This is a book review blog, not political commentary, I want to make that plain. I will continue to write about books as long as I enjoy doing so. Books can reveal other worlds for us to inhabit, new views to explore, and histories which are best not to forget.
However I do feel a need to write at this important moment in history. The echoes of this moment will reverberate across the next 50 years. In the immediate present we must fight and protect those whose lives will be at best shaken and at worst destroyed by the legislative and judicial consequences that are sure to come from these results. The laws that may be repealed, decisions reversed, and perhaps worse the laws created and passed meant to make America what it was when the terrified white men and women who have brought us here felt things were “great.” The next 4 years may rival the many terrible times in America’s history and become the darkest years of our time here as usurpers on native soil, the most regressive time.
The amazing Ijeoma Oluo of The Establishment posted a video and stated, most ingeniously, that this moment was not unlike hearing a diagnosis for an illness that you have known about but have not yet begun to deal with for lack of a name. We knew there was a cancer, we knew but now we KNOW because look at those MRI scans. My grandmother just this morning said that while no one ever likes to lose, that this is about so much more than losing. We must face the terrible truth that the American Dream was a hoax. We have lost our false dignity, the idea of equality. The emperor has no clothes, he KNOWS he has no clothes, and gosh doesn’t it drive up ratings? We have discovered that freedom means very different things in this country to different people. The current definition seems to be the freedom to do whatever you want without consideration of consequence to neighbor, community, and country, without thinking of diversity, of change, or of empathy.
I woke up today in a country that I knew was sick. We were okay. Our disguise was great. Now the disguise has fallen down and our naked emperor parades about as his followers scream and wave their guns. Beware of the follower emboldened. Our government may be poised to send us to disaster, but this cancer has already taken root all over the country. Rapists, racists, klansmen, sexists – if the president can do it, their representatives, why can’t they? I am afraid because my government and country has and will fail me, but I am terrified that I will be raped in a Publix parking lot, that I will need to defend my black neighbors from those that might light a cross or gather on their lawn. The wolf no longer needs to wear sheep’s clothing, it walks about with teeth gleaming and those that might be its prey can only cry, hide, and wait.
I want to be hopeful. I want to say everything will be all right. It will not. You must be prepared for all the varied ways that it will not be okay, and decide how you will deal with what will take place. There are young people who must live in this world that is about to happen. There are old people who fear this is their last vote. And all those aged in between that must live in a country that hates so profoundly, that we would be faced with this new terrifying reality. This is despair. This is fear. You will see enough in the news about the laws and the Supreme Court justices and the government consequences. I implore you, look to your communities. Support those about to lose health insurance, possibly the right to marry and adopt, those that may be on the verge of losing food stamps and assistance. Recognize your privilege, whatever it may be, and use it for good, to help others and not to hide until they come for you. And please trust me when I say that if you are not rich, white, and male they will come for you.
They are coming.
They are here.
And I am afraid. But I will be brave. For myself. For my neighbors and friends. And for the future.