It was inevitable that I would, at some point in the next four years, title an entry this. I’m sure this post will be restated by me many times over during the current political situation.
I’ve never been good at confrontation, dissent, or dealing with people who hold tightly to opinions I strongly disagree with. Can I participate in a conversation where someone thinks that UCONN mens basketball is categorically better than Syracuse mens basketball? Sure. And I can even do it reasonably civilly. But I know they are wrong. Where I run into trouble is when people have opinions that, to me, are so clearly on the wrong side of history that it frustrates me that they don’t agree with me. Not only frustrates, that’s too nice of a word. It angers me. It makes my blood boil. I can feel the heat climbing up my chest and face until I can almost feel the steam coming out of my ears. I’m having a really difficult time reconciling the fact that I truly believe, I have no doubt at all, I am currently on the right side of history, with the fact that millions of others ALSO believe, without a doubt, that THEY are on the right side of history. That’s the way life goes though isn’t it? I’m so convinced of my superiority in beliefs that I can’t even FATHOM how small minded someone must be to believe differently from me.
Now I don’t mean I believe that in all aspects of my personal beliefs that I am superior or correct, but in the following categories, I 100% believe that history will prove that I am right:
- Trump. Tell me I’m wrong. Show me evidence that the policies this man is putting into place are good for our country. Tell me how banning people from 7 predominantly Muslim countries…EXCEPT FOR THE ONES IN WHICH TRUMP HOLDS BUSINESS TIES…is beneficial to our country and our nation’s safety? This was in the NYC subway system…on February 5th…2017. Two thousand and mother-fucking seventeen. I relate more to this brand of hate because it’s the one that directly affects me, a Jewish woman, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a story floating around the internet of a senior picture at a school in Texas gone awry when a group of around 70 students started shouting “Heil Trump! Heil Hitler” during their class photo. The stories, as you all know, go on and on and on and affect everyone who isn’t a white, cis-gender, Christian. It’s horrifying. I canNOT incorporate the fact that people, millions and millions of people, think that this man was the correct choice for President of these great, yet broken, United States. (Photo credit: http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/02/ny-subway-swastikas-removed-by-hand-sanitizer-in-viral-post.html)
There was a post from Humans of New York that I wish I could find, but I can’t. A woman was talking about her difficulty with the election cycle and said (something to the effect of), “for me, the line in the sand was the misogyny. For others, it was abortion. For others still it was something else. I have a hard time understanding other people’s lines.” That sums up everything I’m feeling right now. It unconditionally does not make any sort of sense to me that people could have different lines in the sand. How can any of the things he said be ok? How can his stance on business or the fact that he isn’t a life long politician, how can that possibly outweigh ANY of the rest of it? He would have to hold the secret to ending world hunger and communicable diseases for all eternity to have me even begin to consider voting for him. How can the fact that the use of a private email server (which, by the way, Trump himself is now doing…hypocrisy much?) be enough to think the current choice is better? I just, I mean really, I just do not have the capability of incorporating this into any sense of reality. I just don’t. Has anyone had success doing this? Not that I want to try. But anything? I feel so stuck most days. I don’t know how to move through a world that exists like that. Shame on my privileged life that this is my most uncomfortable living setting. The end of this tunnel seems impossibly far away, and the tunnel could collapse before we even get to the end.
- LGBTQ rights. Again. Tell me I’m wrong. You who claim that your version of G-d makes no mistakes. Who claim that to live your life as G-d like as possible is the only way. You who claim that the path to righteousness is to follow the teachings of a man who spoke about unconditional love and understanding. Go ahead and tell me again how G-d made mistakes and that people who fall anywhere in the vast queer spectrum are wrong. A favorite comedian of mine once said, “The mere fact that there are gay people born in the back woods of Alabama is enough to prove that being gay isn’t a choice.” Why would someone chose to be gay in an area where they will be ostracized, abandoned and the target of mass hate?
- Abortion. Please. Let’s go back to a time where 5,000+ women died annually in a fight to have autonomy over their own bodies. Tell me again how you, whoever you are, get to decide what is right and what I can or can’t do with my own body. Tell me again how you, who fight so hard for an unborn collection of cells will then turn around and fight when I request government assistance. How you will call me a whore, a thief and a liar who lives off the teat of the government and the hard work of other Americans. The collection of cells only matter until they are born huh? Then you could care less about them.
