We Got Work to Do!
Also meet me in the back, where all the real work is done. It isn’t only about putting your bodies in front of the camera with the constant risk of inevitable backlash from the state-sponsored violence and constant erosion of every right you once thought you had. The ones that our ancestors, or even our parents fought hard for. Those things are not secure. You know who has to the most to do and contribute? The ones whose privilege has never once had you considering any of these above statements!
Inspired to continue to write through these tough times, and not so much imagining what is ahead, and becoming anxious, but putting it in historical contexts that are relevant to my lived experiences. Fighting the Reagan Regime in the 80s & 90s and the lives lost, pain caused, and the overwhelming amount of energy it took with concentrated efforts sustained over at least a decade. It won’t be easy. Some of us won’t make it, and it is in their name we must now work.
Yet it is also born in part from watching how quickly this is all playing out. The calls for “unity” and the “peaceful transfer of power.” These calls only work for those that feel their civic duty is simply to show up every four years, and only every four years, and pull a lever, feed a Standardized Test into a machine that reads it, or touch a screen like you were doing self-checkout at the drug store.
Turn off the cable news, stop sharing Micheal Moore’s 5-point plan, or Aaron Sorkin’s letter to his daughter. Instead of sharing old white men’s voices, who both will be fine, and have made careers with considerable money, off their supposed oppositional stances and firebrand of rhetoric. Bless ’em, but it is they, the power structures they directly benefit from, that will get rewarded and us more of the same. Instead use your time to listen to the people of color, indignant queers, and others who knew this was a possibility and will be the first to suffer. Then share that. Help them in any way you can, get the message out, and then don’t erase them when a white man comes up and is suddenly #WokeBae for doing the bare minimum, regurgitating of the top talking points. [Trudeau, looking square @ your ass]
With nary any style, nuance, or historical context. Sorry, Prince Harry, I love you, and everyone knows I do…but you don’t get a cookie. White men do not get ally cookies. White Women as a whole, do not get a cookie. We are not Keebler’s Elves for fucks’ sake — the time it requires to pat you on your head, and hand these out, robs good people of time they could spend organizing, inspiring, and leading the revolution we desperately need.
Cishetero (& homo if we are keeping it a hunnid) people can not know the terror of our most vulnerable citizens. For whose hard fought and not easily won, awareness & rights are going to be the first to go. That executive order will be the first thing that gets erased. Struck down on day one! Expect more Bathroom Bills, expect more “Religious Liberty” ones too. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you are safe. The same religious zealot that thinks that they can’t bake a “gay” cake, is the same one that thinks a Mosque is not welcome in America. That will find your coastal liberal ideals an affront to their very fly-over beings and work to erode, erase, and eradicate all of them. First up, Healthcare.
My Version of a Protest Song:
I got so much work to do, work
I’m taking care of business baby can’t you see
I gotta make it for you, and I gotta make it for me
What is more insidious, and here is where we can give a cookie, and where we can cut across these lines. To the dear Feminist(s) here is your cookie *holds at arms length* — but only if you embrace, not just what you’ve always held dear and fought for. Embrace an even wider tent, that includes all, Queer, Femmes, Trans, and all the many shades of Feminism. LISTEN! Don’t speak, and only form coalitions that meet everyone’s needs. Healthcare is a Feminist Issue, not just Reproductive Rights. Education is a Feminist Issue, but not without addressing the school-to-prison-pipeline. Ask the Ella Baker Center, Prisons are a feminist issue. How do you think this election happened? Millions of disenfranchised votes, many times over the slim percentages your White Feminist Savior Candidate lost by. This revolution is woman’s work.
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So you’re tired, depressed, demoralized by the constant stream of slurs, attacks, violence in the wake. The notes from Teachers to their students that “all are welcome.” Safety Pins! Truly touched, and yes it is possible for me to both care for those least able to defend themselves, and critique our social media sharing of these things as a way to assuage our outrage. Or doing the bare minimum by wearing a damn safety pin. You thought? *puts finger over your otherwise silent lips* Even as we ‘think’ that it is helping, even as we think that this awareness of violence will stop the coming apocalypse. Especially since we think sharing it will create “outrage” the good kind. Or even better if it centers us as the saviors.
