When the One who now sits in the White House was elected, it came as no surprise to me, yet I was hurt, angry and very, very depressed.
Those feelings still remain but I have managed to numb myself because I have come to feel hopeless and helpless and frankly, don't have the spoons to deal.
I am trying to concentrate on the good things like being back in Rochester, New York, with good friends and a strong ADAPT chapter. I'm getting some help from the Commission for the Blind and now have not one, but two jobs--Director of Minority Outreach for Not Dead Yet and a blogger with the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies (PIDS). My wife and I will soon celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary and 10 years of being together. Great things have been happening in my life!
Still, I cannot shake off the intense anger and depression that overcomes me when I see and hear all of the hatred and fear that has been unleashed since Number 45 took office. His campaign was run on a platform of blatant fear, hatred, racism, misogyny, ableism, xenophobia and general disrespect, the likes of which I have never seen before. Further, vast numbers of people embraced and were emboldened by those values and couldn't wait to show it. The deal was sealed when people representing the values of the Elected One were chosen to fill his cabinet and administration.
Now, all of the promises that were made to the haters are being kept. The Affordable Care Act is on it's way out. A ban on entrance of people from seven Muslim nations was enacted but thankfully rescinded, but not before much damage was done. Undocumented immigrants are being rounded up in several cities; Rochester has just declared itself a Sanctuary City. Children with disabilities are about to be robbed of education rights and most recently, trans students have lost the basic right to use the restrooms of their actual, rather than assigned gender.
Add to this other serious gaffes and wrongdoing of the One in the White House being overlooked that would have led to impeachment or criminal charges for anyone else, and it's easy to see why there is widespread fear and depression among those of us who are non-White, non-Christian, disabled, trans, immigrants, members of the gay/lesbian/queer/bi community, poor folks and any other group that this administration hates.
I have heard the phrase, "Don't mourn, organize" being bandied about, but to me, it seems so hollow. It seems that nothing will stop this administration; they've gotten away with practically everything negative at lightening speed--barely over a month.
This safe stuff--calling politicians, signing petitions, doing rallies, marches and other feel-good, kumbaya, handholding stuff isn't going to turn heads and get their attention. I understand that for some folks, it's the only thing that they can do, so it is valid and not a waste.
But for folks like me, who can get out there and who can do more, we have to do radical, militant stuff if we want to make change. I feel that unless we do something like the Water Protectors did, all of the "easy" things that we are doing isn't going to make much difference.
Unfortunately, really radical ish borders on violence and I will have nothing to do with that. Still, I'm so flipping tired of safe protests and safe organizing!
I want to do something that matters, that makes a difference. This may sound messed up but I want to bleed for my freedom, bleed fighting for my and other marginalized people's rights. In the early days of ADAPT, I got my ass beat many times but I wasn't angry. To me, it was a badge of honor.
So many people fighting for civil and human rights got severely beaten and jailed many, many times, sometimes for years, even decades. So many people, known and unknown, died so that I could enjoy the freedoms I enjoy as a Black disabled lesbian. I feel that if I keep doing safe stuff, somehow, I am dishonoring them.
So I'm going to save my energy for radical stuff and ADAPT actions. Other than commitments that I have already made, I won't be doing anything more. If you want to occupy something or shut something down, count me in! If you want to organize something feel-good that'll last for a day, with no radical follow-up, I'll give you the names of folks who'll be glad to help out.