Two years ago I wrote about the Collective Trauma of George Floyd’s Murder.
Since then, over a million Americans have died from Covid. We watched a violent insurrection take place at our Capitol. Police killings haven’t even slowed down, much less stopped.
An insidious attack on books in libraries and classrooms has blossomed into an assault on teaching the truth about history. Meanwhile state after state races to pass ever more hateful anti-trans legislation, “don’t say gay” bills and other bigoted, harmful nonsense.
SCOTUS is poised to not only overturn Roe v Wade, but the right to privacy upon which it and a whole slew of other important rights are based upon, from birth control to marriage equality.
And this month, two major mass shootings, just 10 days apart, have devastated us.
The evil of the racism and hatred displayed in Buffalo, where a radicalized white supremacist drove two hours to find a Black community to terrorize is sickening. But not surprising. How could it be?
How could we expect anything else from the toxic stew that’s been brewing here since the first colonizers landed on these shores and declared their god had ordained them the rightful owners of an already occupied land? Colonizers with African slaves stolen from another continent and treated no better than livestock for hundreds of years – and to this day we’ve never truly reckoned with that. Now, of course, it’s illegal to talk about in many schools.
And schools. 19 dead 10 year olds in Texas, where for years the Governor has been on a mission to make guns more available and more ubiquitous. Where the cops that are supposed to be such almighty heroes stood around in their body armor with their assault weapons for 40 minutes listening to the shots ring out before having enough backup to go in.
Except for the ones that snuck into other parts of the school to get their own kids out. While parents were being tackled to the ground outside to prevent them from doing the same.
It’s all just too much. It’s overwhelming.
The same weekend as Buffalo, I was back in eastern NC for my Bestie’s college graduation. Her dad was there, too. Unlike my parents, hers have always had her back, so she’s trying to maintain a relationship despite his falling down the right wing rabbit hole. It’s not easy.
We got into it once, when he said he’d gone to a school board meeting despite having no kids or grandkids in school to argue against masks in schools because “they don’t work,” “they are causing developmental problems” and “only 320 kids had died” up to that point.
“You can’t stop death,” he said at one point.
A good portion of this country have literally lost their fucking minds. I see people on Twitter saying the only solution is some sort of two-state deal, where we fund moving people so that all right wingers/Magats have their own separate government.
But no, I very much love where I live. I’m very bonded to the spirits here and plan to be here until I am one.
So what can we do? Honestly it feels like there’s not a lot sometimes. We voted like everything in 2020 and we’re still here.
The exact same people are still standing in the way of doing ANYTHING to make ANY of this ANY better.
But we have to remember – the coldest parts of winter come after the longest night. The tide has turned, the days are getting longer – yet the worst effects of the earth’s tilt away from the sun come after she begins to reverse that course.
I wrote the article below the day after the 2016 election. I need to hear it again. Because I’m overwhelmed and exhausted, but I know that I cannot give up. I gotta work more magic. I gotta do mundane things like vote, maybe even work on a campaign.
And maybe I’m being naieve. But giving up just can’t be an option.
We all have to keep pushing. Because if it’s this bad now, imagine what will happen if they get total control.
Anyway, the article I wrote in 2016:
When Darkness Wins, We Fight
Today I feel as though the air has been punched right out of my body.
A man that embodies racism, homophobia, and the vilest misogyny has been elected president of the United States. Already he has cost me, personally, the tenuous peace that existed between myself and my emotionally abusive father.
Yesterday my youngest son was also diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Thankfully we don’t have Obamacare, so we don’t have to worry about losing insurance. But it breaks my heart that a man who makes fun of those with disabilities is now his president.
I find it fitting that this election happens as we are entering the dark half of the year. Darkness is indeed expanding. Long ago, our ancestors marked this darkness every year, knowing that without it there can be no light. Without winter there can be no spring, without death no renewal. So they gathered each year on the longest, darkest night of them all in late December to hold vigil for the return of the light.
And on Yule morning as the first rays of sunlight pierced the darkness, despite the fact that the change would be imperceptible and months would pass before daylight was strong enough to equal darkness, they celebrated. They knew that the worst of winter darkness was still ahead. But the morning light brought a tiny sliver of hope.
America is heading into a similar period of darkness. The forces of hatred and intolerance have won the day. But they will not hold sway forever. I believe these are the dying throes of this spirit of white, male entitlement. Of intolerance and subjection of anyone not in that group. It’s been in control for centuries, and it isn’t going down without a fight.
So we who believe in equality for all must give that spirit the fight of it’s life. We can take a few days to mourn what could have been, but then we must dust ourselves off and join the fight. We cannot just sit idly by while laws and policies that further marginalize the vulnerable are enacted. We’ll need to march, to pressure our representatives, to vocally advocate to those around us both in person and on social media. There is work to be done. We must do it.
Our activism will be the light that pierces this long dark night in America. But just as our ancestors learned every Yule, no matter how dark and cold it gets, no matter how long, light always returns. Winter may be devastating, but it will end.
And I firmly believe the darkness of Donald Trump’s hatred will not control us forever.