To All the White Women Calling for Compassion and Tolerance Right Now
As I’ve strolled social media over the past few days, there are a lot of emotions running as we reach the end of this election cycle. Hope, fear, anxiety, disgust, excitement—all of the emotions are on full display, and rightly so. We have been through hell these past four years, and 2020 has decided to go big. With this election, there are groups that have more at stake than others and the outcome of this election could very well be life changing for many Americans.
BIPOC and LQBTQ+ communities have legitimate fears of what it could mean if this election swings to preserve the current administration. I am not being extreme when I say that we look to history and start to wonder when we will be rounded up and placed in ghettos, only to be systematically exterminated. We watch the complicity of elected officials and law enforcement in allowing this President to enable and embolden white supremacists and domestic terrorists and we are afraid for our very lives.
I fully expect that there will be violence no matter which way this election goes. We will either see a bunch of sore losers who will take to the streets under the guise of 2nd amendment rights, or we will see a bunch of terrorists who have just been empowered to continue with their fear mongering ways. Either way, for a Black person like me, I am concerned for the safety of my child and myself. To be quite honest, I am wholly terrified.
So when I see friends of mine who have posted memes calling for love, kindness and peace, I feel unseen. When a friend makes a post to say that all voters are my friends and how you treat those who vote differently from you calls into question your own integrity, I am extremely unsettled. When I see calls asking for people to expend energy creating a peaceful environment after the election instead of worrying about the outcome of the election itself, I see people who have nothing to lose no matter how this turns out. If this is you, it’s time to check your privilege and realize a fundamental truth:
This election is different.
This is not a matter of disagreeing on tax policy that allows big business to control our country. This is not a matter of disagreeing on which funds to funnel to education and which to funnel to the Department of the Interior. This is not a matter of disagreeing on government funded subsidies for people in need. This is not a matter of prioritizing infrastructure over healthcare.
This election is either enabling racism and systemic oppression or soundly admonishing it. There are no two sides about this.
As a Christian woman, I know that Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek. I doubt, however, that he would ask us to embrace our oppressors. Moses drove the Jews out of Egypt to rescue them from the tyranny of the Pharaoh, who had enslaved the Jewish people. He did not ask them to suck it up and be nice.
So no, White women, if this election means four more years of the atrocity in the White House, I will not embrace my oppressors when this is over. I will not gather with those who used their vote to affirm that I should remain a third class citizen and sing kumbaya. I will not have kind things to say about those who voted for the status quo, and if that is you, I will judge you deeply. I will accept the results, but I will not be nice.
I hope that says something about my character because your call for tolerance of racism says a lot to me about yours.