It’s a new day or is it really? Only days since the election has passed. Days since america posed for her family portrait. It’s been days since your uncle, you know the one, stood on his soap box and told the world all the things your grandma has been trying to keep as family business.
Many of you are outraged for various reasons. Some of you can’t believe that your family members put that uncle in office airing the nation’s, your family’s, dirty laundry.
We have been here before. No, actually we have lived here all of our life while living in America – whether we living black or brown in America, living in but not born in America, queer in America, a woman in America or heck any combination of these in America.You see, us, over here, who you want to be the allies to…this has been our reality. Maybe not to the extreme that this could possibly morph into but still what you are feeling now we have been living.
But now that our reality is also quite possibly your reality you feel outraged. Now that our reality has crept up and possibly infringed on the reality of someone you hold near and dear you feel the need to march, to shout, to talk, to strategize, to protest except you don’t know where to start, what to say or how to begin. Now that the reality, the real possibility, that history may repeat itself you are passing out safety pins. But guess what? Those of us who have lived here on the edge of your reality, screaming “our lives matter” and fighting for our lives – we don’t need safety pins to identify who is safe because unlike you we can look at each other and know which side of the wall your uncle would place us.
My suggestion is for you, white, straight, privileged, appalled America, is to start at your tree. Start with your roots pulling the weeds that you have left to grow strong and flourish, calling out the skunk causing all of the stink, educating your uneducated and reeducating your misinformed. Don’t avoid them like the plague get in there with your mask on, be the antibiotic with the realization that you can’t save them all and start inoculating your youth because they will be part of the future but rest assured we are, as well, preparing our descendents to be the leaders of the world.
Now is the time for us, those of us who have lived under oppression, systemic isms or the like to take the lead, to corral the newly enlisted troops and fight the fight we have been waiting but wanting to fight. It’s time to use their safety pin driven empathy to be the moles and the push we have been lacking. Now is the time to use them as the force behind our united punch.