I have been writing my Obligatory Facebook Screed(s) (OFS) since Tuesday evening when I, before a lot of people I think, lost hope. But because I’ve been reading so many and I have a fairly diverse group of Facebook friends, I think I’m going to address different audiences. Not to bring more negativity to the world right now, but I felt like I wanted to vent about some of the versions of OFS that I am seeing:
- The unifying message - trying to find common ground with Trump supporters, trying to remember their humanity and fears and everything. Fucking, no. This isn’t like, “I support background checks on guns” vs. “I support MORE background checks on guns.” A population of people have voted for white supremacy, misogyny, and homophobia. There’s a chance they don’t all feel that way, but they felt it acceptable to put human rights on the back burner. What they do have in common is that they literally and legitimately supported a misogynist, homophobic, white supremacist. That can’t be explained away. I will not “come together” with white supremacy. We need to stand up to it, not work with it, or we will continue the power structures even if there aren’t more obvious elements of oppression.
- The white person promising to be a champion of the needs of POCs. While I agree we should DO that, the public declaration without acknowledging the ways in which white liberal people have been failing POCs is just soliciting for cookies. It is of little comfort that we are now promising to stand up; I have two friends who are black professors - one of philosophy and one of Afro-American studies, who both post a lot. This one may not have been on my radar without their criticisms (because I an instinct to say the same thing); they have said in no uncertain terms that they do not trust white “allies” to carry this banner to the finish line with them. One of them has intimated (and this is not the first I’ve heard this from him) that his politics are global and Black and not American. And who can blame him?
- (This one got shut down fast, but I wanted to mention): blaming POCs for not voting Clinton. I get it - I have that reflex too. I want to say, “you helped elect a White Supremacist by not voting to protect yourselves!” but the truth is that, no matter how we talk around this, POCs have felt left behind by the Democratic party. WOCs have felt left behind by feminism. We white liberals earned this and cannot blame POCs for not being with us when we were the defacto THEY had to join, rather than the other way around. Regardless, I do feel that we can do a better job moving forward, but I hate that it comes somewhat from a place of self-preservation.
- Lamenting about the white workers who have been left behind by both parties. Look, we all know that this is one of the reasons for Trump’s turnout. While I can appreciate their struggle, they still voted outside of their best interests and channeled their frustration into bigotry. They believe that the path to success is paved with the oppression of others, and I will not grant them empathy for that. Two things, though, that are true: 1) they need to be told and accept the fact that their manufacturing jobs WILL NOT return and 2) the Democrats will not be helpful to them until they give appropriate attention to labor issues.
Rant. Cry. Post kittens. Whatever.