Uh Oh: Did we just open Pandora’s Box?
I am still in a funk.
I suspect you are too.
I lost the will to write. Even today, I am still struggling to say anything meaningful, anything to motivate and inspire. It is just damn hard.
A few people said that we need to stand up and say no. We need to stand up to the bully we just elected.
I am not really sure what that means.
There’s a movement now to wear safety pins. It’s supposed to symbolize that, if you are a potentially marginalized or threatened group, that you are “safe”, and that the pin wearer is a friend and protector.
Again, I am not sure what that means.
I am one of those potentially threatened people.
A friend and I were sharing our experiences on Facebook. He is also potentially threatened, and he shared a specific case of cyber-bullying he had experienced that day – captured below. Names have been erased to protect both the innocent and the guilty.
As we were both lamenting about our fears that the election would give rise to further cases like this, we both got called out on our irrationality by another “friend.” The first is me, the second is the “friend.”
Apparently, the fact that we are successful minorities is proof positive that racism does not exist. That I have succeeded despite racism is prima facie evidence that I have nothing to fear in the future, let alone complain about. That all of the advances in civil liberties, women’s rights, minority rights, the LGBTQ movement – all of that in the aggregate – happened not because we climbed on the backs of people like Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, John Lewis, and countless other activists to reject such primitive thinking, but rather because of some natural evolution in American social thought.
I am where I am today, and so is every other person who is not a white male, because of the sacrifices these martyrs made to fight against the oppression from the historic American social order. I have experienced my share of overt racism growing up. And today, I am keenly aware of and sensitive to that insidious, underlying, implicit racial bias when a shopkeeper follows me around, or when a cop asks me, “Are you from around here,” or when the waitress ALWAYS takes my order last in a group setting with white friends.
Does that impact my ability to live a decent life and provide for my family? Don’t be silly; of course it doesn’t.
Does it suck? What do you think?
My friends wonder why I dress impeccably, just to go to the grocery store. Again, why do you think?
So when I worry about the Pandora’s Box that has just been opened, it’s because I fear that all that work that we have put in since the 1950s is about to be undone, and that the implicit second-class citizenship that I continue to maintain will be thrust forward into the accepted mainstream consciousness.
And that, my friends, truly sucks.