A while back ago I started to work on a piece about Charlottesville and have not been able to get back to it until today. We are recording Episode 9 tonight and I know we are going to touch base on the very atrocity of …. well…. humans.
I have been under the impression that enough tweets, articles, pictures, and Facebook posts from others would somehow help me define my words and angst. I even got extremely drunk one night and Marco Polo’d ( a Great app that you should all check out) a friend about the state of my nation. I have attempted to talk, speak, voice to text and calmly discuss. All of these things, all of them. Then it dawned on me after lunch on a Thursday that it was about time that I said something.
What is happening to our nation is nothing that should be shocking or new. We have been waging wars with other countries for hundreds of years to distract our own selves from the destruction of our own nation. I am fighting internally as a white woman from a small white Republican town in Ohio as to where my anger, my pain, my voice should be placed but I know that my voice is my own and no matter how hard you may try to define me and what I have to say, these are my words to own and not yours. I hope you respect my words; even if you do not agree; just as I will respect your counter-point as long as it to talk to me and not down to me.
I follow every article that Shaun King writes and I listen to every podcast that WellRed produces. My daily news sources are NPR and AlJazeera while my local channels of WTOL and WLIO are just as important to me. I dabble within CNN and sometimes even get a kick out of watching the latest FOX NEWS episodes here and there, but I will tell you that I do not try to stay in an echo chamber. I will watch C-Span and ESPN as well follow conspiracy’s on REDDIT and the best WHOLESOME MEMEs that it can produce. I binge watch Game of Thrones and Regular Show, I have at least 3 Rick and Morty shirts and one that supports my love of Adventure Time. If you do not follow Father Nathan Monk on Facebook you should, you should also follow Humans of New York and of course for your daily dose of love Suzies Senior Dogs. I am a news junkie and avid book reader, I do not believe journalism is the same since Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, and the late Peter Jennings were on the air. MTV is nothing without Kurt Loder and Tabitha Soren. I explain all this to you for you to understand I take social media seriously and its overall impact on society.
Today I sit at work coffee in hand and my job probably in disarray as I have focused so hard on the social impact of instant information that I have forgotten how simply important my work ethic use to be. My kids went off to their first day of school yesterday and all I could think of was; are they going to talk about Charlottesville? I took my dogs for a walk and I saw an African American man crossing the street and the only thing I could think was; if I don’t look at him and smile will he think I am against him? I went to the store and saw a young woman in front of me and I thought to myself; I wonder who she voted for? I went to go pay for my gas and I looked over at a construction worker wondering if he was making good money this summer to feed his life? These thoughts are all too consuming and though are coming from a great place takes me away from the greatest place I should be—inside myself positively. I don’t think I can look at myself in the mirror anymore without consistently thinking of others and if any thing I am doing is ever going to be enough to fix this place I am in. I no longer can look at my children with hope and glory as I wonder if they will even have a nation to call a home or be able to grow up as adults with a little less worry on their shoulders. MY CHILDREN. I know they are going to make a difference—but are they really? If they do make a difference is it going to be the difference that I am proud of? If I do my job right as a mother; which who the hell even know what that means anymore; will they grow up to open doors for elderly and always remember their manners?
I am distraught and tired of the world hating each other for reasons that we can not even begin to talk about without sincere emotion. We can not even talk about a piece of metal in a park without talking about it passionately. I believe that we are on the wrong side of history and the fact is, we have been for a really long time. I believed in our nation as a young person because standing for the pledge of the allegiance felt like it meant something to me, watching fireworks made me cry; well they still do, and I was so excited to do projects on the presidents of this nation. I believed in the wars we fought because they were for the betterment of society and I also believed in the protests of Vietnam. I knew that with every pro there was a con and sometimes all you knew of were the pros because the cons were so terrifying that you would never sleep right again. We were taught and we saw the errors of humanity, we knew going into this life what could happen when we acted on impulse and reaction without slowing down our insatiable desire for instantaneous results. I, like a naïve child that I was, believed that we would learn from Hiroshima, Vietnam, Slavery, and The Holocaust. I thought my lifetime’s history was going to be glorious in progress, friendship, mending together broken language barriers, and love for all.
I was wrong.
I want to state that sentence again. I WAS WRONG.
My generation did not fail me, my parents did not fail me, hell, even this nation did not fail me. I failed. I failed in the acknowledgment of truth around me and I failed in the acknowledgment that change was not really happening. I failed in the bubble I lived in and I failed in the family and friends I did not speak up to earlier. I failed society by becoming consumed with my sense of self. I had a duty as an American citizen to be something more than I am and I didn’t because I was trying to fix who I was instead of who you were.
“I didn’t because I was trying to fix who I was instead of who you were. “ We are so consumed with trying to better who we are for our mental health, for our family, for our jobs, for our friends and for our lively hoods and all along we were supposed to be fixing you instead. It is you who brought us here. It was your encouraging posters with a cat hanging from a window and your defining of achievement by showing a runner going up an empty stadium of stairs. All this time while we were attempting to make sure that we were becoming the best and the brightest, the smartest and the prettiest we let you down. You were the ones that needed the attention. All those racist, homophobic, gun loving, only right if you’re white kind of folk, those were the ones who needed us the most. We should have put aside all of our own dreams, aspirations, and goals just to make sure they were fixed, cared for and caressed. We needed to stop living for ourselves and started living for them. They needed fixing a long time ago and we put them in the shadows and in the corners, we never noticed just so we could be better human beings ourselves. (Deep Deep Rolling Eyes)
I hope you understand that my heart is breaking every day. I am ashamed of how hard it is to become a good person anymore. Between stagnant wage growth, inequality of sexes, discrimination of color, and the brutal uprising of blatant show no fear killings. I am not sure where HOPE comes from anymore. I am not sure where I can walk or who I can talk to about this pain I feel every day for people I will never meet. I do not know how to stop my anger from boiling inside of me every time I see some kind of racist fuck twat march in the street to spray paint a Nazi symbol on a driveway. I can not teach my children that the world is a safe place but telling them DANGER DANGER DANGER! I no longer can walk with my head held high, NOT BECAUSE SOMEONE SHAMED ME but because I AM ASHAMED of what my color, my heritage, and my nation have done not to me but to themselves. I do not know what choice you give us but to rise, resist, and act on impulse.
America. I do not know who you are and although you may be where my feet walk every day and where my body works every day and even though my taxes are paid every day to the people who run this atrocity of a government I can no longer call this my home.
This is not my home. This is not how I was raised and this is not how I will be defined.
As for you .. Mr….. what are you in because you are certainly not our president and you are certainly not a leader … to you… You soul-less prick I hope you understand that you have failed no one as promised you showed us exactly who you are.