Trigger warning for this post.
I keep meaning to mention what it’s been like here in Boise. One of my friends was assaulted at a rally recently (if three weeks ago is “recently” these days). White supremacists punched her in the face and dragged her to the ground, ripped her phone from her hand (yes, ripped — she had a wristlet attached to it). The guys who assaulted her had Nazi SS patches on their clothes and Nazi tattoos. They called her a “disgrace to [her] race.”
There have also been reports of white supremacists looking through the scopes of their guns (reported by witnesses as “automatic guns”*) as they point them at BLM protestors and other random people. From the shelter of a parking garage.
They are not afraid to be visible. Trump is their guy and he’s proud of using violence and FORCE against people who disagree with him politically. Why shouldn’t they? According to them, women (and anyone) supporting their fellow [Black] citizens deserve to be beaten. Probably worse.
It stands to reason that other people who still have Trump as their guy are either in deep denial, deep hate and desire for the destruction of their fellow citizens, or still steeped in the anesthesia of living in a white supremacist culture. Or still are valuing “my money, my money, my precious money” over human life. (I mean, I’ve been saying forever — why would you support the candidate endorsed by the KKK? This seems so beyond obvious.)
That’s what I’ve got for now.
ALSO (caveat because I'm posting to FB): I’m not looking for a bunch of jokey comments or whatever on this (not that I’d expect that), I don’t really have much to answer Qs or whatever, just feeling and sharing, you know, how it feels to live in this culture at this time.
[*”Ugly semi-automatic rifles,” I’ve been told is closer to the truth than “automatic guns;” (when I posted this to FB) and suddenly a post about humanity becomes a post about semantics. Which is also interesting and telling, IMHjournalisticO. But details do matter.]
Do what makes you want to live. Do what brings you joy. This is not some pat BS. What you do for yourself raises other people — because we are one. And I’m sure you’ve seen how intensely horrible so much is and I’m just not going to give in to the forces that feed off my despair.
Yes, grieve and feel the feelings. Tears don’t mean there’s a problem or that you need to deny them.
I went to pick up iced coffees today (with a mask) and was listening to the Beastie Boys XM Radio station. It made me want to live. Not that I didn’t want to live before, but it made me remember my own life force and the things that make me want to live. (I just read a thing yesterday a friend sent about suicidal ideation and US culture. Asking if we’ve ever *really* valued life, collectively. Waking up to this, as some are for the first time, can also trigger your own trauma.)
So get the support you need (let me know if you need help figuring out what that might look like). And for the good of humanity (and yourself) decide you want to live and do things that encourage you to remember your life force. What are those things? Let’s make a list so we can refer to it when the despair monsters start to eat our brains.
I have more people's eyeballs on what I share over on my Instagram, so I've been putting more energy where it will get more traction over the past month especially. I have been amplifying the voices of Black people in my stories and I've also been corralling my stories into three categories: Solidarity, (Un)Learning, and Sovereign Vision. If you want to look through those stories to find some phenomenal people to follow and to learn from, please feel free. Just please be respectful in their virtual spaces.
I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot. I spent most of June reflecting and excavating my own conditioning and amplifying the voices of Black people. I will continue to do that. And I will also take this note from Toni Morrison and keep creating with an eye, ear, heart, spirit and mind to elevate that which and whom I can.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.