- Education. Continuing the theme of “these cells only matter until they are born”, let’s talk about education. How is it even a little OK that a man, who openly mocked people with disabilities, is in charge of appointing someone who will have an impact on my students? Not only that, but the person he picked? And we all thought John King was bad. How in the world is it feasible that a woman WHO HAS NO IDEA THAT THERE IS A FEDERAL LAW PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, not to mention her atrocious and extremely dangerous belief in taking federal dollars away from Title 1 schools for “school choice” is one small Republican Senator away from being official? I cannot.
- Immigration. Let’s face it people, unless you are a Native American, you are, in some way, shape, or form, an immigrant in this country. Do we, as a nation, need to make sure that we vet people? Yes. But guess what? We already have a strenuous vetting process to enter this country. Asking people their beliefs on the President before they enter the country and denying them entrance based on that? Seriously? I travel abroad at least once a year. If they ask me my beliefs, I doubt I’ll be let back in the country. Do we need to protect ourselves? Yes. We do. Does that mean that anyone with a weird (to us) last name, a hijab, a turban, a burka, or brown skin is inherently evil and a terrorist? No. Throughout our history, people have been openly discriminated against based on where they came from. How many of your relatives came over during one of the immigration waves and changed their last names at Ellis Island for fear of discrimination? Again, yes, I understand that in the extremism of the post 9/11 world that we live in that we need to protect ourselves as a nation, but this immigration ban is unbelievably un-American.
- Dakota Access Pipeline. The crimes we, as Americans, have committed agains the Native Americans is nothing short of genocide in my opinion. We have pushed policy after policy after policy through to oppress the Native population of this country. We have marched them from their tribal lands. We have lied. We have stolen. We have raped. We have pillaged. We have shrunk a population of people down to it’s bare bones but that’s still not enough for us. Now, instead of responsibly harvesting energy, we are, as is the norm, taking the shortest (and in this case most destructive) path to victory. We care nothing for the fact that in refusing the shift the location of a pipeline, we are creating the potential to completely destroy the drinking water for the reservation. (I am aware that despite a mountain of reading, I may be getting some facts twisted. If you notice any profound inaccuracies, please respectuflly let me know if the comments below).
The other problem I’m having today is centered around the Superbowl. Such a silly thing to be up and arms about, when you first read the sentence but hear me out. I’m not talking about the stunning Patriots comeback and could give two shits about whether or not Brady and Belichick are cheaters (as the evidence strongly suggests that for at least one Superbowl, they were). What I’m talking about is Lady Gaga’s performance. I, personally, enjoyed performance. She did what she always does. She put on a phenomenal show with a strong message about inclusivity and LGBTQ rights. That’s been her platform for a while now. But guess who else put on a killer show with a strong message that’s been in line with their platform? Beyonce. That’s right. But all of a sudden there is article after article and statement after statement about how it was Lady Gaga who taught Beyonce a lesson in bringing America together. Why? Because Lady Gaga’s message was about people you could imagine as white? Because fighting for LGBTQ rights is inherently less “dangerous” than fighting for the rights of people of color? Because it’s “less” offensive to be gay than it is to be black? Because we refuse to take a look at our police and we refuse to hold them accountable for murder? (This in and of itself could turn into a whole rant about how we hold every other profession – mostly – accountable for mistakes – hell…teachers a essentially burned at the stake if they don’t hit a certain criteria for test score). White people are so unbelievably scared of the concept of ALL people being equal. If I can no longer oppress people who are black or gay or Muslim, than what does that mean for me as a white person? Clearly raising someone up to have the same full rights as me means I’m less than right? Because that’s what it seems like. We seem to be so convinced that if everyone has equal rights, that really means that we won’t. There have been so many articles written about why saying “All Lives Matter” is a crock of shit. Do you homework and go read them. Whitenonsense Roundup is a fantastic resource.
Ugh. I’m so annoyed. And out of time. I’ll write more tonight if I can remember, or I’ll update tomorrow morning if any new feelings arise.