Tag Archives: politics

I am afraid, or, 2017: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

I am afraid on the basis of all of my identities. That fear is not just of Trump himself, but of unchecked Republican control of the executive and legislative branches of our government, and likely soon the top level of the judicial branch as well.

As a black person, I’m afraid that Republican power will continue to deny that my and my people’s lives matter. That there will be no push from the federal government to hold police who kill unarmed black men and women accountable. That we will continue incarcerating absurd proportions of black and brown communities. That the fact that a businessman who was openly supported by the KKK was elected will give racists and white supremacists a larger platform, a stronger foothold, or even just make them more likely to take action in support of their beliefs.

As a woman, particularly as a sexually active woman of childbearing age who does not want to become a mother now or ever, I am worried about what full Republican leadership at the federal level means for reproductive rights. I have an IUD right now, that was made possible by the stipulation in Obamacare that requires all insurance companies to cover the cost of all forms of birth control. If (it pains me too much to say when) Obamacare is repealed, I will be required to pay for the medically necessary removal of my current IUD in 2018 and for the cost of inserting a new one, which can be upwards of $1000, if I choose to stick with this birth control option that has worked very well for me. If I choose to go with a lower cost, but also easier to misuse option, like the pill, I am scared that I’ll mess up and forget to take it one day, or forget to bring it with me on a trip, and then be faced with a potential unwanted pregnancy under an anti-abortion federal government. I am afraid of catcallers and other predatory men feeling emboldened by a president who has bragged about grabbing women by the pussy.

As a queer person, I am afraid that Trump himself doesn’t care about us, as he has released no policy plans for LGBT rights or HIV/AIDS. But I know how anti-LGBT the Republican party generally is: 2016 has seen pushback on marriage equality and adoption rights for same-sex couples, bathroom bills that have devastating consequences beyond just where we pee, endorsements of gay conversion therapy for minors, and a resurgence of “religious freedom” bills designed to allow businesses the ‘right’ to refuse to serve us. Trans women, especially trans women of color, are being killed every week in this country, and I have no hope that they will be protected under our new president-elect’s leadership. In fact, as the people who oppose QTPOCs very existence see how strong their numbers are, it’s hard to do anything other than expect the violence to get worse.

And speaking of the twisting of “religious freedom,” as a non-Christian, I am worried that a conservative majority in all branches of the federal government de facto pushes church and state closer together. I have extended family members who are Muslim (of the black power, Nation of Islam variety, but that didn’t matter to folks who abused and discriminated against them post-9/11). I am afraid for their safety in the red states of Georgia and Florida under a Trump administration.

As the daughter and granddaughter and niece and sister of people who have worked in the casino industry, literally for Trump himself and/or for people like him, I am worried that Republican control means even further erosion of what little safety net is there for our senior citizens who didn’t work fancy desk jobs with 401ks or pensions and now depend on Social Security and Medicare to literally feed, clothe, house, and care for themselves. I am afraid of what will happen to my father and my grandmother. I am worried that people who don’t make living wages will lose the scraps of support they are currently able to receive from programs like SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid, and won’t be able to literally feed, clothe, house, and care for their children. I am afraid that this administration will do nothing but widen the gap between the rich and the poor in this country, and further marginalize the voices of those being trampled upon.

As the daughter of a woman who has held down a full-time teaching job through multiple rounds of chemotherapy in order to keep her healthcare coverage, I am afraid that people will literally die as a result of this election. Obama was able to bring health insurance (albeit imperfect) to hundreds of thousands of people who did not have it before, and made it so that people couldn’t be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. I am afraid that if my mom gets too sick to work, a post-Obamacare America will be one in which she cannot be insured, and my family will have to watch a disease she beat once before overcome her because we can’t afford the treatments.

I feel America’s distaste for people like me, a distaste that ranges from a lack of empathy to a straight-up hatred, writ large this morning, feel it in my bones and in my spirit more heavily than I’ve ever felt it before. This place was built by us, but not for us, and is about to be run by people who aggressively don’t support us. I feel unsafe and unwanted here on the deepest of levels. If I joke or even more genuinely consider fleeing, don’t tell me it’s my responsibility to fight through and fix this. I didn’t break it. I don’t know how to heal the divide between rural America and urban America, between white America and diverse America, between people who legitimately support Trump’s platform and ideas and people like me. I don’t know if it can be healed. I am not hopeful this morning.

My feminism has nothing to do with men. It is not defined as “equality for all genders”. It isn’t even about equality. I don’t want to be equal with men because I don’t like or want this patriarchy men have. My feminism is about liberation for all women, and an end of the oppression of all women, including women of color, immigrants, lesbians, and trans women. It is about equity- doing what is necessary to ensure everyone has a quality standard of life, has their human rights respected, and is free from oppression. I am not into definitions of feminism that are aimed at making feminism appear non-threatening to men. It IS threatening to them, and it should be.

Havlová commenting on this article

(via the bad dominicana)

This is why conservative men confidently endorse laws and social rules that are anti-sex, even when that makes them screamingly obvious hypocrites who feel zero desire to curtail their own sexual proclivities. They know, from long personal experience, that they will never have to live by the rules. Ban abortion? Well, luckily women will still get them. They will just have to work harder at it. Cut off insurance coverage for contraception? Good thing women are so desperate to use it that they’ll pay out of pocket anyway. Even if they somehow managed to overturn Lawrence v. Texas and the oral sex ban became enforceable, most straight white men can be pretty certain that the only people who will get in trouble for it are gay people and people of color—you know, people whose privacy the cops already feel empowered to intrude upon.

Straight White Men Don’t Have to Fear the Anti-Sex Political Crusade

(via spinsterette)

It is the representation of black lesbian lives, not simply its analysis and deconstruction that has the most immediate, broad-based and long-lasting cultural and historical impact. Only by telling our stories in the most specific, imagistic, and imaginative narratives do the lives of black lesbians take on long-term literary and political significance.

–Jewelle Gomez “But Some of Us Are Brave Lesbians: The Absence of Black Lesbian Fiction”

(via Racialicioius)

When you are 9, or 12, or 17, it is easy to overlook racist comments. That your friends’ dad does not like black people has little to do with what your friend thinks, right? When you cannot yet vote, the fact that your friends’ parents are Republicans means little. With age, these things start to matter. At 25 or 32, it is harder to overlook the inevitable racially ignorant comment that will come, especially when you have had access to friendships where this is never an issue. At 30 or 35, the fact that your white friends now vote Republican alongside their parents strikes you as a choice that detrimentally impacts your material existence.

The politics of being friends with white people

(Via the dopest ethiopienne)

 

My politics are centered on strengthening the margins and making sure that we hold each other accountable because, even within the margins, it’s a warzone, y’all. I know so much about my own oppressors and I forgot to take the time to collectively heal with my own communities. Reaching out to my communities in order to call them in — and out when necessary — and mobilize them to combat the ways that we have been complicit in the oppression of others has become a necessary part of what it means for me to practice radical love.

–Alex Ngo, “Openly and without apology”

(via the dopest ethiopienne)