Posts Filed Under politics

I am tired of your small, sad God.

by renegademama

Let me get this straight. God created everything. He (we’ll assume God has a gender and it’s male, because I’m guessing you’ll like that better) made the sun and moon and clouds and oceans. He made every animal, every fish, bacteria, plant, and bug.

He made volcanoes that erupt molten rock and oceans pulled by the moon and gravity and seasons and delicate ecosystems that live and die and recreate and live again. He created the earth in all its ornate mind-boggling complexity to allow for the inhabitation of human beings. He made our cells hold together just so and our brains so complex we can’t even begin to understand them entirely and we are the ones who have them.

He created bodies that birth and heal and function daily with a beating heart and flowing blood and he did all this in addition to, um, creating the motherfucking universe.

An ever-expanding universe. Galaxies of billions of stars. Ever-expanding galaxies rushing into an infinite void.

And this dude, this God, this white dude you evidently worship, this omniscient being who created everything from our ever-expanding universe to the micro-bacteria that keep us alive, also gives a shit if you serve a bakery cake to a gay dude.  

That’s right. NO PASTRIES FOR THE GAYS.

He’s also super involved in bathroom issues and making sure transgender folks don’t have access to Civil Rights. This is extremely important to the creator of the universe.

He also wants to make sure brown people don’t make it into America with their wily, brown-people ways. Especially if they don’t speak American. You gotta look American and speak American to be in America. That’s God’s will.

God loves America. That is why he created national borders. Wait. Did God create national borders? Are you arguing God created national fucking borders?

ARE YOU REALLY FUCKING ARGUING THAT GOD FUCKING ALMIGHTY CREATED RANDOM ARBITRARY LINES WE CAN ALL FIGHT OVER AND KILL PEOPLE FOR SO WE CAN EARN MORE GREEN PAPER WITH NO ACTUAL VALUE WHICH WE WILL ALL LOSE ANYWAY WHEN WE DIE?

It’s cool. I’m fine.

How am I doing so far, oh far-right fanatical “Christian?” Am I holding strong so far?

God is okay with endorsing child predators as long as it will beat Democrats.

God really, really hates Democrats.

God hates Democrats almost as much as he hates gay people.

So what if a grown man preys on children? They’re just girls. God doesn’t like girls as much as boys. That’s why the violation and objectification of their bodies is of minimal importance in light of political gain, particularly in the service of the obscenely wealthy.

God gets really angry when the richest 1% of America aren’t served more and more money bags. That’s why the Bible says: “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail…”

Wait. It doesn’t say God wants billionaires to rake in more wealth on the backs of the needy.

Whatever. Let’s move on. Maybe your God doesn’t come from the Bible? Huh. Weird.

Anyway, God obviously hates poor people. If he loved them, he would have made them rich.

Like a blessing.

Let’s not forget how God is not worried about human influence on the delicate balance he created and in fact believes climate change is fake news.

FAKE NEWS!

He does, however, occasionally punish Californians with earthquakes and wildfires for being queer antifa pieces of shit.

God also hates Starbucks cups that aren’t sufficiently Jesus-y.

After creating gravity, The Almighty articulated paper-cup printing standards.

 

I’ve noticed your God doesn’t care about a lot of things I would think he’d care about, but I guess He’s a complicated guy. Some may say “hypocritical” and “nonsensical” but one thing your God hates, I’ve observed, is critical thinking.

Critical thinking must be of the devil.

Let’s get back to sexual assault of young girls. Apparently, because Mary was underage when she was impregnated by God, raping teenagers is A-okay.

Sure. That seems real.

He also doesn’t care about men who brag about the physical assault of women because it’s just “locker room talk.”

Also, that Moore guy is definitely innocent because he’s Republican and women are liars and he’s not a Democrat.

Like guns, sexual assault and racism are God-given American rights.

ALL HAIL TRUMP JESUS, sent from the Almighty.

Praise.

 

You know what?

Fuck your small, sad God. Fuck him all the way to hell. You’ve deployed the concept of religion to oppress, beat, rape, kill, and harass. I’m tired of your pathetic dreamland spirituality. Your ever-shifting imaginary ego God. Your evil, slight, simple-minded, nonsensical Creator.

