The Roundup…

Well, it’s been an interesting week. By “interesting” I mean I’ve been a nervous wreck and barely slept more than a couple of hours at a time.

The national outrage is growing.

There were protests all around the country today. The protest in NY was, contrary to most people’s belief, actually peaceful, and no destruction of property that I know of. I was not there, but certain people I know were. They are safe, and I’m glad for it, and here’s to hoping they made their voices heard.

There was also a surge of hate crimes around the country by people who are emboldened by the election results.

God, this goes right to my soul right now… Just like post-9/11, but worse. And what about the people I care about? I have a diverse, vibrant circle, and I fear for them all.

I’m not linking this time around just on the account that I’ve seen enough. There’s a point where someone just can’t take much more. You can Google if you want to know what I mean.

One thing for sure: the country is not happy. And contrary to whatever spin you are sold, Hillary has won the popular vote hands down. But – this country doesn’t decide the president on the popular vote.

People who are genuinely confused about why people are protesting, may want to have a look at this quote by Andy Borowitz:

EMPATHY CHECK: It seems like an appropriate time to bring up the topic, seemingly obscure these days, of empathy.

Trump supporters are having a difficult time understanding why people are protesting.

Trump has said that he would send troops door to door to remove millions of people from their homes and then from the country.

This is not an exaggeration. There is video of him saying it.

I would ask Trump supporters: if you and your family were facing such a threat, what would you do?

You might protest.

I know: EMPATHY SUCKS.

What I will say, however, is this: you cannot expect cooperation and “coming together”. Trump ran on a platform of division and marginalization, and people actually expect the very same groups that were divided, marginalized, discriminated, etc. to come together and sing kumbaya at the campfire? No, no, no. Reality doesn’t work that way. For every action, there’s a consequence, and words are never, ever, ever “just words”. There are consequences to the speech. And you don’t get to push someone away, accuse them of being “criminals” – which has  been recorded on tape – and then expect their support. This is just one such example; there’s many more.

The real world doesn’t work like that. You sow something, you reap its direct results. You run your mouth, you get to see the fallout.

I’ve gotten a lot of media-blaming for this… but honestly, let’s not blame the very vehicle that got us to this point in the first place. I don’t watch television for a reason, but even I couldn’t miss the disproportionate airtime given to the current elect. You see the media pushing someone in front of people’s faces, broadcasting every word he said, and then you want to blame the media for portraying him negatively? What you see is what you get, and shooting the messenger is ineffective.

Everyone has the right to have an opinion – but everyone else also has the right to soundly reject it. The Ninth Amendment of the US Constitution basically boils down to “Your rights end where mine begin”, and it seems that too many people forgot that.

This is a something I’d like to restate.

You know, there’s one silver lining to consider in the fiasco of this election…

You get a hell of a lot better at drawing boundaries.

Politics and crises bring out the best and the worst of people – that’s always been the case. But the one thing that it never fails to do is show what priorities people have, and show what they find acceptable in their lives. And based on that, you can make the decision on whether or not you find those things acceptable or not.

And according to that line of thought, you can get seriously good at drawing boundaries on what you tolerate.

And I now know where a lot of people in my life – whom I thought well of otherwise – stand. In some ways, I was pleasantly surprised. In other ways, not so pleasantly.

Look, you have your opinion, that’s fine. That’s your right. But your right ends at MY right to not allow your opinion into my life. If your opinion is wrong and factually proven wrong, more so. MY right to reject your opinion is exactly equal to you having it. Apart from the very basic tenet of the First Amendment, it’s also called “consequences”. People have the right to boot me from their lives too – lord knows I’ve had that happen often enough! But – you don’t get to weasel out of the consequences of your opinion, your actions, or your words. That’s just the way the real world works.

One good piece of news is that I got to know who my real friends are as of this election. Because where I stand as a woman, as a woman working professionally, a woman who travels in many diverse circles and thus exposed to many, many, many different lives and views and priorities, these next four years are very. damn. important.

And I plan on being a better friend to my people in light of this. Even if it means that some folks have to get out of my circle to make room for the people who will need me in the future.

I will admit that I lost my temper with a few people, because they couldn’t grasp the above concept. I asked someone to put themselves in the protesters’ shoes, and their response was “LOL, yeah right” (paraphrased). Really? So basic empathy isn’t even necessary? Oooo-kay.

It’s perfectly fine to remove people from your life. Trust me, it is. Because as I found, for every person you remove from your life, there’s a much better individual in the wings waiting for a chance to show themselves to you.

Politics has and will always expose the best and the worst in people. But I find that if someone’s not capable of basic empathy insofar as asking, “Why do they feel the way they do?” and asking that as a genuine question, rather than a reason to laugh at them for being “sore losers” (this has been making my BP rise the past few days, for sure), then their reactions tell me a lot more about them, than about me for finding that unacceptable.

People really lost sight of the saying, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes”. This is a tenet old-school moms have been trying to teach their kids since time immemorial, but I guess the lessons don’t stick, huh.

In the coming months, and years, there will be people who will need me. If some folks have to be jettisoned to make room? I’m okay with that.

K.G.

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2 thoughts on “The Roundup…

  1. You’re right on point as always Kat. My stomach has been in knots ever since Trump took the platform and spewed his first words at us. The feeling of my insides twisting when I knew at 8:00 that evening he was going to win is one I’ll never forget. And now….what do we all do now? I fear for you and your family’s safety , all my friends and loved ones , hell I’m scared to death every time I step outside and I. can’t. stop. crying. I have co-workers who are just so damn ignorant and they say the most juvenile things to where I just want to explode. I don’t understand how people cannot see what’s happening , cannot at least try to feel what I’m experiencing. I hate going to the supermarket or the mall because of the hatred, the looks of pure evil and me feeling like Well, all I can say is that I’ve gotten a rude awakening. This is an awful time for us all which is going to get far worse before it gets better. Keep your head up Sis….

    1. I’ll tell it to you straight: they don’t understand because they don’t have to. They’re not affected by anything that will go on. They don’t have to understand – period. And you can’t expect them to grow compassion or empathy when they didn’t have any in the first place.

      One of my close friends is just as worried, and she tells me, “You can pass.” Yeah, I can pass, but I shouldn’t have to pass is my point. I’m a US Citizen, and I’ve spent the better part of my life doing everything I could to make myself safe. You know my obsession with my privacy. I have a PO Box, I have an IP tracker embedded into this blog, and yes, I backtrack questionable IPs, I dress as nondescriptly as I possibly can so I can blend in seamlessly in a crowd… and for the most part it works. But I shouldn’t have to do that, dammit!!!

      And my friends. And people I love. Of all my friends, there is only a tiny percentage of white. What about the majority? I’m surrounded by a lovely kaleidoscope of people, and I am heartsore and scared for them.

      I don’t foresee sobriety or any sleep worth a damn the next four years. My annual jaunt is more or less going to be the only thread I have to sanity.

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