You Wanted to Know How Fascism Wins? Look In the Mirror

Donald Trump won the election, but he is not my president. George W. Bush was. Much as I hated him, much as I thought he was the worst thing that had happened to America in generations, at least he was a properly-elected (the second time), career politician who had some idea of how the republic worked and some shred of decency remaining.

Trump is none of those things.

I would not call Hitler Mark II my president. I will not call him president of my country. And if the Tea Party Republicans have shown me anything, it’s that democracy in this country is dead at the national level, and at many places at the local level, and that fire is needed to fight fire.

Right now, I’m in despair and devastated and staring into a future I doubt I can survive. But I am white and cis and hetero, and I will wield those privileges in defense of those less powerful than me for all I am worth. I live on the blue side of a blue state, and I will use that position to protect everyone I can.

Friends I love are going to die.

The things that were keeping them alive will be gutted.

Bigots who despise them have been emboldened enough to murder them without a twinge of conscience.

And you did that to them.

White folk. You did this. Cis folk. You did this. Bernie-or-busters, third party voters, people who didn’t vote because you couldn’t be arsed, people who thought all candidates were the same, people who voted for Trump because you’re either too white or too sexist or too racist or too selfish or too all-of-the-above to think it through, you did this. It’s all on you.

Those of you who thought racism was over and so didn’t make a peep when the Voting Rights Act got gutted, this is on you.

You ask how fascism rises. Look in the fucking mirror. Look. Look at yourself.

That is how.

You are the reason this happened.

So I will not be kind to you. I won’t be gracious in defeat. I won’t let bygones be bygones. I will absolutely let political differences end friendships, because you just voted to watch the world burn. You voted to murder the people I love. This isn’t the bullshit faux persecution that religious right cis straight white people whine about. This is queer folk, and trans folk, and disabled folk, and colored folk, and immigrant folk, and refugee folk, and poor folk, who will all die because you didn’t want to give up your dreams of domination.

I always wondered. I wondered how this happens. I wondered how the ordinary people chose good or evil. I don’t wonder anymore, because I am living it.

So.

If you voted for Trump, understand that I hold you beneath contempt. If you suffer because of what you’ve unleashed, I will feel pity for you, but understand that you brought it on yourself. If you voted for Trump, we are through. You have no place in my life. You are vile. You’re beneath contempt. I never want to see you. I never want to speak to you. I want you out of my life, permanently. I will not seek to take away your rights, but I hope that this decision ends up haunting you. I hope you end up unable to sleep at night. You shouldn’t be able to rest easy after what you have done.

If you voted for Trump, you are not now and never were a friend of mine. Until you show your remorse for that vote and do everything in your power to reverse the damage, you are not someone I can count as a neighbor, much less a friend.

*** Continue reading “You Wanted to Know How Fascism Wins? Look In the Mirror”

You Wanted to Know How Fascism Wins? Look In the Mirror
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Dear Americans: VOTE. This Is Critical

This is it. This is the day.

Image is a banner with white stars on a navy background running across the top and bottom, bordered in red. In a white box in the middle, it says VOTE America. Every Vote Counts.
If you’re in Pennsylvania, you can get a free Uber or Lyft ride to the polls. Here’s how.

When you vote, remember this important truth:

Image is a quote from Rebecca Solnit that says, "Voting is a chess move, not a valentine." Beside the quote, there is a black and white photo of her sitting with tall grasses behind her.
So please, don’t write in a candidate who has no chance, or vote for third party candidates who not only will not win, but are unfit to govern to begin with. Don’t throw your votes away. Trump needs to lose, and lose hugely. The bigoted assholes, the white supremacists, the violent fanatics he’s goaded and enabled, they all need to see him crushed. They need to see that hate doesn’t win. They need to understand that they are despicable, and decent society will have nothing of them.

Vote.

***

I am so terrified to find out whether my fellow citizens are such sexist dupes that they’d elect an admitted sexual abuser with none of the knowledge, temperament, and experience necessary to run a country as huge and complicated as ours, rather than have to call an eminently qualified woman Madam President.

