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Denial Gets You Nowhere

4 Jul

I moved to Eugene under the impression that it’s a progressive college town and a hippie mecca. It didn’t take long to learn that its days of being a hippie mecca are … pretty much over. I know this isn’t the 1960s or 70s but still, hippies are still a thing on the West Coast, and they were still a thing in St. Louis, at least in the 1990s.

In the past week or so, I’ve discovered disturbing things about Eugene via Nextdoor. I’ve learned that white supremacists are organized enough in Eugene to be making sure that no yards have Black Lives Matter signs. It got me reflecting on my impression—that started not long after I moved here—that while Portland has radicals such as anarchists and socialists, Eugene is more about liberal Democrats. It can be a bit frustrating.

On top of that, denial among white people in Eugene is apparently a normal everyday thing when it comes to local white supremacists.

I posted a link to the GoFundMe page to help Isiah Wagoner, the black activist who was supervising the Children’s March when a white supremacist deliberately ran over him. This was after I read about how the driver gave him the finger before stepping on the gas and aiming for Isiah Wagoner. This was obviously intentional… and yet the cops let the psycho free. Meanwhile, Isiah Wagoner is in the hospital—hence the GoFundMe page.

The only comments I’ve received for posting this on Nextdoor were a couple people claiming that maybe he isn’t a white supremacist. The second commenter even made some bizarre comment, suggesting that it wasn’t intentional and that maybe he was distracted… because people are pulling people out of cars?!?!?!? Um, no. So with a roll of my eyes, I found the original Eugene Weekly article and copied and pasted the url into my post about the GoFundMe page.

Denial isn’t just a river, especially with closed-minded fools.

White Supremacist Thieves and Vandals

30 Jun

I know signs are less important than lives, but this is still creepy and disturbing.

Here in Eugene, a “progressive college town,” white supremacists tear up and steal “Black Lives Matter” lawn signs. They do this on a massive scale. It doesn’t have to be the official sign–it can be any racial justice sign. One was a cardboard sign that said “Justice for George Floyd” or such handwritten in purple marker, and a POS tore it in half and left the two halves lying in the yard.

Someone else found torn BLM signs that weren’t hers inside her trash trolley, and on top of that was a bag of dog poop.

Some people have said this happens repeatedly–they put out a new sign, and it gets stolen. One person said she might make a separate sign that says every time it’s stolen, it will be replaced.

Someone mentioned that there used to be a whole bunch of social justice signs on a corner, and they all disappeared.

Someone even said that the KKK are back. They’re distributing fliers in South Lane County–complete with their number. Guess they want prank calls. WTAF. Since moving here, I’ve learned that in the 1920s in particular the KKK was very mainstream in Eugene.

I’ve learned about all this on the Nextdoor app, not in local news.

This is What Fascism Looks Like

14 Jun

There’s a revolution and a rebellion or maybe an actual revolution going on—certainly, there have been some changes for the better, such as new laws against chokeholds (that’s not good enough!) and the Minneapolis police disbanding because it’s rotten to the core. There’s talk of having social workers instead of batshit armed police responding to mental health issues (so they won’t continue killing people for being suicidally depressed—WTF). There is change happening, though so far not enough. Also more white people are taking antiracism to heart and participating in the movement and watching films and reading books that are antiracist. Netflix, I discovered yesterday, even has curated a lot of films and tv shows as “Black Lives Matter” and that was the first thing that appeared on my tv screen when I clicked on Netflix.

But my point is this: we’re in a pandemic that isn’t going away thanks to the ridiculous way this country has handled it, and we’re in the midst of more or less a revolution. A protest against systemic racism and police brutality—that results in more extreme and obvious police brutality and more blatantly obvious fascism. I’ve had days when reading news has made me chant aloud, “This is what fascism looks like,” a twist on “This is what democracy sounds like.” It’s a weird time.

I have severe anxiety over all this, all the uncertainty and whatnot. This country is a dumpster fire. Ergo I don’t need extra crap to cause additional anxiety, especially when a psychic vampire, someone who doesn’t deserve all this anxiety, is the cause of the extra anxiety.

It Can Happen Here

7 Jun

It took me three days in a row to revise just one chapter–not productive. But at least it’s a much better chapter than when I started. Emailed it afterwards, some email conversation.

I finished reading Fascism Today and resumed reading Lifting As We Climb.

No sewing all day. Mostly sucked into online news–disturbing like every day. Actually, that pretty much describes every day since that evil cop killed George Floyd: I’m glued to online news.

Maybe I’ve been in a state of shock since the beginning of social distancing. I just know my anxiety has been up… but I haven’t noticed things like heart palpitations. True, crying a little every day… brooding about the state of this country in addition to brooding about toxic assholes… biting my nails. Anxiety doesn’t have to be dramatic.

