When I say the country has spoken, I bet you think I am talking about the election. Oh, but I am not.
If we learned anything from a history not taught, but carefully doled out and reinforced, and then piece-mealed into neat little months of the history of “the other,” we should have learned that the country has been doing nothing but speaking.
The country was speaking long before Donald Trump gave voice and action to the mindset that founded, governed, terrorized, and continues to maintain the racist order of things.
But who has been listening? And what have they been listening to?
It is so easy to paint the picture of racism as the ugly extreme that exempts the “good white American” from seeing themselves as participating and benefitting from it.
It is so easy for those who are white presenting to claim non-participation because their status is “other.”
It is so easy for each of us to believe the us against them rally cry.
It so easy for those who are unwilling to acknowledge that white supremacy is what divides us (not the calls to acknowledge and dismantle white supremacy,) to live off of the stories that they tell themselves.
The country continues to speak. How do we start listening?
- Acknowledge and understand that the starting point is not here in this moment in history. The way out is back through.
- Do your work. Learn the horrific and violent history of this country and how white supremacy is maintained today in every system that sustains us.
- Recognize that the biggest conflict we have is how do we become the United States of America? Yes, if that is who we are claiming to be then each of us who wants to kick out those we believe to be “the bad” are only working toward preserving white supremacy or creating some kind of new supremacy like the “good people supremacy” or “only the people who agree with us supremacy.”
- Understand that the hard, challenging, gut-wrenching, soul-searching difficult work is just beginning if we choose to do it instead of breathing a sigh of relief or bemoaning the fact that we are here.
- Ask the hard questions of yourself and others and yes, I mean not just the people you agree with. Remember, before you acknowledged white supremacy you were one of the people we complained about.
This is conflict at its best.
What we have to do now and next will be some hard and true work that when done well, will challenge each of us to the core of our very being. Many have already given up on us as a country. Far too many of us are close to losing hope but the majority of us I dare say have a far too idealistic “why can’t we all just get along” or “once we get rid of “them” solution to the illness of this country.
In the end, I believe LOVE WILL WIN!
But Love wins only when we challenge it to do its necessary work.
Are you listening?
Love is Love
No Human Is Illegal
All Abilities Are Abilities
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
All Languages Loved Here