I haven’t been able to do more than read about this shitshow and huddle in my blankets in abject dread. It’s never been like this before. Every other election, even 2004, I knew the country would somehow muddle through. This time, if we make the wrong choice, I don’t think we’ll be okay again. Not until after too many people have died. At the very, very least, our Supreme Court will be fucked for at least a generation, and the suffering that will cause is huge.

I can’t wait for this to be over, and yet I’m dreading it.

If you can vote, cast your vote for Clinton. Vote downballot for the most progressive candidates available. Then come huddle here with me. We’ll get through this together.

***A SPECIAL NOTICE TO TRUMP VOTERS***

But if you vote for Trump, realize that you’re voting for a deeply racist child rapist. Realize who you’re unifying yourself with. These are people who burn black churches, who torch transgender people’s trucks, who beat up protestors, harass immigrants, and even attack a child in a wheelchair for having the audacity to disagree with their hate.

If you vote for this man, you are condoning this behavior. You’re saying it’s okay to assault disabled folk, women, and people of color. That’s on top of the endless pile of reasons why he’s completely unfit to be president.

I don’t care what your reasons are. I don’t care if you’re lodging a protest against the Dems, or really think an ignorant jackass in the White House would force everybody to have some wonderful revolution, or if you’re just easily bamboozled. I don’t care if you’re doing it because you think Clinton is evil, or think she’s going to rip fully-developed healthy babies from wombs right at the 9th month, or don’t like her husband, or whatever reason you might offer.

If you vote for this man, you are reprehensible, and I want you to realize that and sit with that realization and feel awful about it. And then I want you to do better. But I don’t want to hear a single word from your mouth until you’ve had that epiphany. As long as you feel you did the right thing by voting for Trump, I don’t want to hear a single thing from you.

Because you voted for this. You voted for a man who foments this kind of hate. And that says nothing good about you.

Dear Americans: VOTE. This Is Critical

If You Had the Power to Change Three Things About the World, What Would They Be?

I’ve got a guest from out-of-country, so I haven’t got much time for posting today. Instead of throwing a link and a promise at you, I thought we might do some thinking on how to change the world. What if it were in your power to make three major changes to the world as it is? What would those changes be?

Image shows two calico cats sitting in chairs at a table, looking toward each other with rather the attitude of people who believe they are completely in charge. On the table is a board game with soldiers of various colors set up on a map. Caption says, "Our plan for world domination is complete."

Continue reading “If You Had the Power to Change Three Things About the World, What Would They Be?”

If You Had the Power to Change Three Things About the World, What Would They Be?

South Dakota Blazes a Trail of Bigotry

America’s despicable right wing, having failed to prevent same sex couples from getting hitched, has now opened a new front in the culture wars. Their newest campaign is focused on denying transgender folk the right to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender. We’re seeing legislation spring up everywhere trying to force people to pee in the bathroom corresponding to their genitals or their chromosomes rather than their actual gender. It’s fucking ridiculous, and dangerous, and a horrible waste of taxpayer time and money on top of being horrifically bigoted.

South Dakota has the dubious distinction of being the first state to actually pass one of these noxious bills.

Washington isn’t the only place where conservative legislators are figuratively burning transgender people at the stake during an election year. South Dakota has become the first state to pass a terrifying new anti-transgender discrimination law out of its state legislature.

From Stranger alum Dominic Holden at Buzzfeed:

House Bill 1008 states that “every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school that is designated for student use and is accessible by multiple students at the same time shall be designated for and used only by students of the same biological sex.”

The bill defines “biological sex” as “the physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth.”

So how the hell would schools and gyms check that people using restrooms and lockers have—in their minds—the correct genitalia? What about intersex people? HB 1008 sounds very, very similar to Washington State’s SB 6548, a bill that trans rights activists have dubbed the “Genital Check” bill for the same reasons. SB 6548 would allow businesses, gyms, individuals, whomever, to adopt the same policy. In South Dakota, however, it’s specifically for kids.

So yeah, it’s not bad enough that it targets transgender folk, it has to go after trans kids in particular. Kids who aren’t harming a single soul by being themselves. The only danger is in the poisonous minds of the people who have decided that genitalia is the only thing a person has that matters, and if your naughty bits happen to be the type generally assigned to the gender opposite yours, too bad. I can’t even understand this obsession.