So much uncertainty. I hope this makes significant change, more so than what happened in Ferguson. It’s made more obvious what we already knew: that the toilet demon is a would-be fascist dictator. However, he’s inched closer to being literally a fascist dictator.

I think to some extent I still retain my usual optimism that things won’t get that bad, that he’s not going to cancel the 2020 election and become dictator like Putin, etc. But on the other hand, we need to be prepared for the worst.

It can happen here.

Panicking. Panicking Now.

2 Jun

How am I? FLIPPING OUT. The sexual predator neo-Nazi narcissistic sociopath has fucking declared war on the American people. He sicced the military on nonviolent protesters.

Meanwhile, the Eugene police are a bunch of terrorists bombarding nonviolent protesters with tear gas.

Um, yeah, anxiety through the roof.

Nice writers coffee talk discussion this morning–maybe next week I’ll share a story, though it will be weird doing so on Zoom.

Freaking out. I have wine next to me. Will be drinking.

Still a little sore from the Black Lives Matter march–leg muscles.

I waited for the alleged package–I think the USPS is batshit and fucking pretended like I needed to sign for a package that actually arrived. Or basically, they knocked while I was in the laundry room, left the note, brought the package the next day… and decided to pretend like I signed for it. Assuming it was the box of CBD chocolate or whatever the other package was that second day. So I’ve had at least 2 days of waiting all day to sign a package.

Protests, Pandemic, and Anxiety

30 May

Since a white cop murdered a black man, George Floyd, in cold blood, there have been protests and what mainstream media calls rioting. Meanwhile, I haven’t done any fiction writing and have been obsessively reading and watching news. All this during a pandemic.

No matter how unproductive I’ve been lately, I need to meditate more, particularly metta (lovingkindness) meditation. I’ve mainly been using the Insight Timer app for guided anxiety meditations and only doing metta as I’m lying in bed to fall asleep.

Black Lives Matter, But Thank You for Flaunting Your Racism

23 Dec

Ew. Ew. Ew. Next time a white male says to me, “All lives matter,” I’m not going to freeze up. I’m going to say, “Check your privileges.” If only I’d said it today. I could have done so much better.

I was at the post office to ship two boxes of gifts—one for a friend who lives in St. Louis. The white male behind the counter said he grew up in St. Louis. He should have stopped with that. That’s a normal thing to say if you see a St. Louis address on a package. But he didn’t stop.

He talked about living in different parts of St. Louis. He talked about moving to different neighborhoods and even mentioned a specific intersection that I tried to picture. He mentioned a family member moving out of the city and into a certain part of the county.

He proudly stated that four of his cousins work for the city of St. Louis. When he said that they work in law enforcement, I started getting uncomfortable. I lived in St. Louis for about a decade, so I know what it’s like to be harassed by St. Louis cops for being female and for having an Indiana license plate. I remember the stories that black and female friends recounted about their experiences being harassed by cops in St. Louis. I’m pretty sure every ticket I’ve gotten was in the St. Louis area, and that was a lot of tickets. A friend of mine called St. Louis “a fascist police state.”

He said that one of his relatives worked twelve hours a day in Ferguson—as in when the cops killed a black kid and there was a huge Black Lives Matter protest that made national news. I saw a powerful play about it. I said, “I’m glad I left St. Louis before that,” because I was thinking about how overtly racist and hostile St. Louis is.

It wasn’t until well after I left that I realized HE WAS BOASTING BECAUSE ONE OF HIS RELATIVES WAS ONE OF THOSE POWER-TRIPPING RACIST COPS IN FERGUSON. You know, the ones with a tank.

It wasn’t until he said, “All lives matter, I say,” that I finally froze up in shock and couldn’t make eye contact with him anymore. He’s lucky I’m so slow to process. I’m ashamed that I didn’t call him out.

I used to work in retail in St. Louis, and I have horrible memories of racist white people coming into my workplace. (Not to mention of course fundamentalist Xians jamming their religion down my throat, anti-vegetarians, ignorant hicks who claimed I have an accent and asked where I’m from and ridiculed me when I said that I was born in Indiana… and sexual harassers.) And that was before that sexual predator neo-Nazi narcissistic sociopath started squatting in the White House and emboldening white surpremacists. But I don’t live there anymore, and today I was on the other side of the counter.

So, yeah: the post office needs to tell their employee to read So You want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Olua … and he and I both need to read the book How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

The last thing he said was, “Merry Christmas.” Another assumption.

I should have replied, “I celebrate Hannukah. But thanks, I look forward to giving feedback.”

Anti-Feminist Bullshit Day

22 Oct

Oh. My. Goddess. When the bar is only 1/8 of an inch above the floor, you should be able to get right over it. It’s not asking too much.

