So. This week happened, apparently.
Note, this is my perspective as a white liberal. It is not intended to be a reflection on any one else’s experiences. I’m just taking stock of my own emotions and reactions.
i've been... exhausted. terrified for myself, for people more vulnerable than me. it feels like all i've been doing has been checking in on people - are you okay, are you stable, are you safe. Emotional triage. I’m bleeding, but others are bleeding worse, so I’m doing what I can. Offering support. Offering an ear, because I don’t have a lot else to offer right now. Making plans for when I /can/ offer support.
(I’ve gotten a lot of support from others, as well. I feel like I’ve gotten more than I’ve given. I’m probably wrong, but.)
Plans from here out:
1. Make space in my budget for donations to relevant charities, even if it’s just a few dollars a month. Charities on the list: Planned Parenthood, immigrant legal defense. Others will be added
2. Become involved in local politics. Under investigation currently – not sure where to start, but finding out
3. Continue to offer support when needed
4. Take care of myself. At least occasionally. Survive, make sure others survive
5. Become involved in local advocacy groups. Are there any? I don’t know. Might be possible to start one
6. Confront bigotry when I can
All I can think is: this is the real deal.
So much of my stress of this year (so much of my ranting here for the last year, honestly) has been about intra-community fighting. Fandom police trying to strip out everything they find objectionable; accusations of racism and homophobia or whatever being thrown at people for their ship preferences; queer kids tearing apart other queer kids because they weren’t queer enough, or not the right kind, or something. We have been chomping at the bit for an excuse to fight, for a righteous cause.
And then there was Election. Everything liberals claim to hate, in one package. Racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, antisemitism. As unambiguous a boss fight as you could ask for, as clear as any ww2 movie against the Nazis. It should have been easy. It should have been /obvious/. This was the fight some liberals had been secretly expecting for years – like a middle class man dreams of the zombie apocalypse so that he can be as badass as he wants to be, this is our post-apocalyptic fantasy story.
And we /fucked/ it. Badly. For one reason or another, liberals failed and people are going to suffer for it.
And there’s a part of my brain – a stupid, selfish, self-centered part of my brain – that’s just thinking, “but this isn’t how this story ends.”
Maybe that was the problem: it felt like a story. We thought this was a fairy tale. We thought we knew how this ended, but we were wrong. And people are going to die, and more are going to suffer.
I’ll do what I can to help. But it’s still just going to be triage; wound dressings for injuries that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.