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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.

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.”

Islamaphobia sneaked into my dreams

27 Apr

I had a dream in which the government was so anti-Muslim that they were doing raids on homes.

I was an adult daughter in a family that lived in an apartment…or apartments that were next to each other, and we were Muslims.

My mother was hastily taking certain items, things that looked Islamic, and hiding them. I went into another room and started doing the same with figurines and stuff of mine. My sister noticed what I was doing and suggested I hide them in a certain place. She was lounging with a book in a little room–it looked like her bedroom–right outside the kitchen, the room where I was hiding stuff.

I didn’t trust her. At this stage, my items were on a wheeled tray just around the corner from her room, and she’d seen me put things there. While I knew she wasn’t looking, I began hiding my items inside a secret cupboard in the back of a kitchen cupboard. My sister didn’t know about that hiding place. I hadn’t finished doing this, when I heard banging on the front door and knew raiders were there to search our house.

Before that, I had a dream inspired by V. S. Schwab’s novel The Near Witch. There was a moor and a lot of strong wind.

A Use for Trolls

27 Feb

I’m not sure if this will be small parts of a larger work—probably—but I could put trolls into fiction, with tiny roles. Bit parts. Bit parts…with little bits. Here’s an example, using today’s troll:

The enormous green troll grabbed by the ankles a smug and arrogant white boy, a ninth grader who skipped class that day. He’d been known by his classmates to harass girls since kindergarten and often wore a red baseball cap with white letters saying, “Make America Great Again.” The troll lifted this boy up into the air and swung him around. The boy’s head kept thumping against the ground, and he became unconscious, his smug smirk fading.

Nazibook

18 Aug

Facebook says that the neo-Nazi hate group page, Proud Boys, doesn’t violate their policies.

Just…wow. I reported the page, and they sent me a response refusing to take it down. Someone mentioned that Zuckerberg is a Dump-supporter, and someone else said they rarely take it down the first time you report it, so maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
Um,  your white supremacist policies, you mean? Your pro-neo-Nazi policies, you mean?
Fortunately, there was space for a comment, and I spelled out to them the fact that it’s a neo-Nazi group. I wonder if that’s even sufficient, especially with a white male supremacist in charge of fb. I would totally dump fb, if there was social media that was technically about the same–with groups and events, etc., but politically didn’t suck.
Now I feel like continuing to read the book Fascism Today: What it is and How to End It, by Shane Burley.

Injustice to All

12 Jul

New letter to my senators and rep–just a short one:

Dear Senator,

It is absolutely necessary that Brad Kavanaugh doesn’t become a Supreme Court Injustice. He is against women (especially our reproductive rights such as contraceptives and abortion), against people of color, against poor people, and against LGBTQIA people. Like all of Donald Dump’s unqualified and unconscionable picks, he is against justice.

Department of Injustice

10 Jun

I just mailed this off:

Dear Department of Injustice,

You need to resume being the Department of Justice…assuming you ever did represent justice which, wait, you haven’t, since this has always been an overtly racist and misogynistic country that makes life a lot harder for poor people and people of color. But I digress.

Children are not blackmail tools for detention. Children aren’t criminals and don’t belong in cages. The country formerly known as the United States is violating human rights to an extent that it hasn’t done since Japanese Americans were sent off to internment camps.

Fire them All

16 Feb

These are the bodies of two letters I just wrote to my senators and representative:

 

The second in charge of the EPA (formerly the Environmental Protection Agency, now the Environmental Persecution Agenda) has a history of lobbying for, not against, the coal industry. Um, dystopia much?! How is it that Dump gets away with invariably hiring monsters who are the extreme opposite of people who are qualified for the job? They all need to be fired. Dump’s undermining of the United States by hiring these people is further proof that he has no respect for our country and doesn’t belong in the White House but in prison.

This hater of planet Earth, Andrew Wheeler, is a bully who’s on the side of corporate polluters, not someone who should be working for the EPA.

The foxes are watching the hen house.

Andrew Wheeler clearly needs to be fired.

Jeff Sessions doesn’t give the hair on a donkey’s chin for justice and should therefore be fired from his position of Attorney General. There’s nothing “general” about what he represents. He doesn’t even hide the fact that he’s a white supremacist! Sure, this is common since the disastrous November 2016 election, but he’s in the position of Attorney General of the country formerly known as the United States. He’s overtly xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic. The ACLU and over 2,000 lawyers have filed bar complaints in Alabama against this bigot, who has the power to do a great deal of harm to people who don’t have his privileges. Do your part in not allowing bigots like Jeff Sessions be normalized, and do what you can to get him fired.

Defending Immigrants and Refugees

3 Feb

Here are my latest letters to my senators and representatives:

Dear Senator,

Absolutely do not give in to that overtly racist sexual predator neo-Nazi and the racist Klan of Repugnantcans in control of the government. You must not let him do away with DACA. Hundreds of thousands of good people who don’t remember their country of birth and who have settled down in the USA (like our ancestors) are counting on you to go with your conscience. DACA and Dreamers are more important than the egos of Repugnantcans/ white nationalists who so casually and cruelly ruin the lives of people who never harmed them.

 

Dear Senator,

Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Scott Lloyd needs to be fired and replaced with someone who actually cares about refugees. I’m sure he’s a reincarnation of one of Hitler’s Nazi officers, perhaps one who supervised Dachau or Auschwitz. Lloyd takes his extreme anti-abortion stance out on immigrant women, attempting to prevent them from having the healthcare they need. He’s even touting a nonconsensual treatment that is supposed to reverse abortion, further proving that he thinks women should be baby-making machines. No woman, immigrant or otherwise, should be at the mercy of this overt misogynist. He would prefer that women die than that they have safe reproductive health care. His determination to prevent women from controlling their own bodies is sadistic and unconstitutional.

DACA

6 Sep

I seem to be posted a lot of political stuff lately. Here is the body of another letter to my senators and representative:

Ending DACA is a disastrous plan on so many levels. DACA beneficiaries contribute to this country as doctors and lawyers and college students, among other roles. They have lived in the United States, with their families, for most of their lives, and this is their home. I’ve been reading some of their stories online, and it makes no sense to willfully tear them from their lives.

By deporting them, Donald Dump and Jeff Sessions are telling the world that they are xenophobic and racist. Oh, yeah, Dump has already done that, in part by showing that he’s a Nazi sympathizer.

By deporting DACA beneficiaries, the US will lose $400 billion of its GDP. While Donald Dump and Jeff Sessions are obviously heartless monsters, Dump, at least, is a greedy and crass businessman who cares about the economy, if nothing else. Apparently his racism and xenophobia outrank even his obsession with making money. Oh, yeah, he doesn’t actually care about this nation’s economy, just his own bank accounts. The US economy doesn’t matter to him, as long as he and other billionaires remain insanely wealthy and get tax cuts.

This sociopath is gleefully ruining the lives of all DACA beneficiaries, and this gross injustice must be stopped.