Sunday, November 11, 2012

And so the planet is still standing:

So Barack Obama won re-election and I’m glad. He’s the guy I voted for and I’m glad that the country won’t retreat into the dark ages in an effort to reclaim some fabricated idea of “the good old days”. There are no “good old days,” there is the past, the present and the future. The good days have to be the ones ahead of us, if not then we should all just bite into our cyanide tablets now and call it a lifetime. 

I have had some rude awakenings this election cycle. I’ve learned that the perception of those who look like me is that we vote based on who looks like us. Now in some cases, absolutely, but with what was at stake this cycle I don’t understand how anyone, read: any woman or minority voter could take this election lightly.  Redefining rape, walking back equal pay, and the unraveling of reproductive rights for women were of real consequence to me and to the women who come after I am long gone.  That alone was a good reason for voting for President Obama this year. But then there was the issue of the economy. Now, listening to the noise about “class warfare” really spoke to me because when I think of what comes out of my check to pay for the world around me, its worth the price in broad terms. Certainly, there could be streamlining but I do not want to live in a world were the least of us bend and scrap until they die while the haves and have-a-lots gloat about their bootstraps and how “they built that” all by themselves (especially if they were born with platinum spoons in their mouths). 

Not all of us will be rich and that’s fine. I don’t think cops, firemen, nurses and teachers entered their professions looking for mountains of leprechaun gold and platters of unicorn meat. They want to basically to have a nice decent life while enhancing the lives of the people they serve. I think if you have more you have more obligation. I think if you have much less, expecting a little help has no shame in it. Certainly people abuse services just as the some abuse tax breaks and loopholes but this “rugged individualism” is antiquated in a civilized nation.  I found it very interesting that the Republican party constantly spoke about individual accomplishments but touted an “us” as a party motto. Are you a collective of people bent on living individually? How does this work? I don’t understand this message. This message excluded huge sections of the nation and marginalized others and then expressed a kind of confused outrage when those ignored and marginalized people voted against their message of exclusion and for a message of progression, a message of Forward movement.

Sigh. The racism is/was rampant and I find myself  exhausted by it all. I have been told to turn the other cheek, to make it a teachable moment, to try to understand racists and bigots. I find this idea that the offended should some how coddle and/or embrace or at the least entertain the most irrational, fear mongering, hateful people for the possibility of “fixing” them beyond insulting.  I don’t like finding out that friends of mine, people who have been in my home, have shared meals with me, think of me as a “n*gger,” “welfare monkey,” “baby machine,” or of a “lazy beggar class”. I am angered when other friends tell me that I’m the one with the issue because I could have used the opportunity to dig deeper with these individuals and perhaps change their thinking.

NO.

I will not protect the protected. I will not excuse the inexcusable. My feelings are as valid as anyone else’s. Those hateful people deserve to be isolated. They don’t deserve to share laughs with me, to break bread with me, to spend time with the people I love. They deserve each other and I will do my best to make sure they get it.

Be nice to one another, no one has to accept your ugliness. Recognize that and behave accordingly.