I don’t even know what to say, y’all. It hasn’t even been a month since Christine Blasey Ford was summarily ignored by a mean, enraged, entitled group of white men, and a few white women, just because who can ever understand them?! It hasn’t even been a month since a belligerent, enraged, entitled beer guzzler of a high-school-was-my-glory-days dude got a lifetime appointment to the highest judicial court in the land. Despite so many things.
Not even a month. But during?
Yesterday, a 10th grader in North Carolina was shot to death by another student who was angry.
This past Saturday, eleven Jews were murdered in their synagogue as they gathered to celebrate a bris.
Last week, an angry man, mid-50s, sent pipe bombs to 14 prominent Democrats and Democratic supporters and to CNN.
Earlier last week, evidence was released showing that Trump’s Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, was found to have violated, in criminal fashion, conflict of interest regulations.
Megyn Kelly expressed sadness that she and fellow white people could no longer wear “blackface” for kicks.
White nationalist Richard Spencer, one of those “very fine people on both sides” according to our “president” was accused by his wife of domestic abuse.
And Brian Kemp, the Georgia Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate, was found to be actively suppressing the vote of thousands upon thousands of his state’s black citizens.
Nine days ago, Trump screamed to any immigrants watching, “This country doesn’t want” you. People cheered.
Ten days ago we found out that in Dodge City, KS, a majority-Hispanic city of 27,000, NOT ONE polling place exists. The only place to vote is outside of town, a mile walk from the nearest bus stop.
Y’all, ten days ago does not even take us halfway back to the Kavanaugh debacle.
Returning to the present, Pittsburgh’s Jewish leaders have written a letter to Trump saying that until he denounces white nationalism and the other heinous shit he seems far too fond of, he is not welcome in their city. Naturally, and not least after crassly holding a rally the day after Pittsburgh Jews were murdered by a man who feels Trump isn’t nationalistic enough (justifying the rally by LYING that the NYSE opened the morning after 9/11 [fact: it was closed for 6 days after 9/11]), he has big plans to go there, DISinvited, this week.
I have followed politics since I idealistically, naively, and somewhat brazenly, applied a Ross Perot sticker to my orange blow dryer in early middle school, hit the “high heat” lever, and went to town for four years. If you haven’t witnessed a south Louisiana middle school girl in the early ‘90s attempting to manage bangs, you haven’t the slightest idea what a hair dryer really can do or how any adhesive in close proximity to it will behave. That shit’s there for eternity. I have never seen anything like this.
The past ten days, the past month, the past two years…how can this level of violent degradation go on? How can anyone come out OK?
Have you read The Power by Naomi Alderman? Just after I first read (re: tore through) it, I spent several days thinking about how fascinating the premise and structure were. Women discover a secret power and, besieged by and pissed off after years of mistreatment and subjugation by men, use it; at first with restraint, and then without. As you might imagine, cataclysm approaches, and one by one, every character, regardless of position, of stake, of power, votes to burn it all down.
The further I get from this work of fiction, the closer I circle back to the ways in which it seems all but true. Any power taken to the extreme is fatal, or nearly so, yes? Religious extremism is but one example, nationalism another.
Can we burn things down next month? I doubt it, but I hope we can light a powerful fuse. I am tired of the hate, the fear-mongering, the othering, the demonizing. I am sick of sending troops to the border because hungry, terrified people are marching a thousand miles simply for the hope of a slightly better life.
I am sick to death of pro-lifers carrying on about the rights of cells but crapping all over the rights of toddlers and children to eat daily and learn and get to see the pediatrician. And I’m sick of all that being contingent on their being white. Brown toddlers? Forget it.
I am sick of guns and bullets, purposeful and stray, killing children and adults out for an evening jog or driving home from working at a food pantry (this happened to a friend’s cousin last week here in DC; shot dead at a stoplight by a stray bullet not aimed at him at all).
I am sick of my children detailing the various lockdown drills they do for weather, intruders, or active gunmen. I am sick of my children getting an exceptional education because I can afford it, but others getting lousy or no education because their parents can’t.
I am sick of propaganda TV passing for “news,” and I’m sick of the people who believe it’s news and then kill people because “the Jews are funding the migrant caravan” and other such complete lies.
I am sick to the point of being ill by having a “president” who only slightly cares about being president to a few and who cares not at all about being president to the rest of us. I am sick of a bullshit electoral system that asserts that 3 people in Wyoming are more important than 60,000 in California. They aren’t. Each person is worth one vote. No more, no less.
I am desperate for the pendulum to swing back to any sense of stasis. We are so far gone from that that I can’t see the inflection point toward normal. And I’m focusing just on America. Have you looked round the world? Have you seen what’s happening in Yemen? Who just got elected in Brazil?
Literally, and as a writer and human who is really sick of word overuse and misuse I use this one carefully, I see NO hope for the United States if the Democrats don’t take back at least the House next month. Trump Republicans have the presidency, the Supreme Court, many of the lower courts, the Senate, and the House. There is not one check or balance on anything anymore except the protesters who continue to march, call, petition, show up, plead, poster, phone bank, and beg. Literally, there is nothing else.
Please be a part of the Resistance, the protests, democracy, whatever you want to call it. Please. If not for you or for me, for our children. Our children have done nothing but be born into this world that is falling apart.
PLEASE vote on November 6th, if you haven’t already. Please vote your conscience. Please vote for your children and grandchildren and our Earth and all who inhabit it. Your guns, your money, your faith- there’s room for it all when we don’t try to refuse room to all but what I or you or she believes.