Friday, November 11, 2016

Some thoughts in the wake of 11/9


Everything in me came to a standstill in the two days after the election. I couldn't write anything coherent. I couldn't work. I could barely find words to express how I was feeling to my loved ones. I lay in my bed, swaddled by the covers, reading Night by Elie Wiesel, because I wanted to remember just how that dark chapter in history unfolded, how it was that an authoritarian state was allowed to round up some of its citizens and send them off to be murdered in gas chambers. I felt a little crazy, as if no one else was truly seeing the parallels between that evil, and the hateful sloganeering of the candidate the nation had just elected to be the next president. With steely mother fierceness, I resolved that no one better come knocking on my door and trying to cart my loved ones away. They'd find out fast just who they were dealing with. That's how dire the aftermath of Tuesday's election felt to me; I was actually having such thoughts.

More likely, the deaths we experience over the next four years will be by inches, sometimes barely discernible until after the fact, like the stripping away of health care provisions that those with disabilities or chronic illnesses rely on. Other deaths may be more violent, committed by those emboldened in the belief that some lives simply don't matter. I do, in fact, know that not everyone who voted for the narcissistic demagogue is a racist with a length of rope in the garage, a gun rack on their pick up, and a confederate flag in their window. Nor is everyone who voted red an unredeemable sexist, homophobe or apologist for sexual assault and misogyny. But I also know that only those who felt safe in their skin and in their castles could have dared to vote for this conscience-free bigot and his alt-right cohorts. And no matter how reasonable their arguments when considered in the light of their own interests, they didn't care one whit about those who have legitimate reason to fear what comes next. Sadly, they failed to understand that what destroys their neighbor, by inches or in one fell swoop, will eventually also arrive at their door.

I feel sick, still. I am trying to accept what is, as my husband says. But accepting what is cannot mean going to sleep for four years. The times are way too dangerous. And to all those who say, calm the fuck down, America will survive, it survived slavery and the civil war and 9/11, I would like to point out that a whole lot of people didn't survive all that. And the rest of us are still dealing with its toxic fallout.

Time to get to work.




12 comments:

  1. Incredibly powerful, Angella. I'm posting a link.

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  2. def time to get to work. thank you. normalizing, accommodating to this man is a violation of all of us.
    love to you♥︎

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  3. I agree, getting to work is the only productive response.

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  4. I'm so exhausted and I'm pretty sure because it's I try to keep fighting the reality.
    I still don't believe it. I just can't.

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  5. Thank you so much. Exactly this.

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  6. Exactly, and yes, some of us do see parallels...

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  7. That last paragraph is especially powerful. I've been having dire thoughts as well.
    Xoxo
    Barbara

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  8. I spent the day in a Xanax induced sleep because it all seemed too much to handle. I don't take Xanax and boy, it's powerful. In my outrage yesterday I deleted family members from Facebook and avoided talking to anyone. I took off work yesterday to lick my wounds and worry. It's strange to be both angry and removed all at once. I too had visions of being carted away and the fight that would bring about.

    Tonight I spoke with my mother just to let her know I am okay because I've been avoiding her too. That says more than you might know as I am an unabashed mamma's boy. I'll have a deeper conversation when I won't lash out. When rational words can be formed.

    But tonight I am regaining the ability to stare this down. We will stand up against the hate. We will.

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  9. I never thought the day would come for me to apologise to my children for having brought them into this world. Now it has.

    My thoughts are turning to ensuring an easy way out for the three of us when the bombs start falling. But before that - it's time to go to work.

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  10. I keep thinking that I should be able to quote something wise about love in the face of hate but only a feeling comes up and not an actual quote... so I will share that I'm having feelings of love and hope and appreciation after reading your post and I'll call that good enough for now. You're not alone. We can. <3

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  11. You are absolutely right that America's survival does nothing for those individuals who didn't survive. You've made many excellent points here and given me further food for thought. I'm so very sorry that you are hurting so much. Wishing I could help make it hurt less.

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  12. I read this post a couple of days ago and just couldn't bring myself to comment. What you say is so true, and this is such a concise but accurate description of the dangers we face. Deaths by inches, indeed. I'm scared to death, but I'm trying to be open-minded about what's happening, to look beneath my fear and be open to the possibility that this might not be a disaster. I don't know what else to do, honestly.

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