I've wanted to hide under the bed and ignore the awful stuff until it went away.
But I realized something today. Hiding from reality... ignoring change in society and the world.... what's is what got us into this mess in the first place.
let's look at what has happened in the last few weeks:
- White Supremacist Richard Spencer lead a flaming torch filled march against removing Civil War monuments. This happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Much pearl clutching happened. (Both sides of the issue had the pearl clutching.) Then an African American farmer called out the white liberals on their own bias. I don't know about you, but it made me think. It also made me want to change the way I act and react to people.
- An honest to god noose was found inside the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. A fricking noose. And for everyone who says that it's a joke: it's not. It's a message and a threat. There's nothing funny about it.
- And the most disturbing of all: A man stabbed 3 people in Portland, killing 2. These people were killed for standing up for the women of color that he was harassing.
It's the last one that made me think the most. There's a few issues involved in this. (What follows are my opinions!)
- Even though the President and his government won't admit it, White Nationalistic male terrorists are a bigger threat than Islamic terrorists. With few notable exceptions (9/11 and the Boston Marathon Bombing), many of the biggest acts of terrorism in the states have been committed by white guys. The reason why it is being ignored? Because these white guys mainly kill brown people.
- The guy that did the stabbing in Portland? He's a Bernie supporter. It makes him hard to paint into that above narrative. (although he has reportedly been involved in white nationalistic causes in the past)
- Did you guys notice the FLOOD of people praising these victims, and not saying much about the harassed women that started the mess? We're praising the heroism of the people that helped to stop the attacks. And rightly so. But can we address the bigotry that was the root cause of this?
- It's that bigotry (be it overt or internal) that breeds radicalization. Both in the right-wing white guy sense, and the Islamic Extremist sense.
I think the root of many of these problems goes back to the idea that people like things the way they were. White guys like being on the top of the heap. Even some of the most liberal people around may harbor a bit of prejudice when they want things to go back to the way they used to be. And we all know that ignoring the problem doesn't make it better. Hiding from reality won't work much anymore.
I think that we need to make sure that people know things like that. We need to make sure that history is understood, before it repeats itself.
My question to White America is: why didn't more people speak up as those women were being harassed on that train? Why don't more people try to shut down hate speech and ethnic, racial and religious slurs that we hear every day? Are we afraid of also being stabbed? Are we so used to minding our own business (like our parents told us to) that we don't speak up?
I think there's been a protest just about every month since the President took office. Sadly, I think both sides of the issue are becoming bolder, more outspoken.
I'm absolutely terrified by what I see on the news every day. A Handmaiden's Tale is so terrifyingly close to reality that I won't watch it. But what can we do?
Well, we do what we can. If it it is just correcting people when they are factually incorrect or speaking up as bravery will allow.