If one more person who has more privilege than I do tells me how I should be handling this presidency, I am going to lose my shit.
Scratch that: shit is officially lost. Can't find it anywhere. If my shit is smart, it probably already caught a bus to Canada.
While thousands were protesting at airports across the country to free hundreds of stranded American citizens, residents, visa-holders, and refugees, white dudes were sitting on their computers writing think-pieces about how naive we were.
"Hey, idiots," their editorials gloat. "You've been duped! The real scandal is (fill in the blank)."
While I cried in my car about threats of executive orders that would crush my chances, as a gay woman, to be a mom--when my fiancée and I were so scared that we moved up our wedding five months--straight women shrugged off my panic.
"You're letting fear win," they chided. "Whatever happens to your rights, it won't change how we feel about you."
Do you empathy-vacuums hear yourselves? Do you actually believe that helping those in immediate danger is somehow less pressing than your slippery-slope logic about Bannon using his post to start assassinating people? Are you truly so insulated from what's happening on the ground, right now and soon, to Muslims and queer people respectively, that you can write off our pain and suffering as a distraction?
A distraction from what? The things you deem important? The things that will actually affect you, for once?
You've gone from expecting us--queer people, people of color, Native people, Muslims and Jews and the differently abled--to take pity on your newfound disillusionment with America and educate you in activism, to belittling our righteous anger and fear as distractions. All in a matter of days.
The whiplash is real.
Look. We are all super jealous that you have the luxury of a bird's-eye view of this tragedy as it unfolds. We all wish we were up in that helicopter with you, nestled in a blanket of security, knowing that it will be ages before our new president comes for anyone who looks or loves or worships like we do. But down here, on Planet Earth, those of us in the crosshairs of white, hetero, Christian supremacy are scrambling to take cover. And some of us are already dying.
While you were trying to sound smart and somehow "ahead of the game," while you were letting us know that our present suffering is secondary to whatever the next crisis is on the horizon, you lost that thread of empathy.
Luckily for you, you're not beyond help. Your soul can be restored with a a few simple questions. Before you hit "Publish" on your next scolding-by-thinkpiece on Medium, ask yourself:
- What does this add to the conversation at hand? Does everything I think need to be heard? (I know this is a tough one, fellas.)
- Is this opinion based in any fact at all, or am I just trying to assert my intelligence on this subject by stating my feelings as if they were absolute truths?
- Does this make me sound like an insensitive shitbag?
If you find your answers to the above to be unsatisfactory, I have an idea. Instead of using your distance from the issues to judge how the rest of us are dealing with them, put all that anxiety-free energy and vision into action. Show up at stuff. Call your senators and representatives; micromanage their response instead of ours. Let us cry; let us be afraid. Let us act where we are able and fall apart when we need to.
Use the power you were arbitrarily given for good.