Nazis in the streets? The ones chanting Third Reich slogans? They call themselves worshippers of your God, plus Hitler. (Hitler? Remember him? The one who burned babies in ovens?)

The money-and-power-worshipping men in D.C. creating laws to strip the most vulnerable among us of their health and money? They call themselves worshippers of your God.

The Westboro Baptist Church? The ones who rejoice in the deaths of gay people, harass their family members while they mourn? They call themselves worshippers of your God.

You know what Jesus did?

He washed the feet of his disciples. He ate with sinners and whores.

Your story is a lie.

You are some grade-A fake news.

And if there is a hell, you’re first in line. No worries though, I’ll pray for your damned soul. That’s a lie. I probably won’t. (I ain’t that holy.)

It’s time we bury your small, sad God.

Maybe next to Nietzsche, though surely his atheist ass did less harm.

 

 

 

On rage and helpfulness. Or, of course women are furious.

by renegademama

A few days ago, I sat at my desk reading two articles that outlined in detail Harvey Weinstein’s harassment, assault, and intimidation of women.

As I read about the way he threatened and assaulted women – placing them in the position of giving him what he wanted or facing his wrath – which could (or would) essentially ruin their careers, I began thinking of my own run-ins with men who believed their physical or positional power allowed them to sexually threaten, touch, or intimidate me.

I thought all the way back to the neighbor boys in grade school who pulled some shit when my mother wasn’t home, and the bra-snapping in junior high, and the older cousin who stuck his hand down my shirt while I was sleeping. It was a family sleepover. I woke to his hand on my right breast and him looking at me, silently, like, “What?” Stunned, I didn’t say a word. He removed it eventually.

I hated myself for not yelling. I was ashamed and humiliated. I assumed I had done something terribly wrong to make him think he could do that to me. I never mentioned it.

I thought about the boss in the restaurant where I worked as a busser at age 16, the boss who told me there was “one way I wouldn’t lose my job,” pressing his erect dick against my thigh as I stood pinned against the kitchen wall. I wrote about that here.

I thought about the boss I had in college who told me one day that he thought “it would be a really good idea if we had sex,” and I realized he may fire me if I didn’t fuck him. I didn’t. I began looking immediately for a new job.

I thought about the man who stuck his hand up my skirt as I sat at a bar stool. I thought about the two men who tried to rape me on two occasions, and my narrow escapes, and I thought about the strangers who took my hand and placed it on their penises more times than I can count.

I thought about all that, and how we elected a man who bragged about this exact type of assault and I got fucking angry.

I shared this post on my Facebook page and wrote these words: “#HarveyWeinstein, fuck you, and our pussy-grabbing president, and everyone defending the sexism of either of you. May you walk into the fire of a million women sick of your shit.”

I didn’t think about it. I just posted it, in anger. And then, I began receiving the standard disgusting comments one expects when one states such things publicly, but a couple of comments indicated that my anger was “not helpful.” And that got me thinking.

First of all, I’m nobody’s fucking life coach.

If I ever indicated that I’m here to guide spiritual development, well, I didn’t, because that would be delusional. I am a fucked-up, often immature, mercurial human being waking up each day and hoping for the best. If I were some sort of mystic, I’d be somewhere leading silent retreats with a stoic face, as opposed to here, at my desk, eating a cowboy cookie and wondering if you’re going to like my blog post.

I can say I do my best every day, but the fact is my “best” is occasionally (often? regularly? weekly?) rather pathetic.

I’m human at best. A complete asshole at worst. And every day feels like a battle between my higher and lower selves.

And yes, my higher self knows screaming FUCK YOU and FUCK YOU and FUCK YOU from the rooftops is not particularly “helpful.” Nobody’s going to go home and say, “Wow, Janelle screaming FUCK TRUMP SUPPORTERS sure did enlighten me! I see it all differently now!”

And yet, I’m not entirely convinced our anger on this front – the sexual assault/rape culture front — isn’t necessary and vital.

