Thursday, November 10, 2016

What now?

So, that happened. Now what?

I'm seeing calls to "unite", to "heal", to "come together as a nation" under the new president. Fuck that, and fuck anyone who thinks shrugging their shoulders and going with the flow will make things better. I refuse to "unite" behind a man who got himself elected on a campaign of attacking Mexicans, Muslims, women, LGBT people, the handicapped, people of color, immigrants, and others. I will not passively sign on to the aims of a government that seeks to roll back the Affordable Care Act, repeal the Obergefell decision and Roe v Wade, and make the United States a hostile environment for women and non-whites.

Odds are not all Trump voters are racist, sexist, xenophobic bigots -- some of them, I assume, are good people. But if their actions help a racist, sexist, xenophobic bigot become the leader of the country, the result is the same. Actions matter, not words or intentions. Half the country voted in favor of fear, hatred, and white supremacy. I count women, Muslims, LGBT individuals, African-Americans, Latinx, and other minorities among my friends -- am I supposed to just stand by and watch as the new regime takes over and starts eliminating the rights and protections they fought so hard to secure? Do I just go about my merry way, under the assumption that I -- a white, heterosexual American male -- will not be inconvenienced by my country's government?

No just no, but hell no. I'm with Sara Benincasa -- the time for slacktivism is over. For starters, there are a lot of pro-women, pro-POC, pro-LGBT, anti-bigotry organizations that are in for a rough four years (two, at minimum), and they need all the support they can get. For now, I'm giving to:
Other suggestions are welcome, but please bear in mind I'm on a self-funding college student budget. When I'm in a position to do so, I also intend to volunteer for one or more of these groups. I highly suggest you do the same.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't looked into permanently moving to other countries. Unfortunately, it seems no one has a pressing need for opinionated, self-loathing journalists. I could try to realize another of my life goals and become a house husband here -- I do make a mean curry, after all -- but my prospects in that pursuit are similarly dim. Instead, I'm coming to the conclusion that the best thing to do is come back to the United States after graduating and fight to help make it the progressive, rock-and-roll nation for all that it can, and should, be. There's tons of work to do, and it falls to those with the most power in society (i.e. white men) to take up the most burden. If that gets me labeled a "beta cuck", "mangina", or "race traitor", good -- then I'll know I'm having the desired effect.

In the meantime, we stand together, fight for those who can't fight for themselves, and push back against those who want to make hate, fear, and bigotry the new normal. If that means difficult conversations and frayed relations with friends or family members, so be it. Let mourn those who need to mourn, and prepare those who need to do so, but for me, it's time to fight. If the alt-right, white nationalists and their enablers want a fight over the soul of the country, then by god they'll get one.


Selections from Twitter. Noam Chomsky from 2010:

Richard Rorty, Achieving Our Country, 1998:

An all-timer from the New Yorker:

Please be patient:

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