In a writers’ group this morning, one member, a white cisgender male in his sixties or seventies, shared a piece he’d written that listed off bullshit stereotypical descriptions of feminists. No, feminism is about dismantling patriarchy, rape culture, and systemic oppression such as misogyny and racism and gender binary. It’s not about hating men and wanting to have “test tube” babies. Patriarchal males are so narcissistic that even their made-up version of feminism is about them. (Since the 2016 election, I’ve repeatedly noticed patriarchal/misogynistic males wave narcissist red flags.)

As for bra-burners?! That was a misnomer invented by patriarchal mainstream media. Atlanta had a city ordinance against burning trash. Therefore the feminist protestors in question tossed oppressive, sexist things such as girdles and Ladie’s Home Journal into a trash can without actually burning them. Stop repeating a lie that has been repeatedly disproved… and read feminist books and blogs.

Later, I logged onto Facebook and visited a group that I usually enjoy. It’s for participants in National Novel Writing Month. But a female posted, asking if she must have “strong female characters” in her novel (because of something someone, maybe a friend, said) and if this is some “feminist agenda” or a requirement. She said she has a male protagonist and no “strong female characters.” Really? Not one single character in your entire novel can be described as a “strong female character”? She seems to think that because it’s medieval historical fiction, that she shouldn’t have to include strong female characters. This presumably means that her novel will have no major, three-dimensional female characters.

I was utterly flabbergasted, twice in one day (and I don’t even work in customer service anymore–heck, I’m somewhat reclusive nowadays). And I’m not going to read anything by her. Even Joss Whedon has no trouble creating strong female characters. It’s such a low bar. No doubt if she learned about the Bechtel Test, she’d have a heart attack or piss her pants or post about this “feminist agenda.”

Both situations reminded me of what a friend recently said in a feminist discussion: that people really hate us feminists. She’d dropped out of an atheist organization for this very reason. I’ve repeatedly observed that the only people with whom I enjoy socializing are feminists.

Yeah, and I’ll keep writing unabashedly feminist fiction. The funny thing is, this was a NaNoWriMo group, and my NaNoWriMo novel for this year is Feed Misogynists to Dragons, a novel so feminist that the title indicates it. I mean, it’s in your face. I’m going to soooooo wallow in the feminism of this novel and my “feminist agenda.”

The Flores Agreement

22 Oct

The Dump administration is violating the Flores Agreement, which states that children of immigrants should not be detained for more than twenty days. We have until November 6 to give feedback about the Flores Agreement.

You can send your letter via email or snail mail.

For email, the subject line must include: DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002

The letter goes to:  ICE.Regulations@ice.dhs.gov

Or:

Debbie Seguin, Assistant Director, Office of Policy/ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security/ 500 12th Street SW/ Washington, DC 20536

Below is the letter I’m sending (probably by both email and snail mail, actually):

Dear DHS AND HHS,

You need to honor the Flores Agreement. This is just common sense for anyone with a conscience. The agreement allows for twenty days of detainment for immigrant children, and only twenty days…which is twenty too many. Many of these refugee children have been detained considerably longer than that, which is illegal.

There is absolutely no excuse for treating desperate asylum seekers like criminals and separating their children from them, let alone continuing to keep their children separated from them, let alone keeping the children in cages.

Only under extremely desperate circumstances do people take their children and leave their country of origin to enter this country. They’re fleeing from, for instance, a domestic violence situation in which the entire town sides with their abuser against them, and their life and that of their children is in danger.

The refugees—including the children—are already traumatized. Tearing children from their parents and treating them like criminals is child abuse. While the children are detained, in some cases they are subject to psychological, physical, and even sexual abuse. These are many layers of abuse and trauma, and this country is contributing to much of it. Even during the Japanese internment camps, children remained with their parents.

And by the way, insisting that people write letters like this in English is just more racism and xenophobia.

Cordially,

Susan E. Wigget

Dietland Fan Fiction

6 Oct
Sarai Walker wrote a wonderful feminist novel called Dietland, which is a lot more than a criticism of fatphobia and diet culture.
Below is a tiny bit of fan fiction I wrote, possibly the beginning of something:
Jennifer straightened up over the mound of dirt, leaned on the shovel, and surveyed her work. The mound was an oval, about six feet long, and covered the remains of a sexual predator whom overtly misogynistic politicians elected for the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. Yup, the entitled parasite wouldn’t be getting away with anything ever again, not in this lifetime. Jennifer sighs in relief and smiles faintly.
Her smile fades, and her sigh becomes shaky, as she mentally reminds herself: so many more sexual predators and their supporters to go. I can’t dilly-dally here.