In the past couple weeks I have changed some rhythms. I started reading books and magazines instead of playing games to waste time and stew on my own thoughts. And I have avoided a lot of things on Facebooks because I get offended with in about 6-8 posts. I get offended because someone is defending their beliefs against current political events…again. Because there is another video of indigenous Americans being abused by the police like Americas. Because someone posted about White people being bad to the other.
Then I want to defend myself. I know how to play cards. Or I wouldn’t even get into a military vehicle and use a water cannon against someone defending their land. Or I haven’t been silent in the face of the way our President-Elect campaigned. Or I don’t believe I will be fine while the other is oppressed. And honestly I don’t know how to defend myself when confronted like this. I do want to tell people I didn’t vote Trump so they will continue to be my friend…mostly just online.
Right now, I have very few people I hang out with. I have three guys I talk to about everyday life and two are not local. And all are white. I have a couple friends of color but we don’t seem to get our schedules to sync up well. So I share memes and videos with three like-minded, like experienced friends.
I don’t have any one in my inner circle that would vote for Trump. And yet, I feel a gut punch when I see someone calling out White People for their silence or lack of understanding. I want to scream how like-minded I am with people of color and how I have rebuked a lot of the white stereotypes intentionally. How there are words I won’t say even while reading aloud or recounting a movie or rapping along with the radio in the car…alone.
It hit me a couple weeks ago, this is potentially closer to how the other often feels. How legal immigrants feel while walking past TVs tuned to the nightly news in a store. How people of color feel when they are passed over for a job for a candidate that was “just a little better” but equally qualified in everything but skin color. How African Americans feel when another story about a young black man being shot has the commentary of him not obeying the police. How Asian Americans feel when they are asked where they are from even though they are 4th generation American.
How this feeling of helpless and lack of control in what others can and will do to you is not knew for a lot of people. Just for a lot of White people.
And I don’t know what to do with that thought.
*I use the term White people to describe the generalized majority of European Americans intentionally. Just like a lot of people use the term Asian or African or Latin without knowing where some is actually from.