Never Stay Silent: Thoughts on politics & social commentary, regarding election 2016

With all that’s been going on lately, it’s hard to put everything into words. There is a lot of hate and anger towards the fact that Trump won this recent election, and all for good reason. Trump: A man of greed, hate, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, and a man that makes fun of the disabled and filed for bankruptcy at least six times already. This is a man that doesn’t even believe in climate change.

I was furious and upset when the final election results came in. I could barely concentrate or get any work done, and even now, my mind still feels very troubled. I have tried my best to clear my head and think about everything not just with passion, but logic and a calm demeanor, free of incessant ranting. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that most people will tune you out if all you do is rant and act self-righteous, but within the last several years I’ve noticed that sometimes the angry ranting draws flocks of other angry people searching for a messiah to quote or Retweet on the daily…Social networking and how we cope and deal with adversity in the world is constantly evolving, but if there’s one thing that really isn’t, it’s discrimination and the marginalization of the non-white population.

Unity Does Not Equal Submission

I feel like it’s really difficult to talk about this topic because everyone seems to have a “my way is better” attitude and will act hostile or turn on you if you say one wrong little thing. I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I need to break everything down so I can make sense of it all.

I believe that we are only stronger if we continue to unite and stand together. Now wait a minute. Let me explain. Unite? Some people take the term as a sign of giving up to the other side, or “submission.” When I use the word unite or unity, I am talking about minorities and white allies coming together to take action and continue to spread the fact that this country continues to run off oppression. Don’t let people tell you otherwise. Oppression and social injustice. It’s sadly what this country was built on (i.e. slavery). But we must not let this defeat us and we must continue to move forward. Most people however, do not even want anything to do with white allies. Especially when many were quiet before this whole election madness erupted. And that’s understandable.

It’s okay to feel angry, upset, hurt, and extremely disappointed by the election results. It’s easy to feel defeated, but it takes great courage and strength to keep fighting and pushing for change. Unity doesn’t mean we have to act passively or submit to the other side, it means us POC will help one another in our continuous fight towards equality, to grow and rise above the chaos.

Sign this petition.

Something to think about…

It is time white women start making change within their own circles. White women must talk to their sisters, mothers, colleagues and friends about racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia and ableism. Prejudice must be called out, even in friends. These conversations may become uncomfortable, but so are these election results: 42 percent of American women voted for Trump. Ignore the calls to avoid politics at the dinner table, knowing that many Americans do not have the luxury of avoiding identity politics, because they live it every day.

-Phoebe Lett, The New York Times

 The Problem of Self-Righteousness & Generalization

I’ll never forget the time someone once anonymously messaged me on an old Tumblr account telling me that I needed to “grow up and stop acting so self-righteous.” This struck me like a sudden, painful slap to the face. How in the world was I acting self-righteous? I asked myself over and over again. I felt hurt and like perhaps someone was just jealous or hating on me for no reason. Until this day I never found out who it was. I remember posting a lot about my failed relationship at the time, and how I was unhappy (yet I never had the courage to leave, so people judged me I suppose), and I made completely unrelated statements such as, “I don’t understand the point of false lashes or caking your face in makeup.” I later came to realize that I was probably seen as “whining” or “complaining,” or acting like my views were superior to others. This anonymous person obviously thought I was acting like I knew it all. When in fact, I did not. The Internet is filled with all sorts of people and all sorts of different opinions. You will piss someone off at one point or another, as I’m sure many of you reading this already know.

30888327166_035abd3d57_c

So what does this have to do in relation to politics/social commentary? I personally believe that speaking up against social injustice shouldn’t be daily hostility, hate & self-righteous ideals. It should be a courageous battle of passionate intellect, not an air of superiority tinged with pride and false generalizations. Condemning others isn’t going to help change anything & only creates further divisions. Yes, anger does not equal division, so go ahead and feel angry (I am too obviously), but isn’t there a difference in feeling angry and taking steps to create change, than in just logging online & ranting away your woes, or to my fellow POC, making statements such as “Ugh white people,” or “I hate all white people”? Unless you mean this when you say “Ugh white people,” but even then, I still don’t see the point in saying “I hate white people,” because nothing is changing. You are simply pointing out what we already know.

Everyone feels they have power on the Internet, but when they start to skew power over actual, genuine concern, these self-righteous attitudes can also morph to snarky commentary that fails to promote progress and is simply seen as narcissistic banter. You know why I don’t really warm up to snarky people? Because they always think they are better than others, and they exhibit this air of superiority  and anti-humbleness. They think their words are gold and that they are simply the best. There’s a difference in loving yourself (which I am a strong advocate of), but to portray yourself like you are on a higher pedestal than others…after a while it becomes hard to take people like this seriously.

