To “Beckywiththepinkhat” from another Becky with a pink hat

There are many viral posts making the rounds from WOC (women of color) or indigenous women that were at the Women’s March on Washington or other cities this past weekend. These posts are admonishments to the white women that have just now decided to rise up and fight for rights that WOC (I am going to use WOC in this post to include all races EXCEPT white for reasons of expediency) have been fighting for generations. Two of these posts I will link here as examples:

https://twitter.com/sydnerain/status/823378710833270786

 

As a white woman, albeit a Latina (Brasilian) of Jewish descent, it’s hard to read those words. My first reaction is, “Hey! I didn’t do that to you! I am intersectional with my feminism. am a first generation American. MY ancestors didn’t oppress anyone – they were the ones oppressed as German/Russian Jews!” etc. And yes…I have been activist in some form or another for most of my life but not quite as activist as I SHOULD have been especially in light of what has been happening in this country. I was focused on other things, what I deemed important to me at the time (in my case, pit bull advocacy and animal welfare. Still important but the human animal is deserving of compassion too — and…I almost went off on a tangent. Nope. Stay focused Jax.)

Lakeshia and Hokte, and others saying the same — I want you to know that I AM LISTENING. WE ARE LISTENING.

Some of us white women are tardy to the party … but we are here now. Educate us.

I know you are frustrated with us; that it took us SO LONG to get here. But please, welcome us now that we’re here. Many of us are trying, please realize that. We’re going to flounder and flub and make stupid mistakes because for many,  it’s our first time as activists.  Educate us. Treat us like the newbies we are — be gentle. We are not used to being trod upon. I know…special little snowflakes are we, we white women of privilege. But that’s the thing here — so many of us (not me specifically) ARE coming from a place of privilege and have JUST NOW realized that it’s all being threatened and we are TERRIFIED and don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to act. I’m willing to bet that many of the women that marched on Washington had never marched before, had never traveled out of their own state or interacted with people outside their own demographic. It may not seem like a lot to you —  WOC who are activists and experienced in fighting for their rights but for some of the women I traveled with from Alabama — it was a GIANT leap of courage to leave their tiny  towns and interact with folks so far from their usual perspective. Acknowledge that.

I know you’ve been angry and oppressed and repressed for most of your lives and look upon so many suburban housewives with their silly pink hats with disdain and think, “what took you so damned long?” I don’t blame you for wanting to call us out. But at the same time, we ARE here NOW. So after admonishing us for being clueless or rude or just plain ignorant — maybe take a moment to also thank us for making the attempt to cross a cultural bridge that has stood for so long and that for many has been more of a wall than a bridge. Many “Beckys” DON’T understand. But they will now. Or maybe it’ll take another week or a month or a year but the fact that so many “Beckys” showed up is a step in the right direction. Acknowledge that.

If you, and we, want to work together then your admonishments need to be followed up with education on HOW we can be better as women. Just women. Not WOC or indigenous or white women or Jewish women or Muslim women or Christian women or how about we include the men of all kinds that joined us in the marches.

We were late. We were ignorant and rude and faltered and didn’t act correctly. But we’re here now and WE ARE LISTENING. We are trying. Help us help ourselves, together.

This is me: My name is Jackie (not Becky). I am a white latina jewish pagan buddhist LGBTQ disabled woman. And I wore a pink pussyhat. And I was there in DC. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t rude to anyone and if I was: I’m sorry. But it had nothing to do with your skin color or culture, it had to do with the pain I was in and my body breaking down. At that point, you could have been Rutger Hauer *swoon* and I’d have barked at you to get out of my way.

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I’m So Tired

I was chatting with a friend, and she asked how I was. “Meh”, was my reply. “What’s ‘meh’?”

Meh. Meh is – I’m tired. So tired of fighting for peace (it’s not an oxymoron), and freedom, and the same rights that others have, and now I’ll have to fight just to survive. I’m tired. For over 20 years, I was on the front lines of bringing American paganism to the public eye. Taking it “out of the broom closet” and helping to educate the general public; showing that we’re not scary, evil, devil-worshipping freaks; that we’re just your neighbors with a different religious view. Some of that time was spent dispelling the views that all Witches are Wicca, that Wicca stands for all Pagans, and trying to live my life as a mother and wife and just plain human being while still working to stay safe from the very people I was trying to educate because crazies exist and I had a young child to protect.

Meh. Meh is – I’m terrified. The incoming administration is specifically tailoring itself to dismantle everything our country once stood for. Everything we’ve worked for, everything we thought we’d outgrown or moved past – tossed out like a quick Tweet from the fat fingers of the Orange One himself at 3 am. I don’t need to go into everything Trump is doing – many others have covered it better than I – but it’s utterly horrifying to wake up each day and see another way in which the United States of America is being dismantled before he’s even taken office. And what’s worse is that even should the Electoral College prove faithless and decide to elect Hillary Clinton: the damage is done. Trump’s candidacy has riled up a base of support so vile, loud and obviously willing to harm their fellow citizenry that a civil war is sure to break out. Pence? A Pence Presidency is sure to be as bad if not worse, as he actually BELIEVES everything he says. Trump is ignorant and insane but Pence isn’t. Pence is, to borrow a line from “Serenity”: “Because he’s a believer. He’s intelligent, methodical and devout in his belief that {…} is the right thing to do.”

Either way, our entire way of life is over. The new “normal” is waking up and seeing what disgusting thing ThePutz has tried to put over on the American people. Watching as fascism creeps into our democracy and some of the country cheer, some cry and yell and declare “never again” and some don’t seem to care either way. Hate crimes have risen since the election, and it’s not going to get better. It’s going to get worse. I’d like to say that it’s all going to be OK — but it’s not. No matter what happens, it’s not going to be OK, not for a long long time. Scholars will analyze this election and it’s ramifications for years to come; it’s going to rank up there with the rise to power of all those other awful people we learned about in school. And we’re going to be the ones LIVING with the fallout.

