I have gotten many a message this week about Charlottesville. I was shocked too, I get it. But, I don’t know that I’m shocked about the same things that other people are. I am only shocked by the lack of hoods. The openness of it was shocking to me. The rest of it? Not shocking. I talked to my kids that are old enough to see it on their own. I wanted to be the one that told them. They weren’t shocked by any of it. Maybe there’s nothing left to say?
Later, there would be many conversations about anti-semitism that we were, largely, unaware of. There were conversations about how we could be better allies to people of Jewish faith. There were tears when we saw images of people lining up in Durham to turn themselves in for the crime of defacing a Confederate monument. People were lining up to be arrested. That’s some ally-ship right there. That earned some tears from this multiracial family. Because, sadly, we never expected anyone to do it.
The actual Nazis? No tears from my kids. Not one.
These are conversations we’ve been having since my boys who now look like this…
Looked like this…I don’t know what is left to say?
We have tried, and tried, and tried to educate. If you are still in favor of this administration, then I don’t know what common ground we have left? Is this ALL the fault of the people currently occupying the White House? No way. Obviously not. If I’ve been begging for understanding since these boys were this age, then I don’t know how anyone could think I believe that?
But, the open, non-hooded, marching, has it been condemned clearly and with force by the person currently occupying the White House?
There is no way you can be honest with yourself and say it has been. The waffling back and forth from condemnation, to a plea for “both sides” in this, has done nothing to protect my children. Nothing. I have no faith that the President is a President for my children.
He is not.
So, what do I have left to say to anyone who still supports this?
I have nothing left to say to you. If after this, you do somehow, suddenly, magically, find yourself wanting to understand, you can find your resources outside of me and my family now. Your education about my children’s humanity as people of color needs to occur outside of direct contact with me now. Don’t message me. I can’t educate you. I don’t have it in me. I wish you all the luck in the world. I never, not for one minute, doubted that you were human. I never questioned your right to live in equality, and in safety, in this country, even when our political beliefs were miles apart. I never told you that if you didn’t like it you should “just leave!” if you had economic anxiety during the last presidency. Not once.
We were told that over and over as soon as the Trump presidency began. It didn’t stop, even after I said it was happening. In fact, people double downed. We started getting hate mail. Someone threatened to shoot one of my kids during a plea for single payer health care.
Charlottesville was a turning point for many. I understand that too. I am so sorry for the loss of human life. If it was your turning point, welcome, I’m sorry you have to be here with us. This not me saying ‘I told you so!’ This is not me competing in the ‘Woke Olympics’, where I tell you I already understood the pain of people of color, and you should have too. I don’t. I am white. I am only speaking to my family’s pain.
This is me telling you that I’m tired. I’m tired of people not acknowledging this pain for a really long time, and now that it is nearly impossible not to see, although powerful people try, coming to us and telling my family how to react to this or how to feel about it.
We never get it right. We complain too much and we’re wrong, that this isn’t happening. It gets ignored. We shout into the wind. Then, when it is finally in the face of the entire nation, we don’t react correctly. The worst thing anyone can do in this situation is tell my kids how to feel.
They feel tired. Some of you do too. I’m sure of it.
Earlier in the week I was talking to a friend who is married to a Black man. She was telling me the story of how he had been absolutely flamed for the way he felt about this past week. Someone had told him he was being a “jerk.” I believe someone even called him a “d*ck.” I was shocked. Really? I would never, ever tell someone who is a person of color, how to feel about what transpired this week. I default to saying nothing to them about this week because I figure that they, like I, but one thousand times more, are just tired. If they want to talk to me about it, because they feel I am a safe enough person, I figure they will open up to me.
And if they do, I am honored to just listen.
–FullPlateMom, who thinks people should just listen right now, instead of constantly clapping back at each other.