Because women have been told since childhood to shut the hell up about these small and large assaults because “that’s the way boys are.” It’s just “locker room talk,” you know.

We’ve been taught since birth to be grateful because it could have been worse.

We’ve been taught to be quiet because you don’t want to be one of those women, the ones who walk around accusing men of every little infraction. Consequently, women minimize and overlook and tell ourselves “It wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Later, at night, we shudder to remember. And later still, with our friends, we realize every single goddamn woman we know has been assaulted or molested or harassed at least once.

We’re taught to ask ourselves what we could have done to cause it. We’re taught that our bodies were made and built for male consumption – don’t get too fat. Don’t get too thin. Don’t show too much skin. Don’t use your breasts for breastfeeding. Don’t complain. Don’t attack. Don’t be too sensitive.

We’ve been taught to cover ourselves to avoid getting raped, to carry pepper spray and not get too drunk and look around at night while walking and avoid certain places – and we’ve been taught that this is mature, sound womanhood.

We’ve been taught how to WOMAN safely.

We’ve lived and breathed this information and LIVED and BREATHED it again – this way of being –  every fucking day since we knew we were “women,” and it’s all been done with an air of normalcy, an air of “nothing to see here, folks, just another woman trying to stay safe from men who want to assault her.”

SO FUCK YEAH WE ARE ANGRY.

Wouldn’t you be?

Fuck yeah we get to scream for a bit. Fuck yeah we get to come out and yell that we are done living like this and it isn’t “normal” (or shouldn’t be), and we will fight and burn this shit down and maybe our fury right now is our fuel — some fire in our step, some flames to our voices, because we are tired of being attacked and silenced.  

Attacked and blamed.

Attacked and told how to not get attacked again.

Attacked and told how to keep our daughters safe from attack.

Sometimes rage is the first liberating emotion. Sometimes we have to recognize we are furious before we can move on to other emotions.

Sometimes rage leads us for the first time to our voices.

I believe this anger needs to bubble up and out of us in one steaming explosion of united rage, so we can come together in the pain and love that moves past anger and into a planet that’s safe for our daughters.

Nobody asked me if I wanted my body violated. Nobody asked me if I wanted bosses who suggested sex as my obligation to them. Nobody asked me if I wanted to play along with this, and I did, and it got me nothing but a pussy-grabbing piece of shit president.

And the nation made clear it doesn’t want to hear our voices.

So yes. If we have to scream, we will scream. And if it’s in rage, it’s in rage.

How about this?

We will be helpful when you stop violating our bodies in person and legislation.

Until then, rage on, sisters, because I know it’s rooted in love. Love of ourselves, our daughters and granddaughters and sons and grandsons. Sometimes love is fierce as hell – a fighting, relentless, burning thing – and the nation has made it clear it won’t hear our whispers.

So fuck whispering.

We’ve tried that. It’s time for something else. We get to be furious. We get to fight. And we get to win.

 

I wrote this note and stuck it on my wall after the conversations about my lack of helpfulness.

 

35 Comments | Posted in politics, Uncategorized | October 17, 2017

Dear white women: This is definitely us.

by renegademama

NOTE: I wrote this post the day after Trump was elected, but never published it, because my grandmother was murdered later that same day, and obviously this blog was nowhere in my mind. I am publishing it today, in the wake of the Nazi Charlottesville terrorism, because the actual hashtag #ThisIsNotUs was trending on Twitter yesterday. And it feels like we will never learn. 

I wrote this to white women because I am a white woman, and most of my readers are women, but of course it’s relevant to all white people. And everything written here applies to me, too. We are all complicit and all responsible.  


Dear fellow white women:

We have got to stop saying we are better than this. We have got to stop saying this is not our country. We have got to stop saying “this is not us.”

This is us. This is our country. And we are not better than this. In fact, people of color have been telling us this for, oh, forever, and we are only “shocked” because we have not been listening.

62% of non-college educated white women voters cast their ballots for a KKK-endorsed reality TV star who bragged about sexually assaulting women.

