The people I’ve found most shocked about the outcome of Election 2016 are white people.
If I were being completely honest with myself, (and those of you who follow my wall) this backlash and increased terrorism against POC, LGBTQ and other marginalized groups, protests included, would have happened even if Hillary Clinton won the election (yes, the Electoral College).
As much as people want to claim (public figures, private figures and everyone in between) that this election wasn’t about a response to the other, some of us need to stop denying the truth of this.
I’ve been working the idea (and speaking about it) that the most-maligned “minority” in this country is the poor and working white class.
In some ways, the false construction of race has really given them the short end of the stick from fighting in the Civil War for rich plantation owners (to keep their slaves, not states rights) until now. They are ignored and ridiculed by their own. They are the neglected children of the country, and a pathology, that they love so dearly.
To further the insult, to some, those that they were taught are lesser than them because of hue or orientation or gender are celebrated, called heroes and role models, when those other people rise from the same miserable conditions they have been forced to endure due to loss of industry, environmental distress, social depression and more.
This is a very hollow victory for them… Especially as the ones who may not be racist, misogynistic, etc. are lumped into the same group of others who look like them. Now, they must hide their thoughts and beliefs, fundamental aspects of who they are, from others lest they be stereotyped and lumped in with the dysfunctional members of their tribe. They have to pass as someone else in order to get through the day…
It’s kinda like what People Of Color have been facing since the beginning on this country.
Don’t get me wrong… POC, LGBTQ and other marginalized groups are extremely frightened about what just happened.
However, we pretty much knew it was coming. In particular, African Americans, First Nation and Latinix Americans were shocked, but not surprised at what happened the night of Election 2016… At all. Literally for us, with Sandra Bland, voter suppression, NoDAPL, “Build That Wall” and so many other things we have dealt with not just this year, but from time, Tuesday night was just another day in the sense of dreams deferred and denied.
Here’s the thing: we POC always knew that stakes were high. And, that this very real danger is not surprising. The past couple years, decades, centuries of terrorism have got us activated and prepared.
Still, though I may understand, things were said in this campaign that cannot be brushed aside. History cannot be taken back nor rewritten as much as people try to. Fools keep reaching for that imaginary carrot of White Privilege (really Class Privilege) like Charlie Brown keeps trying to kick that ball only to have the football snatched from them again and again…
For that, there is no sympathy, no understanding.
Because it is the pursuit of privilege that perpetuated slavery, created Jim Crow & Segregation, destroyed Black Wall Street, invented Redlining, created COINTELPRO and started the War on Drugs to name a few of the pursuit’s outcomes. That pursuit of privilege ends the lives of Black and Brown folk without compunction far too early and blames the victim for being victimized. It has destroyed empathy and compassion.
No, this is the Come to Jesus moment, another example of a long overdue dismantling of some fundamental lies. Now, white folks need to have a discussion with each other to reconcile these issues.
This existential crisis is that community’s cross to bear. They need to own it. They shouldn’t deny the conflict that some may be wrestling with in their hearts and minds. They need to feel that pain…
…because on the other side of that pain is understanding and compassion.
People need to take a good long look in the mirror and really accept some hard truths if there’s going to be any sincere and lasting change…
Creating a totem out of something that one can find in their junk drawer is not nearly enough.
And, it is not our job as POC or any other maligned group to understand and try reach out because we already have… Repeatedly… And, we yet to be heard.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s a true one. I know people are hurting, disillusioned, frightened and angry. I know I am. But, in these times, there needs to be a moment of self-reflection and the acceptance of these ugly truths before one can truly change their state of mind in planning for future action.
BTW, for those who honestly put the work in, you know this ain’t about you so there should be no reason to get in a huff. This isn’t about blame, but about facts…
Change never comes easy. Progress never comes easy. And these things never come from the top down. Some of us have known this from jump.
For the rest of us… Let’s get to work.