I express. The good, the bad and the ugly. Over the past week, it was mostly the bad, and apparently, it made some folks uncomfortable. I offer no apologies. I am a black woman (2 strikes) in this "post-racial" ameriKKKa where an imbecilic, xenophobic, racist, sexist egomaniac was just elected president. The core of me is both enraged and frightened. My anxiety about what may happen to people of color, women, the LGBTQ community and others is very real. We have been threatened with "stop and frisk", deportation, and healthcare repeal. Who can know what is in store, not only as a result of the coming administration, but also at the hands of ignorant bigots who now feel they have license to run up verbally and/or physically. Hate crimes have already been reported across the nation. I am confused and heartbroken that in many cases; agendas, politics and partisan allegiance trumped (no intended pun, trust me) the human experience. That part literally brings me to tears. AND to add insult to injury, we are now being accused of spreading hate. Huh? Because we are fully realizing the racist state of the union and we are reacting, we're promoting hate? Y'all got us so messed up...
Tuesday night, I desperately wanted to crawl back into my bubble of normalcy. A dreamland where mutual respect existed, even if in perception only. A place and time where our brains comprehended racism in pockets, but it did not feel like this pulsing glob of hate everywhere. Well, the bubble has burst. The genie cannot be put back into the bottle. We cannot unhear the hate-filled rhetoric spewed by this snake, nor can we ignore how the country is responding. This campaign (including election night) brought a trauma that is not easily mitigated. And while we must get to a place of collaboration on some level, it is a fantasy to think it will happen over night. We are amazingly resilient, but this thang here...it has changed us.
I know the only way to move the needle on this is to have real, honest, pull-no-punches conversations with each other, but, a lot of us just aren't ready. And not being ready is ok - for now. It's grief. It's traumatic stress. Sit with it. Listen to it. Respect it. That's the only way to survive it (thanks "Queen Sugar"). Soon enough, though, we have to stare it in the face. Address it head on. And we will. In the meantime, here's what NOT to do to trump opposers or people of color:
Tell us it's going to be alright. We won't believe you cause we have fo real trust issues right now.
Try to compare your post election experience with ours. NOTHING compares to seeing images of swastikas and racial epithets spray-painted on cars and buildings. Nothing.
Attempt to marginalize our fear, frustration or feelings.
Demand unity today. We'll get back there when we get back there, cause WE were there until he (y'all) fucked it up.
These are just a few things. Feel free to add to this list in the comments below. For now, I am taking some much needed self-care time. I encourage you to do the same.