I am not trying to tone police anyone or defend Trump supporters.  I’m just really curious as to why some of these very people that say they “hate all white people,” and shit on white people daily, are also the same people that are constantly binge watching and talking about American TV shows with all white casts and praising white boy bands, while some are even dating white people…? I feel that when people act this contradictory, it detracts from their main points. If some people are so anti-white, why aren’t they using their social media platforms to promote fellow POC artists, designers, musicians, etc? This is so much more productive than tweeting that a white person pissed you off today, or saying that “white women are the worst.” Yes, we get it, white=privileged. Something POC are not. Some people hate that there is so much injustice and hate that many white people are oblivious to their privilege and insensitive to our exclusivity. But I fear that this immediate hate blinds them at times, and as a result of this, some people eventually start acting hostile when it isn’t even necessary. I can’t tell people not to fight this way or how to react, but from observation, it seems to go nowhere, really.

Whether you believe he was a hero or anti-hero, for a man who once promoted violence over peace, here are some interesting quotes from Malcolm X:

In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I never will be guilty of that again – as I know now that some white people are truly sincere, that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a black man. The true Islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites made blanket indictments against blacks.

~Malcolm X

It isn’t the American white man who is a racist, but it’s the American political, economic and social atmosphere that automatically nourishes a racist psychology in the white man.

~Malcolm X

The white man is not inherently evil, but America’s racist society influences him to act evilly. The society has produced and nourishes a psychology which brings out the lowest, most base part of human beings.

~Malcolm X

During times like this it’s hard to say we are all equal. Obviously we are not. This election has proven that, sadly. Minorities are constantly shoved aside, and our cries of pain and fight for change are seen as irrelevant “whining.” This is why I believe it’s so important to examine everything carefully and critically, and to keep generalization and a snarky attitude out of it.  Be angry and hate those that do you harm or helped vote for Trump and yell it at the top of your lungs, but I feel like many people have a lot of pride, and this blinds them from the bigger picture. Many white people are extremely insensitive and it seems like many will never change their views no matter how hard you try and fight back and yell in their face. Does this mean we should give up? No, of course not. Never stay silent in a world that desperately needs change. POC are angry, as they rightfully should be, but as a fellow POC, I don’t really find it constructive to constantly bash every single white person on the planet all over social media (just like white people shouldn’t be bashing every minority ever). Some of the comments from people on the other side are honestly no better, of course: “Minorities need to go back to their country.” (generalizing). “These people are low-life and always will be (generalizing). It’s awful to read and angers me so much.

YES, the majority of white men and women did vote for Trump and that’s troubling. It’s fucked up. But some people of color seem to be generalizing as well, and in the end, does generalizing really solve anything? Many people are saying their anger isn’t anyone trying to be divisive, but when you put generalization into the mixture, doesn’t it only continue to keep us divided, or divide us further? Yes, this whole division to begin with wasn’t our fault. We’re here because the system put us here, plain and simple. But I still don’t think that gives us the reason to hate everyone that isn’t the same color skin as ourselves, and how does that really solve the bigger problem?

Some people are saying that there is no room for peace and love right now. I agree and disagree. At this point, many minorities have no choice but to fight back, and often times it’s with anger. Minorities have struggled years for equality, all almost to no avail. All accomplishments have been minor, and the fact that we are still living in an extremely racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and sexist world, is what is so disturbing. Yes, we NEED to fight back, but I think many people are exhibiting extreme self-righteous actions and words that breeds negative energy. Yes, this whole election is one big negative energy mind-fuck, but I’m not going to let it bring me down and cause me to hate everyone and everything. Maybe I’m just a romantic, but I believe there is still good in the world left. Find it, channel it, grow and learn from it. If we want to overcome this constant division, we must be willing to argue with intellectual force, not like an attention-seeking child that just loves the sound of their own voice that acts out and spews hate 24/7, and contradicts themselves when they go home to their white boyfriend or girlfriends at the end of the day. If you are a person of color with a white spouse or significant other then good for you, but don’t be that person that also says “I hate white people” all over social media.

On one final note, I will add this: All my life I have had more than several people push me away or have some type of animosity towards me either because they felt they were better, they had to compete or judged me, etc. These are fellow POC and not just non-POC. It’s time for everyone to stop hating on each other and generalizing and we must come together to continue to help fight for peace and justice. Peace? Some of you may be thinking. Why should I feel peaceful at a time like this? It’s not about necessarily feeling peaceful, but fighting for it. But in the end, yes, is hoping for peace in this world just a silly pipe dream at this point? Probably.

I love all the strong people out there fighting for change, protesting, and using their voices constructively. Thank you all for reading. I hope I did not strike a nerve with any fellow POC, and I hope this didn’t sound too much like a rant. If I struck a nerve with Trump supporters, well good. Either way, I accept my faults.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s