I stayed up all night on Election Day because I was so distraught. I felt sick. I’ll never forget calling my mom first thing that morning and bursting into tears as soon as she answered the phone. She was upset, too, but said: “you are going to be okay.”
And, look, I WILL be okay. I am privileged in every sense of the word. I’m white. I’m heterosexual. Middle class. I don’t have to worry about paying my bills or being shot when I’m pulled over or whether or not I have the right to marry my partner. But I’m heartbroken for the ones who do have to worry about those things. The ones fighting every single day for their right to EXIST in this country. That’s why I was angry. And that’s why I want to fight.
I have taken a step back from politics because of my job. I have to keep politics and personal life private. Several people complained online that some bloggers weren’t speaking out enough (or at all) about last week’s events. I tend to disagree with the complaints. We are not all in a position career-wise where that’s possible. Should speaking out about a hate group’s protest that resulted in the deaths of three people get you in trouble? No – but we all know that’s not the world we live in right now. But at the end of the day, the only “political” issue I’ve ever given a damn about is human rights. The fact that it’s even political is garbage to me, but, frankly, it’s why I lean left. It’s why I do not support this current administration. For all the “good” I’m told they’re doing, incidents like what happened in Charlottesville last week are on the rise. And the same white supremacy group that rallied in Virginia last week is threatening to come to Lexington, Kentucky “sooner rather than later”. It’s terrifying and heartbreaking.
I stopped watching the news at the beginning of the year. I’m not burying my head in the sand, but, it was crushing me. I felt anxious and pissed and sad all the time. And then I started fighting with people online. Once I engaged a political argument with a family member on Facebook, I knew I had to stop. It wasn’t healthy. I will never change anyone’s mind by fighting on social media. I will never change anyone’s mind by sharing my opinion on my blog. I’m not narcissistic enough to believe that I have that much power (not a dig at anyone – I swear). What I can do (and what I’ve been actively working on this year) is to put my frustration into action. Donate to the organizations you believe in. Volunteer. Mentor. Give your time and money and love. Analyzing and sharing the president’s tweets is not going to do me any good if I’m not willing to get my hands dirty in the real world.
I am horrified and disgusted by what happened in Charlottesville. Why this violence and hate is happening in this beautiful country in 2017 is mind-blowing to me. Our service men and women fight to make us ALL free. Not just us straight, white, Christian folks. All. Of. Us. If you think that your life is more important than that of anyone else – that you are superior to any other race, religion, sexual orientation – there’s no room for you here.
I would love to write a post telling you to “be kind to one another” but this bullshit goes so much deeper than that. This is pure hatred and it’s going to take more than kindness and love to change things. But it is a good place to start.
I’ll end with this: just because you haven’t experienced racism, or sexism, or abuse regarding your sexual orientation or religion doesn’t mean those things don’t exist.