Hi. Are you mentally and physically preparing for a Thanksgiving holiday that may be super duper awkward with some of your family because of their recent life choices?
I don’t mean Aunt Karen married her yoga instructor, or Uncle Andre insists you call him Andrea. I mean the other thing–the political thing.
Do you want to do better as an ally but fear approaching your loved ones who voted for a racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, dirtbag?
Never fear. I’m here to help!
I get it. You’re feeling totally helpless after the 2016 election and you’re wondering “What in the heck just happened? How can the country that I live in be THIS bad??” If you’re wondering this, there’s a good chance you’re white.
Well, you know, if it’s only just now that you’re asking yourself these questions, count yourself lucky. Some of your friends, coworkers, and basic associates have experienced at least one to a couple dozen micro-aggressions (daily) towards their identity that have shaped their existence in a way where they’re not offended by a man who mocks the disabled, brags about grabbing pussies (cats are so lucky) and wants to register an entire religion of people because of a couple of “bad apples.”
You may be a person of a not so marginalized group, who has benefited from the existence of white supremacy who is now wondering “How can I help?” beyond wearing a safety pin that causes no ripples and promotes no change. How can I start making moves to dismantle the systematic oppression that has torn my friends down while continuing to lift me up?
Do you plan on sitting across the table from someone you know who voted for the President-elect? Do you have a desire to tell them how you feel about their choices, but are afraid of how they’d react? I’m here to tell you. DON’T BE.
Life’s too short to be afraid of hurting people’s feelings, and as terrible as that sounds, it’s true. If you are convicted to express something, why hold yourself back just to regret staying silent later? If we can’t tell our family how shitty their decisions are, especially when they could affect our lives directly, then what’s the point of having family? It’s probably comfortable pretending like everything is okay, but could you honestly come back from your holiday and feel like you’ve done your part as a solid ally in the fight towards equality if you remain silent?
I say all of this for one point. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zones and tell those family members who voted against the interests of a moral-standing, loving, socially accepting American nation that they did a bad thing. Despite whatever other reasons they may have had for voting for that man, they chose to ignore the sexism. The racially-driven housing discrimination. The blatant Islamophobia. The morally-corrupt business dealings. The conversions of homosexuals and reversing their hard fought for marriages. The everything. And invited a monster endorsed by the KKK and Nazi’s to be the leader of the “free world” whose election has now spurred multiple racially and sexually motivated attacks on innocent American people, from adults to children as young as 8 years old.
If they’re able to look beyond all of that and still defend him, here’s a couple of things they are saying: If you’re a woman, they don’t care about your daily safety. If you’re a person of color, they don’t care about the amount of people emboldened to call you names, assault or harass you. They don’t care about anything because at the end of the day, their lives won’t be drastically changed. If they’re a white person who voted for him, they’ll be okay, they can blend in. If they’re a person of color who voted for him, they’re delusional to think they’ll ever be accepted or safe.A lot of people voted because they were afraid the country was changing too quickly. Too quickly? They saw diversity and recognized a socioeconomic threat to their status quo. They blamed the loss of their jobs on Mexicans instead of the companies shipping their business overseas. They decided their white supremacy was in danger (which honestly, it was never in danger) and decided to vote for the candidate that would keep things vanilla.
Talk to your family. Ask them why they voted the way they did. Then explain to them with whatever facts you have as to why their decision was extremely problematic. Being afraid of confronting them and trying to decide whether to do so is almost as bad as just not saying anything at all. You’ll never know if you can change a heart unless you try. Dreading the results of stepping out in your truth will stop you from doing so every single time. Try not to let this time be the same.
Or if you do, that’s on you. But don’t come to my facebook page talking of how you want to be an ally while you’re secretly not doing shit to support me, a black woman, in my fight for equality and justice.
I’m wine drunk, what even was this post?