The Revolution Will Not Be Brought to You by Angry Loud White Men
Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, but it looks like we might be on the precipice of a good old-fashioned revolution. I’ve watched Democratic, progressive, and left-leaning friends mobilize in droves in the months since the election, and as usual, every time I’m ready to give up on humanity, y’all pull me back in.
While many liberals and Democrats were shocked and appalled at Trump’s victory and Clinton’s defeat back in November, some of us saw this coming. Some of us paid attention to the early polling that suggested Bernie Sanders would be the only candidate that could prevent a Trump victory. And some of us just knew — from personal experience — that the bigots were more numerous and powerful than the Democratic establishment expected.
We knew that after eight years of an LGBTQ-friendly black president, they were coming for us, and a wealthy white establishment candidate wasn’t going to save us just because she is a woman. Even many of my friends and fellow advocates who voted for Clinton readily admitted they did so halfheartedly, fearing the alternative.
We warned you, mainstream white moderates and liberals, but you didn’t listen because you were so confident in your own worldview. So now, here we are, in the midst of a fucking disaster, with a president who apparently wakes up every morning and says, “What new and creative ways can I come up with to violate the constitution today?” It’s horrifying and demoralizing to say the least, but I find myself unexpectedly hopeful that it could be the start of something better.
At first, I was skeptical, and hurt by the fact that it took so long for groups like white women, non-LGBTQ folks, and men to show real meaningful solidarity with causes they claimed to support. I was genuinely afraid of being heartbroken yet again by people who wanted to be “allies” without any risk or dedication to the cause.
But the collective outrage feels more sincere this time — and it’s becoming more and more encouraging every day. I’ve seen more organized political protest and mobilization in the last few months than has ever happened in my lifetime.
Even still, angry loud white men from a range of political perspectives are shouting. Whether it’s Trump’s gaggle of appointees, the leadership of so many national advocacy organizations, the so-called Bernie Bros, or all of the libertarians ever, everywhere I turn in the mainstream and even independent media, I see privileged white dudes who still think we care what they have to say.
What makes me hopeful, though, is that the voices of women, people of color, LGBTQ folks, and those who live at the intersections of these identities are actually finding people in positions of greater privilege who want to listen and learn from marginalized people, and are ready to do the work.
So maybe it’s also a good time for left-leaning white men to yield the floor to the rest of us, support marginalized voices, and understand that their dominance got us to where we are. We’ve been listening to their advice and their mansplaining for too long and it’s time to try something else.
In other words, y’all fucked up so badly this time that you need to sit down, shut up, and give someone else a chance to fix the so-called American Democracy that you broke (or that never really existed, if we’re being honest). Instead of telling marginalized people what you think is best for us, uplift our voices and support our work. Listen to what we say we need, and where you are able, actually give it to us.
It’s time to shut up and listen, loud angry white men. The revolution is here, and it’s not about you.