Or I could call this survival in the face of White Supremacy clocking a big win. If I’ve questioned myself as an artist lately, last night and today changed my mind. I don’t know a lot of things. Including what my future holds, but I know this. I know why Trump won and I’m not […]
“Bitches can’t eat love or adoration or admiration.
We gotta eat.”
Shannon is talking the social justice struggle here and I’m not here to step on her point but this made me think of recent asks I’ve had to do more for lit arts in Antigua and Barbuda on top of the time sucking but fulfilling work I already do (have done over the years) for lit arts in Antigua and Barbuda for free. It’ll guilt you, too, because you want to be of service; but like Shannon said, you have to eat.
So I will piggyback her a little bit to say, if you’re asking. think about it, and think if you can’t find a little room in your budget for a consult fee even if just enough to cover time and gas fare. Because that’s reality for artistes out here struggling, at a time when their energies are sapped.
On the point of President Cheeto, I have no words; I have not even been able to write the no words I don’t have. I felt gutted as I can’t remember feeling after any election – even elections here in my home country. Not just because I am keenly aware of how America’s choices ripple through our worlds: issues like climate change (we need to save the planet as a matter of our survival but President Cheeto is on record dismissing climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese), international security (think how much our lives – travel to safety at home – have changed since America invaded Iraq the last time a liberal won the popular vote but lost the election via electoral college to a conservative), and the global economy (because our small and weakened economies are still feeling the impact of that last big recession caused by forces beyond our control with American greed and lack of regulation of said greed at the centre). But also because the man who won the election over an infinitely more qualified and capable and potentially glass ceiling breaking alternative has overtly (subtlety is not in his playbook) attacked the Other at every turn. And it’s profoundly disturbing when 10s of millions of people, fully half the country that fancies itself not only a global but a moral leader, sign off on this xenophobia, racism, sexism, anti-semitism, anti-intellectualism, anti-free-press-ism, anti-respectful discourse (and I am aware that there is some irony in me pointing that last one out while still calling him President Cheeto but I’m still struggling to accept this, because…seriously, America?) Anyway, if I, so far away, can feel so at first numb then enraged, I can’t imagine what those who look like me (black, female) and others Other-ed upclose must be feeling. With the Department of Justice now to be run by an attorney general appointed by President Cheeto, one likely unsympathetic to those at the margins, what will become of Black Lives Matter, of the black lives lost to gun violence (including violence at the hands of the police) and to the activist group branded hateful for speaking for Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and others – I may be here and they there but as part of this story which began with us being ripped from our home continent, their story is mine and my story is theirs and Black lives matter to me (don’t come at me with all lives matter because, of course they do, but a movement, any movement, is born of a failure to acknowledge the inclusion of the marginalized in that All).
I’ve seen a lot of tone policing and dismissiveness with respect to the anger those in the margins (particularly those who have been targets of President Cheeto’s vitriol – Muslims, Immigrants, People of Colour, Women, and others) on social media today even from those who consider themselves allies but won’t cop to what this endorsement of his hate speech reflects. People are hurting and they’ve got to be given time to feel that hurt (don’t come at them with not all white women when the majority of white women across all demographics voted race over gender, hate over unity), and so I co-sign what Shannon’s saying on that level too (what she’s said over time about life in the margins).
I have to believe the world will right itself. It occurred to me as I came out of my numbness today that this is what we do, we, people, we take the blow and we either let it knock us down and sit there or we get up and keep life-ing. And I thought of the blows that have rocked my world including the deaths of close family and friends, rejections and disappointments, health scares, and this, a reminder that people will not necessarily essentially do the right thing. And as a descendant of people once enslaved for generations by good people complicit in doing a human wrong, I don’t know why I should need a reminder of that but I suppose it also means that somewhere in there I still have optimism and hope for human nature. More fool me. But the fact that I’ve come out of numbness to feel even these negative feelings, gives me hope that I can push through to a more positive place. I am reminded that this is what we do, we, people, we get up and we keep life-ing, and hopefully every fear we have, based on the ugly tenor of his words and actions to date, will be proven wrong; I would love to be proven wrong. Prove me wrong, President Cheeto.
Hm, I guess I had more words than I realized.