While considering what we should post next for our blog, Erin and I discussed writing a letter to the younger generation because I for one thought things were just hopeless. Going back and forth on the thought, I chose to rethink my perspective because I am sure my generation was written off at times…so my heart rested on the positive. We all come to moments of clarity at different stages in life and then there are some who never arrive regardless of the monstrous T-Rex roaring in their face, slobber and all!!!
For clarity’s sake, I am a registered Democrat but I am not opposed to voting for a Republican, one who isn’t a misogynist, racist, white supremacist, ableist, homophobic, pandering to their base, owned by corporations etc. I would vote for someone who had everyone's interest in mind, and who aligned with what I find to be important. (So far, they’re few and far between). What I’m really saying is that I’m not a single party person, I honestly don’t think that’s how our government should work, and that it has been actively NOT working for most people for a very long time. What I am saying is that we need to start having conversations about how both parties can WORK TOGETHER to create a better situation. Right now, in my view, neither party is doing a great job on their own.
Yeah Erin, I would agree!!!
I recently came across a story covered by CNN about Russell Schultz, aged 51, an “ex-member” of Proud Boys who was playing semantics of being kicked out of the group versus quitting; here’s the link (https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/25/us/ex-proud-boys-member/index.html). What particularly annoyed me about the story was the lack of accountability he takes for HIS actions. The article states, “He defends his past actions with the Proud Boys, including violent threats, as justified to fight antifa. Or he dismisses them as just ’jokes.’”
When asked “why” men join groups such as the Proud Boys, he states, "[m]ost of it is just to fight," Schultz said. "They want to join a gang. So they can go fight antifa and hurt people that they don't like, and feel justified in doing it."
Umm, how old are you and your fellow associates sir? These grown ass adults are responding in ways in which it is told to CHILDREN not to respond.
It’s absolutely abhorrent to take such a harsh and critical stance on OTHER people’s human rights and then laugh it off when you get called out. I for one think we need to consider our own part in all these problems and how we are complicit. What this means to me, in terms of 55% of the demographic I belong to voting a hugely problematic figure back into office, one who not only is destroying democracy but who also openly oppresses everyone; is that it does not give me the right, as part of the other 45%, to pat myself on the back for NOT voting that way, and go back to ignoring the dire life circumstances facing Black and Brown Americans. What it means to me is that we are gonna have to start having conversations with people we disagree with, in constructive ways. Instead of trying to force people to agree with me, meet them in our disagreements and try to start from a relational perspective. Because yeah, I’m frustrated that 55% of people who identify like me--represents me, but I’m more frustrated that 55% of us are okay with the oppression of others, the breakdown of society into an extreme upper class-lower class situation, and in government not helping people in dire circumstances.
Also, the whole “white woman” or “beige” like, y’all, come on. That’s ridiculous, we can’t just change our color to suit our feelings, we have to FIX the circumstances.
We’ve got work to do!
Erin you make mention of the 55% of White women, women who look like you and then the story of men such as the members of the Proud Boys who vote against their own self-interest and claim patriotism. This is disheartening, especially when this “patriotism” does not look White, Christian, able-bodied, western European descendant, heterosexual, and cisgendered.
Still, I am hopeful for the future!
Hopeful because the young generation is taking to media outlets such as TikTok to respond to the willful ignorance that many feign in public. They are taking a moment to sit and listen. They do the research for themselves and are asking questions so they can know how to actively be allies and move things forward.
I am hopeful because there are those, regardless of how small the numbers may be in contrast to the more showcased atrocities we see and hear, who seek to change the narratives of history in support of humanity and reconciliation.
I get it, it’s not easy to agree, but there’s no reason we can’t at least talk about things, dialog and discourse are what our relations should be founded upon, it’s how we come to collaboration and cooperation. I think my next step is to do some brainstorming on how to have productive conversations with people who I disagree with, for the betterment of both of us, not just to change a person's mind.
Yeah, I think we go into conversations with a purposeful intent to change the mind of the other as opposed to giving them something to chew on.
I came across another CNN story…I promise this is the last story of the chat, lol! It was of a German man who tracked down the descendants of a Jewish family to apologize for the sins of his Nazi grandfather he had not known. Here’s the story of Thomas Edelmann
What really hit my heart was his belief of needing to set an example for his children, showing them what taking responsibility looks like today for the actions done by others yesterday.
When he located the Jewish family, he states,
I do understand that you might not see any benefit for yourself personally in talking to me. But with me understanding and being able to teach my children and possibly other family members about the impact of particular historical decisions, this might help them to make better decisions in their lives," Edelmann continued.
Currently, the political climate in our country is poisoned. There is a new antisemitism upcoming. I want to make sure that at least my family will never again be responsible for injustice experienced by others, but stand up to take part for the weak," he wrote.
I think of how much things can be mended with a simple acknowledgment and a sincere apology.
This causes me to take evaluation of my life and some relationships I have destroyed because of youthful ignorance or because of impulsive responses. We all make mistakes and are imperfect but with these conversations and blogs, Erin and I seek to be accountable on what we do and say or choose not to do or say will impact others. We cannot be too caught up in the particulars but with an open heart we look to the future.
I remain hopeful.