The bill hasn’t been signed yet, so please do add your name to the petition asking Governor Daugaard to veto the damned thing. And while you’re at it, let him know he needs to get acquainted with a few trans folk. Ignorance is literally getting people killed. We can’t accept this.

Gear up, my darlings. It’s going to be a long, hard fight for equality.

Image shows the capitol building in Olympia, Washington. A trans flag flies with the Washington State and US flags. The trans flag colors have been transposed across the entire image.
We’re going to be fighting for trans rights in state capitols all over the country. Let’s not stop until every state in the union allows trans people to live their lives free from oppression. Image courtesy Daisy Western.

 

South Dakota Blazes a Trail of Bigotry

Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat

Trans people in Washington State are staring down the barrel of a bill that will strip vital protections from them.

A bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity passed out of a Senate committee 4-3 Wednesday.

Our Republican menaces are using the same exhausted arguments as those in other states, pretending they care about the safety of women, while ignoring the fact that literally no transgender person has ever attacked a woman in a restroom. On the other hand, plenty of trans folks have been assaulted just trying to pee. They need laws that allow them to pee in peace.

So first thing: we need to shut this shit down. You can send this letter to Washington state legislators for a start.

If you can make it to the hearing in Olympia on Monday at 1:30, please do go. If you are in the Seattle area and need a ride, I can take up to three people. I would only need you to chip in for gas. Let me know by end of day today if you want to carpool with me.

If you live in Washington state, you can comment on the bill here.

And, also importantly: we need to vote these bigoted fuckers out. Here is the list of spons0rs: Continue reading “Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat”

Washington State Peeps: We’ve Got Republican Bigotry to Defeat

Will We Be The Heroes or the Villains? History, Ideals, and Anti-Muslim Violence in America

We want to believe we’re good people. Most of us do. Most of us try. We fail, quite often, but we try. And we read our history books, and we think of ourselves as being on the side of the angels. Of course we would have been abolitionists and given anti-slavery speeches and helped people on the Underground Railroad. Of course we would have stood against Hitler and protected Jews and helped them escape the Nazis. Of course we would have marched for civil rights and dismantled segregation and condemned MLK’s assassin. Of course. Of course we would have been the Good Guys.

Would we? Are we? Are we really?

I’m seeing an awful lot of people in my country who would have been agreeing with slaveowners that of course they could keep humans as property, and anyone thinking differently should be shouted down, and any government trying to end the institution should be rebelled against. I’m seeing a horrifying number of people who would have agreed with Hitler that there was something evil about those Jews, and helped round them up on cattle cars, and considered themselves patriotic as they fought for Nazi Germany. Of course, we already knew a disturbing number of our citizens pretend to love MLK while they fight to uphold the white supremacy he and other activists struggled to dismantle.

This is one of those times when you discover what you’re made of. This is a time when the ideals of your country are tested. Right now is when we find out what kind of people we would have been. And it turns out that many Americans are exactly the people our history books tell us we should abhor. Continue reading “Will We Be The Heroes or the Villains? History, Ideals, and Anti-Muslim Violence in America”

Will We Be The Heroes or the Villains? History, Ideals, and Anti-Muslim Violence in America

One of the Most Important Articles on Abortion You’ll Ever Read

Here are stories from abortion doctors who have been doing abortions since before they were legal. They’ve seen what society is like with and without access to safe, legal abortion. They’ve seen how bad things were, how good they got, and how we’re backsliding toward a time when desperate women were willing to risk death to terminate their pregnancies. These are stories all of us need to listen to. Especially those who are uncomfortable with or opposed to abortion. Make sure you send this to every friend, acquaintance, and relation who is anti-abortion or who thinks that abortion is a necessary evil rather than a medical right. Send it to everyone who thinks abortion should be legal, but tightly restricted. Force them to confront this reality.

Make them deal with statistics like this: Continue reading “One of the Most Important Articles on Abortion You’ll Ever Read”

One of the Most Important Articles on Abortion You’ll Ever Read

Would You Really Love Those 70 Million Babies, Pro-Lifers?

