Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thank you but no thank you for your safety pin.

To all my "white" friends and colleagues who feel distraught over the results of the election. For all who are now scared for their friends who may fall victim to the prejudice of this new administration. Put your guilt and fear, your realization that this means that our country is not as post racial as you thought it was on November 7th, to use. Thank you for your support but the goal is not for you to admit wrongdoing or to recognize the reality that is being "other" in 2016 America. While it is a human step, it is the first step.

The goal is to look at me and see me as equal not less than. When you look at me and see "black woman" and suddenly feel sorry for me because of who is in the White House, that is problematic because you have to admit that my fate is not my own - that my place in this nation is determined by the Commander and Chief because I don't look like you. The goal rather is to see me as a person; not a statistic, not a fixed identify that you have created stereotypes for, but as a person who deserves to be able to vote, receive an education, apply for any job, and live in any part of the country without fear. Without having to anticipate how I may be treated because of nothing more than how I look. So keep working. Recognizing there is a problem is the first step.

People keep asking me, how do I feel safe now that Trump was elected? How can I send my son to school with the hate crimes that are igniting around America in the past week? To them I say, welcome to being a [insert anything other than "white male" here] in America but less pessimistically and upon reflection I answer with much more grace.

I come from Cherokee, Mohawk, German, Irish and whatever-nations- of- Africa-my-ancestors-were-taken-from-before-being-sold-in-the-United-States ancestry. As diverse as my family tree is, they all have one horrible similarity. Each group has experienced persecution, genocide, discrimination and annihilation on this same soil. It is their blood that pumps through my veins and that of my son's. They push me through doors that were previously shut in their face. I draw on their strength and perseverance. I take their dreams of acceptance and equality and ask for more. That's what gives me unwavering patience. That is what gives me hope. That is what propels me forward, never back. #keepfighting #wearenotgoinganywhere #standtogether #weareequal #wedeservetobeequal

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Election 2016

Teaching at the college level this is the first semester in 6 years, where I have heard such racial and divisive comments about fellow Americans while at work. The racists, sexists and xenophobic comments that my students have stated in class are beyond anything I have heard spoken in public before. It's no doubt a reflection of what was occurring on the very public stage. If you have any question about what last night's results mean, I can say confidently that the past few months are a cler indication of where we are headed now that Trump is in office.

Racists don't call themselves racists.  They're afraid to do so because they know the negative connotations however Trump is a man that gives the ok to be all of the isims in plain site. That's what America needs. In order to move past racisim, sexisim, victim shaming, and xenophobia we have to as a nation admit that they exist. When you elect a leader who sexual assaults women and has no remorse, or who uses the n word aren't we in essence saying, I did that, I do that, I know someone that does that? Aren't we putting the people, who have hidden in plain site, while pretending we were in a post racial country once we elected a black president a voice?  I don't know about you but I like to lok my adversaries in the eye.  I fyou are afreid of peopel that look like me, or you think we are the root of every problme tht our nation faces, now you are able to say so.  

Trump received the most votes in counties where less than 10% of the adult population had a college education. Clinton won most of the votes in communities where people identify as POC's. Knowing that, what do I do? Run away from those red states or do I sit in this country and wait? Wait for it heal.

America looks more diverse now than ever and yet systemitized discrimination towards people of color, LGPTQ and women still remains. Although on an interpersonal level race relations are better than they've ever been, disparities between education, poverty, and crime are all very much skewed. Having a fear monger for president may bring this to the forefront once and for all.  This may cause us to crash and burn but I it also maymake diminishing statements like, "all lives matter" dissipate.  Once people finally say what they're thinking and we can have a real conversation about what it is to live in a country with a dark past, we can acknowledge it and move on. 

When someone like Trump is in office we can no longer call activists hyperbolic.  We can't refer to rape victims as enibreiated teases who got what they deserved because the rhetoric is out there, we haven't been making it up. Police brutality and racial profiling is no longer a figment of our imaginations when you have a man in office calling blacks criminals. 

When my oldest was born Barack Obama was president, I thought he was being born into a world where people that look like me and him can dream and acheive great things. Now we have this and I still want to be hopeful because the reality is that Trump as president means no more sweeping it under the rug,no more pretending that we are evolved and past everything because clearly all that red on the map means we're not. Until we can criticize or praise Barack Obama without mentioning his race until we can unequivocally say that Hillary Clinton losing had nothing to do with her gender then we still have work to do. Until we can say without a doubt that as a POC you didn't get the job because of your lack of qualifications rather than the color of your skin we have work to do. 

Sometimes we need horror to realize we need change. #terrifiedbutbrave #thisisnothingmyancestorshaventfoughtanddefeatedbefore #yourhateisshowing #thisvotedidntbreakme #elasticheart