53% of white women voters overall went for a KKK-endorsed reality TV star who wants to ban Muslims from entering the country, close down mosques, deport Mexicans, and remove our right to a safe abortion.

This means that white women – our aunts, sisters, grandmas, cousins, friends and neighbors – are largely more invested in white supremacy than agency over their own bodies.

Meanwhile, we make happy Pantsuit Facebook groups and gleefully exclaim, “busted glass ceiling!” Well, almost.

WE CANNOT FUCKING DO THIS.

If we think we get to look away from the disaster we’ve built – that we asked for, that we lovingly coddled and massaged into being – largely by telling ourselves “this is not us,” we are worse than ever anticipated.

If we insist on believing that white supremacy is a distant problem rather than the core of our national rhetoric, we are worse than ever anticipated.

If we cling to American Exceptionalism in the face of undeniable evidence to the contrary, we are worse than ever anticipated.

And if we insist that a small minority of white people went to the polls and created this mess—that merely a fringe population is outright fucking racist—we are worse than ever anticipated.

We may not turn away. We may not blame Bernie Bros, email “scandals,” third-party voters, media, or the electoral college.

It’s all whiteness anyway.

We may not deflect blame.

OVER HALF OF US WHO VOTED SHOWED UP FOR DONALD FUCKING TRUMP.

I know. I know. You’re a “good one.” I’m a “good one.” Everyone in the Pantsuit crew is a good one. And yet.

53%

This is definitely us.

And of course it hurts. It hurts because it’s truer than anything we’ve ever experienced. It is the moment we are faced with ourselves and cannot look away. It is the moment the stripped, hard truth is placed in our hands.

Trump is whiteness personified. He is masochistic white male mediocrity embodied. HE IS OUTRIGHT CLEAR FUCKING RACISM.

And we voted for him.

And yet still what I see is a bunch of sad people running around the internet weeping, This isn’t my country! This isn’t me!

We think we are excellent liberals. We want to be fair and true and just. But women. 53% showed up for Captain I Hate Brown People.

You know what percentage of black women voters voted for Trump?

6%.

SIX FUCKING PERCENT.

 

They say the truth will set you free, but first it will really piss you off. The reason it pisses us off is not simply because we are wrong, but because the truth – the great truth – sets aflame everything we thought we knew about ourselves. It uses us up and spits us out into a pile of something we never imagined could exist in us, let alone thrive at the core of our being.

Do we believe people of color now?

Do we believe our silence is compliance? Do we believe our silence is not revolutionary? Do we believe that it is only through pointed, conscientious action that we can break down the system of supremacy from which we all benefit? Do we see that watching slavery movies and feeling bad isn’t doing a goddamn thing?

Do we believe we are responsible? That we must speak? That we must call out the fifty racists in our families–oh come on. I know they’re there. Even in Portland–that we must RAISE CHILDREN WHO UNDERSTAND AMERICA WAS BUILT ON RACISM?

We are not post-racial. We have never been equal. And it is an outright delusion to convince ourselves “This is not us.”

This man was brought to power because of his white supremacy, not in spite of it.

This is a backlash of eight years of black presidency. This is a backlash against people of color rising to power. This is white America reclaiming its Empire.

This is every race-based immigration law in our history. This is Native America genocide. This is anti-miscegenation laws, the one-drop rule, and American colonization. This is white nostalgia and the rewriting of history.

This is Jim Crow after slavery. This is the prison pipeline after civil rights. This is redlining and white flight after the GI Bill of WWII.

This is exactly how America has always wanted it. HAS ALWAYS DONE IT.

Nothing could be more “us.”

We cannot run from this discomfort. We cannot hide from the dawning awareness that everything we’ve been taught about our country was a lie. We cannot soften this blow.

I choose to believe that this tragedy is not in vain, because I cannot believe otherwise. I choose to believe that this is an opportunity to finally, completely and totally rebuild a sick and broken nation.

We have let down people of color again. We have let down queer folk again. We have let down immigrants, and native peoples too. Again. We have let down women again.

But it is not “we.” Not all we.

It is us.

122 Comments | Posted in politics | August 13, 2017

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