Thoughts on exclusion

Some reactions to the recent ugliness on display at the RNC and within American politics in general (from an American)

Notice how every time a group of well-meaning, capable but socially-excluded people are turned away from the mainstream and forced underground because of an environment of bullying, machismo, violence, aggression and just generally ignorant behavior, they don’t disappear: they go to work bettering themselves and the people and things around them. They fix what they can from their perspective because the larger group doesn’t or isn’t set up to care. People get the picture that no one wants them around and then they go find each other.

We’re still a nation of nerds in bedrooms writing code and street poets penning lyrics under lampposts. It’s so cliched to say everything is going to hell and too easy to repeat and recycle those sentiments. The truth is that people are so weird, so unique and so unbelievably creative out there that no one can see or measure all of it and so the collective potential of excluded people evades our understanding. Instead, what you’re getting as amplified messaging is a sulfurous ignition of agitation, unresolved emotions and very real confusion being guided by people who have no interest in anything but their own self-gratification. They are the only ones left because, well, they kicked everyone out and pushed everyone away and now they are totally desperate.

It doesn’t feel good to be excluded but it presents challenges and leads to ideas, perspectives and solutions that are goddamn vital. And exclusion only works if everyone agrees to be powerless together.

Don’t let this national (or even international) focus on exclusion keep you from doing your special thing and making your individual contributions to your family, friends, community and country. Don’t worry about whether or not what you’re doing is important. It is and always is. Just tune in real quick to vote and then go back to the real work you have to do. And you definitely know what that is because you are already doing it.

Brandon Schmittling

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Be valued and valuable.