How did we get here? Weren’t we self-righteously sharing these “lived experiences” and didn’t they still win? Stop expecting them to see the humanity in your memes. Stop expecting them to care, or to see the intelligence you are clearly displaying. They have adapted, they play the same game, and apparently are better at it. So much so, that they won.
This Post-Emotional-Performative-Social-Media is very real and realize that you will be just another casualty. That these platforms that allow you to pour out your grief (and monetize it) while creating what isn’t even really a bio-feedback loop, honestly there has to be a new name for it, a bio-hacked-social-media loop? Virtual-Bio-Echo-Chamber-Loop, by which all in the world is fed to you through a platform that regularly exploits you, makes money off your eyeballs, and also suppresses those most marginal voices in the process. Meanwhile they rob from creatives, exploit them into oblivion and impoverishment, and still cash that check. What did you get? A distraction. Plus something you are calling a ‘revolution.’
Having monitored closely what you share, the emotions you are going through, your stages of social media “grief” will soon abate. Your resignation and acceptance of the status quo will not only bedevil your conscience, but is a death sentence to those most vulnerable. Like myself. So I appeal to those ‘better angels’ Obama was so rhetorically fond of invoking, and see that this is the Culture Wars’ Civil War. The country is not “as divided as its ever been” — but you have blocked, muted, unfollowed/unfriended, your way into this. Generally allowing all your discourse to take on a sanctimonious tone that by design, rewarded by likes & emojis, has effectually left you believing against either historical precedent, good sense, or the general temperature of the electorate long before the results rolled in.
Knew & Said Nothing
You weren’t ready to deal with America as it is, you wanted to float “Hope & Change Lite” with a huge heaping of ‘there is no way this could happen, they are not THAT Stupid!” When you just got through telling your work friend, casual acquaintance, or near relation that they were just that stupid, in #CAPSCAPSCAPS!!!
If you can hear the song, through that above Gif and bang your keyboard in time, then I’m speaking specifically to you, in my version of a dog whistle. That is a MoMA worthy veritable work of art, or at least the new NAAMHC! That 6 seconds, and Vine in general, kept you quite entertained and enthused. My knowing how this would turn out, and not telling you, was an act of mercy. Begging you in each interaction not to discuss the election with me since (at least) the primaries. A few of you, experiencing particularly acute Anxiety & Panic Attacks, I comforted with soothing centering-in-the-now moments. Trying to be merciful, and knowing all the while that this was going to happen.
Since my life is slowly and surely falling apart in tandem with all of this, and effectively America has put me in a position where I’ve nothing left to lose it took all my strength to preserve myself to fight another day.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
— #RIP Leonard Cohen
Yep, we all have work to do, and if you look for it, not just the glass ceiling, but the hyper-militarized state-sponsored oppressive one, you will find, even that has a chink in its armor. That it has a soft underbelly which relies solely on us going along, to get along. No one, especially America’s marginalized communities that make up a ‘Minority Majority’ can be called to do more than defend themselves from this new epoch. The work must and will only be done by or succeed from White People getting in there like they did while feeling that Bern, and doing that work.
Not the work of speaking down to, or blaming anyone in that diaspora of marginalized people I spoke of, but by holding other White People’s feet to the fire. Talking with, and hearing or relating to your relatives. You’ve gotta lotta nerve (just like in the primaries you lost) to think your proselyting was or is anything other than crass and crude socialism based on class. Miss me with that, okay? Thanks.
First do your research of the history of Populism on both sides to see you are both sides of the same coin. That you in effect helped fuel this, accept that. Don’t count on your version of rather flimsy exit data polling to parse blame. Stop it. The DNC doesn’t need an overhaul, or you’ll end up with what looks like the RNC, that you’d best spend that time wisely by abolishing it. Honestly. Everyone is suddenly acting like that infographic they found explains it all to them: AHA! Please critically think about this, the votes aren’t even certified until November 29th, and you are not Nate Silver.
