How many of those voices up there are women? People of colour?
I like the emphasis on empathy — but it needs to go both ways. Queerfolk, transfolk, women, people of colour, Aboriginal people… it seems like oppressed folk are expected to offer endless buckets of empathy — but it never comes back.
When will we acknowledge a lot of the “divide” is simply folks who have always had more, upset that they have a little less more than they used to?
Yes, folks are having troubles, but the way people talk, you’d think the only broke, sick, and tired people in America are straight white men. There are plenty of broke, sick and tired black folks and queer folks and Aboriginal folks, but you don’t see them in masses with their pitchforks out for fascism — why is that?
It’s entitlement. Entitlement to being understood. Entitlement to sympathy. Entitlement to having more and better than everyone else.
Where is the Trump supporter’s empathy for the Syrian refugee, or the trans woman who just wants to pee? Or for the black man shot dead in the street for thinking he had the same right to open carry as these straight white cis men know they do?
What are folks supposed to do to please the angry, entitled white man who wants to deport them, or steal their land, or pollute the drinking water their community relies on, or shoot them, or jail them for going to the bathroom, or ban them from getting access to reproductive health?
How are oppressed folks supposed to please these people? How much of our struggle for equality, for justice, for basic fairness, do we need to forgo to show our empathy?
I’d love to see the walls come down, to see an upswell of people demanding more, demanding better — creating something beautiful for all of us.
But that depends on people giving up on the idea that everything would work out if only oppressed people would get back to being oppressed. As long as the energies of the Trump voters of the world are directed at hating an oppressing others rather than on anger at those actually causing their problems — it is fundamentally unrealistic, unfair and wrong to expect folks to extend them empathy that will only be met with threat.