use your art your work your hobby your legs and your hands. Use anything. Use everything.

Use your motherfucking vote.

Move your feet. Do not be quiet.

We built this house. We can tear it down.

The revolution will not be televised. It will be live.

God damnit, America, MAKE IT LIVE.

heron

 

195 Comments | Posted in politics | March 2, 2016