Fear Isn’t a Solution
The past 9 days I’ve grappled with, like a great many, a wide range of emotions. In solidarity, half the country mourned the death of a dream. Perhaps one we had willed into false existence which only made the band-aid rip hurt that much more. Perhaps we saw a bit of ourselves die with that dream, too, because we had projected on to Our candidate, many facets of who we are or would like to be.
We saw hope and change reign loud and proud with the Obama administration, and perhaps believed, naively, that it signaled the entire country was moving at the same pace. That the person sitting next to us in Somewhere, USA supports our right to make choices about our own body, agrees that all people should be able to marry the person they love, or at least that the Earth is warming up because, you know, SCIENCE.
But that isn’t the case.
There are a lot of people that believe man was created six days after the Earth was; that evolution is a hoax despite very clear evidence pointing to its validity; that women are below men on the gender totem pole, homosexuality is a choice and gun ownership is our god-given right (it’s bad parenting and the decline of morals that has resulted in an uptick in gun violence). Also, Black lives don’t matter because the guys getting shot should just put their hands up when the police tell them to.
These people fear the thought of living in a country that normalizes feminism, gay rights, and acceptance of all faiths and races, as much as the far Left fears these privileges being taken away.
Rights that, though promised and sold to us on a regular basis through the media, are not real in everyone’s eyes.
As long as we indulge in our false reality, we will find ourselves repeatedly disappointed.
And that goes for both sides.
We can’t be afraid of unknowns and crafted realities. That isn’t a solution.
I think we got a good taste of that last Tuesday evening, when we saw a person win an election after a long, bitter and nasty campaign that was built on bullying, xenophobia, misogyny and arrogance. We saw a man who was caught on camera admitting to grabbing women’s private parts without their consent. And he is going to be our president.
It absolutely infuriates me. And I refuse to acquiesce to the normalization of alt-right, “white pride” diffusion, or any form of hate, intolerance or proposed ethnic cleansing for that matter.
But that’s my stance. Not everyone’s.
(For the record, I know not everyone who voted for Trump fits the above descriptions. Voter turn out and perception were the two big killers for Hillary’s campaign. Despite winning the Popluar vote, a lot of people just couldn’t get behind her).
Many of us may not like the outcome of the election. We may not like the people “Chump” is appointing (like the man behind news titles such as “Would You Rather your Child Had Feminism or Cancer”). We may denounce him as “our” president, and drag our heels with rally signs in our hands. But in January, he will be.
We can be angry about it. We can protest it. We can, and should, continue to talk about and through it (because IT ISN’T NORMAL). But we can’t change the outcome.
Trying to just says to the other half of the country that did vote for him — you don’t matter. It makes us look like sore losers and further validates everything they believe about “Lefties.”
We have to show the world (because everyone is watching) that we will not acquiesce to hate. That we will not accept bigotry, misogyny and bullying. And we will not let fear dictate our reaction to it.
We need to start having actual conversations, rather than talking/yelling at each other from opposite sides of a fence. That fence, being phone screens, where words flow freely without care as to the impact they might have on others.
I can’t and won’t change this. My silly ramblings won’t incite the sort of grand scale awareness I hope to see. Which is, empathy, in the face of opposition. Conversation in place of assumption based mud slinging. And truth.
Underneath the layers of pretense and perception there is always truth.
We just have a really hard time collectively agreeing on what it is.