Oh my god. The words come hard today. How do we get up? How do we speak to one another? I’ve been feeling sick for days, as many of my friends have according to their facebook posts. The news around Trump’s (and the U.S. largely) treatment of immigrant children at the border keeps coming and it keeps getting worse. One of the only good things about this horror is that the U.S. treatment of undocumented children and all immigrants and atrocities committed long before the kidnapping of children hit the airwaves is starting to be widely discussed and criticized.
Many of my white friends are outraged but many are silent. Some are making comments jibing at the Trump administration that make light of the impact that this suffering by making jokes about it. White people are so quick to deny their whiteness and distance themselves from white nationalists that they use this as an excuse to not take responsibility for whiteness. In some ways it would behoove them to think of themselves as a race, as a community. If not them, then who?
This could be my family. It could be yours. The story of the child who was “adopted” at 11 months old from a Guatemalan woman who was arrested where she worked, and the white parents who refuse to give him back, is about colonialism. The fact that the white parents think it is about their love is racist. Love him enough to give him back to his mother, who did nothing wrong but try and seek a better life for him. Love forged in violence and racism is not pure, no matter what you feel, and recurring to your feelings (what about hers and his when he grows up, motherfuckers?!) is allllll about your whiteness. Do the right thing and give him back.
I don’t know how to go about my day. I feel so fucking helpless. What can we do to make this better now (and in future)? I’m going to a letter-writing campaign today. I am consoled by this opportunity, and grateful to those organizing. At the same time, it feels so small. So futile. Helplessness is a terrible feeling. Position. The link between whitecisheteropatriarcy’s oppression of the free life and movement of other’s and sexual violence are intimately linked. Our helplessness is the bedrock of American “freedom.”
Is good and evil a binary? I don’t really believe in binaries but it feels like it right now. I wish I had a time machine. I wish the man who invented gun powder was never born. I wish the man who invented the nuclear bomb had never been born. I wish everyone could take a critical race and feminist theory course or elsewhere find the knowledge that it has been this nation’s history to cover over and I wish everyone could find it now.
What can I be grateful for? I can be grateful for the ways in which this pain and injustice make me more alive. Even the surface of my skin hurts. I can be grateful that I woke up, even though I wanted to start crying as soon as I remembered this world. I am grateful that these atrocities help teach us about the world, about what has already been happening before the flashlight shone on the cockroaches scattering away (or in plain sight). I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more about how justice matters and how to delve further into figuring out how to best sing justice in/to/through my life. REGISTER TO VOTE RIGHT NOW. DO ONE (MANY) THING(S). Or just lie in bed for a while and really try and rest.