Two old white men whine about abortion. (Well, they also lie extravagantly, but I just want to address this more commonly-spouted bit):

“’It’s a pile of babies almost 70 million babies tall, mountains and mountains and mountains of babies,’ Jim Bakker said.”

Okay, Jim “Convicted Felon” Bakker. Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about abolishing abortion so all those precious “babies” lived. Continue reading “Would You Really Love Those 70 Million Babies, Pro-Lifers?”

Would You Really Love Those 70 Million Babies, Pro-Lifers?

Why Bernie Sanders Could Lose – And How You Can Help Him Win

I get it, I do. A lot of people are super-excited to see a socialist like Bernie Sanders surging in the polls. You’re thrilled by the size of his crowds, and you love the fact he’s apparently not backed by megacorporations, unlike Hillary Clinton. I was pretty excited to see him run, too, because in primary season, it’s great to have someone who can pull the more mainstream candidates to the left.

And I get that a lot of you are upset by what you consider rude and unnecessary interruptions by black activists. But the way many of you have responded? You’re doing a lot of damage. Progressive candidates won’t win without black votes. And Sanders hasn’t done a good job of convincing people of color that he’s their candidate. Those of you berating the activists for not being soft-spoken and polite enough aren’t doing him a single favor. You’d be doing him a kindness if you stopped yelling at them and started asking him to step up more on racial justice.

I’d like him to win, you know. If I can’t have Elizabeth Warren, I’d like to have somebody who’s willing to take on the moneyed interests. I’d like to have someone who’s looking out for the middle class. At the very least, I want him to be so popular that, even if he’s unelectable, he still lights a fire under the conservaDems who’ve been too timid to buck the system. That would be awesome. But none of it’s going to happen if you and me and him don’t take black activists seriously.

So this week, I’m going to be sharing quite a few posts I’ve been reading that have helped me understand the situation, why things are happening, and what Bernie needs to do in order to win. I hope you’ll listen to these voices. They’re telling you how Bernie can win. And that’s what you want, right?

Start here, please, with a piece by Zoe Samudzi that should answer many of your questions and objections. Continue reading “Why Bernie Sanders Could Lose – And How You Can Help Him Win”

Why Bernie Sanders Could Lose – And How You Can Help Him Win

Some People of Color Bernie Sanders Fans Would Do Well to Listen To

Dear Bernie Sanders Fan Who is Outraged! Offended! by the Black Women Who Interrupted Him:

You’ve been all over my Facebook timeline with a wide variety of claims. As a fellow white person, I must beg you: please stop defending Bernie for a few minutes and listen to what people of color are saying. Look, I’ve even gone to the trouble of collecting a bunch of convenient links for you. And it’s important you listen up, because you know who’s going to make Bernie lose the Democratic nomination?

You.

Yes, you.

Okay, Bernie might fail to shut up and listen himself, and torpedo his own chances, but if all of you band together to make him understand he’d best be listening or else, we won’t have to worry about that. He’ll incorporate racial justice and excellent ideas on how to achieve it into his already awesome platform, he’ll make it a centerpoint of his campaign, and we’ll all be absolutely golden. (Look! He’s already started!)

But you’re the ones who will ensure he loses, if you keep trying to shush people whose lives depend on making this old white man understand what they need from him. You’re the ones who will sow division and disharmony in the ranks. I’ll tell you a secret about people of color I’ve learned by listening to them: They don’t need us, children. We have failed them time and time and time again. We need them to win. So I’ll appeal to that need to see another Democrat in office (a need I very much share), if I can’t appeal to your innate sense of justice and your progressive wish for the downtrodden to no longer be down and trodden: if you fail to listen to these voices that are telling you and your favorite candidate exactly what they need, you are the reason Bernie Sanders will lose.

It’s within your power to ensure we all become one big, happy progressive family.

So let’s lend an ear, shall we?* Even when – especially when – people are speaking in anger, let’s listen. Let’s listen like Seattle for Bernie Sanders’s admin did, right here. Continue reading “Some People of Color Bernie Sanders Fans Would Do Well to Listen To”

Some People of Color Bernie Sanders Fans Would Do Well to Listen To