This is an elaboration on a
tweet from last night.
I was born male, and I identify as male. That's pretty convenient for me.
I'm white, which is probably very convenient for me.
I make a conscious effort to be aware of my privilege, but I probably fuck up
sometimes. I hope that whenever that happens, someone will call me out on it.
I was born in Baltimore, and went to a public school that I think was less than
half white. That turned out to be a nice thing, because I never really
understood what the big deal was about skin colour. My parents tell me I
literally didn't understand that some people might think there was a difference
between people with different coloured skin. And why would I? I was a kid,
that's not a thing I should have to know.
My family moved to southern Pennsylvania when I was 11. South-Central PA is
overwhemingly white, and has a large boomer population. One could easily go
months at a time without seeing a black person, especially if one was
homeschooled (which I was, because the local schools were some of the worst in
When I was 19, I was working in the coffee shop in a local grocery store. I had
just voted for the first time. Obama became President. The next morning, I went
to work around 6:30, sold a newspaper to an older guy around 7. He sat down on a
nearby bench and said to me "Can you believe they put a n----- in the White
House?" This wasn't my first time encountering racism, but it was the first time
I realised just how open people in that area were about it.
I worked at a guitar shop for a while. The guy who owned it was a stereotypical
redneck, something straight out of a Far Side comic. To him, anyone non-white
was nothing but an epithet, women existed to be objectified, and if he got a
hint that someone wasn't straight, they wouldn't be allowed in his shop. Most of
his days were spent smoking pot and looking at pictures of girls on the computer
in his office.
I moved to Utah about a year ago. I didn't intend to stay here, because Utah is
all of the bad things people say about it. It's also all of the good things
people say about it—there are mountains and things, and if you're into
that that's pretty nice—but it's extremely white, extremely Mormon,
extremely dry, and extremely boring. It's a lot of the things I hated about
Pennsylvania, except drier and with Mormons instead of Evangelicals.
I kind of thought, though, that being out here would be a bit of an escape from
the 'culture' in Pennsylvania. James Carville
described PA as being Philadelphia
and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between, and that's pretty accurate. Utah's more
like Salt Lake City and then a bunch of nothing mixed with Mormons, which isn't
actually any better. Mormons are a little more laid-back about their racism and
mysogyny, but it's still there. They're just encouraged not to show it off,
because the LDS church doesn't want that public image. It's pretty clear based
on their politics, though.
This election was not about anything except for hatred. A common statement is
that Trump just 'tells it like it is,' but that's known to be bullshit. He's
been the most dishonest Presidential candidate in the history of fact-checking,
and Clinton has been one of the most factually accurate, ever, period. Straight
talk has nothing to do with anything. There have also been numbers that say that
Trump supports think the economy will do better under Trump, but generally folks
actually worried about the economy will vote Democrat, probably because the
economy tends to do better under Democrats.
Trump winning the electoral vote last night has nothing to do with policy. It
was a message from the worst kind of people in this country that they want to be
heard and want to be taken seriously. That they're afraid of people who don't
look like them or have the same beliefs as them. People like that old man at the
coffee shop, or Randy from the guitar shop, or Carmine, my boss at my last job
in Pennsylvania. People who think they should have the right to openly
discriminate against other people, people who are so unconcerned with facts that
they sound exactly like characters in Idiocracy (link), calling people 'faggot'
for being educated on a topic.
I'm a cis white male, and I'm sorry that a bunch of cis white males did this to
this country. It's going to be really rough, especially at first when we have a
red house and senate. We, collectively, all the people that have fought for
LGBTQA rights and less discrimination and tried to defend against ignorance and
won Clinton the popular vote, we need to hold on and survive this and support
each other. We need to call each other out on our biases and abuse of
privilege We need to not give up. We need to show each other, the country, and
the world that America is not a country of hate.
There are folks on Twitter saying that this will be easy, that love and
happiness and just get through it, and that's bullshit. This won't be easy. This
is serious and dangerous and terrifying. This is bad news all around. But let's
try, because we can't all just leave.