A far-left Democratic Party, the cleaning house, and sweeping out the old in order for the “new.” Which apparently will be led by an old socialist White Man from Vermont. Okay?!?! Yeah, nope. What those of you with very little experience inside the DNC don’t know, and can’t read from those droll wikileaks emails is that their are people, real live ones, who fill it, and also the Super Delegates spots you are so inflamed about even as you want the Electoral College now to pull that same stunt.
That from the inside, there are hardworking people you sneer at, who show up, work the polls, do the GOTV and all that while you sit back & criticize. They committee, they do the work. You will not, do not. So what I mean is you are speaking down to the very working class people, not the liberal limo democrat donor class. Who unfortunately get all the press, and you mistake these surrogates for the real thing. But that’s okay, I’ll judge you by the same standard I hold Susan Sarandon to now. DAMNIT! JANET!
Get fucking bent, and I mean that as politely as possible. You, and your social media whinging, your think pieces littered with stats, and yet not a single link, or even footnotes. Sit down Professor. Please. Stop watching Chris Hayes or Rachel Maddow and thinking you know anything. Stop reading & sharing (tacitly participating in the oppression) of these outlets that cater to your very mainstream media ready White Supremacist, let’s put-class-first, bullshit-populism. You are entirely too smart for that, but I’ll be damn if you don’t swing it like a bat.
You are part of the Post-Performative-Emotional Demonstrably Annoying Punditry, but instead of the Sunday Talk Shows, the Op-Ed pages, or the hum and strum of a cable news talk show, you are the chattering classes that very simply in your coastal elite mentality and raging hatred for the “real american flyover people” who aren’t nearly as stupid as you make them out to be, if they won, right? Facebook posts, memes, tweets are only a part of the work. Connecting and building is better.
Real Radicals, and liberation workers, know how to spot you. You don’t meet the people where they are. Not in your corner starbucks, or your UES Dog Park. Nope, in the Walmart parking lot. You are effectively using your Bernt Idol as a blunt tool, and his socialist-lite rhetoric, while not doing the work. You really bought it, and want, or think that your superior intellect, and ruling by an elite class, but dressed up in a Vermont Old White Man. He may have marched with MLK, but guess what he took less time to say he’d work with Trump then he did for Clinton. Think about that, really hard, activists have. What signal is that sending?
Last I checked he has no power, none. Except in what he is hoping will reshape DNC, when he only caucused with the Democratic Party this year. He is an interloper, and had he run as a third party candidate, from the start, on a separate ticket, I’d have had much more respect and support for him than I do.
More to follow on what a true revolutionary, of and for those people, the ones you won’t even rub shoulders with in Whole Foods or as you shuffle to that apartment in a block you are gentrifying in Bushwick. Spare me. Remember you ain’t even paying for this, but are only able to enjoy it from my exploitation of these platforms.
You all are having what can only be called your: “I Was Told by Applecare…” moment and it is embarrassing, and I’m embarrassed for you and your hottakes. Truly. But will be here when you want to know what the poor, those living in extreme poverty, that are just as smart, and know as much, but don’t give a rats ass about the crap you went on and on about. You lost, but did so by losing us while you went off about how great “your” candidate was.
America hates you right now, and part of this series will be showing you EXACTLY what they are posting, and how they are getting drunk off your tears and your rage. Thanksgiving is around the corner, and it is going to be one of the more unusual times since last year, in “good times” we had the #ThanksgivingClapback, this year it looks to tear entire families apart. With very little hope we will be repaired. The “soul-searching” our opponents did in 2008 never materialized, they went harder, started planning from day one. You can’t beat or understand them, or ever convince them of anything unless you do the same. Expect to be in the hinterlands until 2024 at this rate. Evolve, they did.
Can you? We all have work to do, and a part to play. What will yours be?
It takes a lot of money to make it, let’s talk truthfully
So keep your love light burning
Oh you gotta have a little faith
You might as well get used to me coming home a little late
*Sidebar: The thumbnail sketch of Bernie Supporters exempts the PoC/Queers/BW who have talked to me about their support for him. This is specifically to cicheteronormative, be they queer or straight, White supporters of the BernOrBust strategies, who are not so slyly happy it is all burning down, even as they will probably suffer the least. Whose rights will actually probably increase under the new regime. But if that shoe fits, bitch tie it on with pride.