Meh. Meh is that fallout. Meh is the memory of a dream I had way back when I was 15 or so. A vision I thought was just due to all the nuclear bomb drills we had to do because it was the 1980’s and we were still in the the throes of the Cold War with the then-USSR and there was a very real fear of an actual nuclear war and we had to know how to survive it and live after the radiation burned out. We had movies and bomb shelters and I thought this dream was just my subconscious working out the fear of all that. But now I wonder if it’s another of those prophetic dreams of mine that come true (as far too many have. I hate that. I hate more that I have no knowledge of WHEN). But at this point – I’m too old, broken and tired to do anything more than stand outside and watch as the rockets come overhead if that’s what is to come.

Every single moment of every day is a chance to say: THIS IS NOT OK. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. THIS IS NOT HOW IT WORKS. Jailing people or revoking citizenship for burning the US Flag is a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Jailing women for a miscarriage is a violation of human rights. A Tweet storm by the President Elect decrying his win was rigged is NOT SANE. Wanting to hire the General that was fired for selling state secrets as Secretary of State is NOT NORMAL.

This is not OK. Not one bit.

It’s all so very “Meh”.

not-how-it-works

 

 

We Survive, We Always Do

Last night, I started watching “The Man in the High Castle” on Amazon again. Consider it “research” on how to survive the coming years; and not just the next four, as the ramifications of this election will linger on well past my lifetime. Combine our political climate with that of Brexit and the resurgence of populist stances in France, the alleged meddling of Russia in our election and so forth…it just seems as if a sort of refresher course in how to survive under fascism seems prudent.

Sure, it’s fiction but science fiction writers like Philip K. Dick are astoundingly prescient in so many ways. Either that, or society seems to catch up to them making science fiction into science fact. (Personally, I really wish we’d catch up to Roddenberry. The world presented by Star Trek is my version of a utopia — I want to live in a future like that. Please Scotty, beam me up. Find a fold in the time-space continuum. I’ll even battle the Borg.)

In the episodes I watched last night, Season 1 eps 6-7, one of the characters Frank Frink, a part-Jewish man who unsuccessfully hid his Jewish ancestry and so his sister and her children were killed, meets with another Jewish man and his children. This family still practices their religion, which is forbidden (they live in the Pacific States, held by the Japanese) and they hold a Mitzvah for Frank, reciting the Kaddish, which finally allows him to surrender to his grief. At some point, Mark tells Frank that he is raising his children Jewish in defiance of the laws, because (I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember it verbatim): This is who I am, this is who my ancestors were. You can’t live your life in fear. We were being murdered because we were less than human. We wrapped our weapons and buried them, vowing revenge, and ran. I’m raising my kids. Hitler, the Nazis…I don’t care how it looks. It won’t last. One thing about my people, we have a different sense of time. These may be dark years, but we’ll survive. We always do. You’ve just got to find something to hold onto. 

The bold part…that stuck with me. I’m not Jewish, not by religion. I wasn’t raised Jewish, I was raised Methodist. But on both sides of my family, I am of Ashkenazi descent. Both sides of my family have suffered as a results of WHO THEY ARE, because they were Jews. My mother’s paternal side: German Jews. My father’s paternal side: Russian Jews. The very idea that we survive, we always do rang out as if I was standing inside the Liberty Bell as it was struck.

Now the man was speaking about faith being what he holds onto. That’s not me. I have faith of a sort. But my Gods aren’t the kind that will comfort and protect me. I don’t have a book to look to for guidance or even a church/community to go to for words of wisdom. I’m the elder in some cases for many. I’m the one folks will often look to for comfort or guidance and shit, I got nothing right now. The High Priestess is just as angry and scared and utterly clueless as to how she’s going to manage to survive the coming storm, so yeah, I got nothing. Except a glimmer of hope from a reminder that came from a TV show that somewhere in my DNA is “we survive, we always do”.

It would probably be a lot more comforting if I knew the spiritual/religious rewards behind that survival. The “chosen people” and what that means but since I’m only ethnically Jewish but not a practicing Jew (nor do I plan to be – Yahweh hasn’t touched me but Lilith has…and I’m pretty sure Yahweh frowns upon that lol) it’s only my genetic makeup that will 1) cause me to continue to fight for survival and 2) be the reason that I HAVE to fight for survival should it come to the point where ethnic cleansing practices occur again. Because no matter how white I look, no matter how Gentile I can pass for…I have more than 50% Jewish blood. Plus you add in that whole “disabled, latinx, queer, pagan” thing going on.

These may be dark years, but we’ll survive. We always do. You’ve just got to find something to hold onto. 

Find something to hold onto. Whatever that may be for you … find it. Hold onto it. These are going to be some dark years, even if by some chance the election results are overturned and Trump ends up back under the rock he crawled out from under — his legions of white supremacist believers have been empowered and the fight against such darkness has just begun.

 

Puppet Mastery

I’m beginning to think that Trump truly is the puppet, the mouthpiece, the figurehead, the spokesmodel for a deeper darker director. It’s starting to make a horrible, terrifying sense now.

He’s always been more of a liberal-leaning guy in the first place; those of us from New York know this. He flip-flops all over the place, going with whatever view is most beneficial to him at the time but usually ends up leaning left-ish of center. Until recently, that is.

Let’s look at the evidence (oh, boy, I get to spout conspiracy theory like all those alt-right sites did to rile up the masses! How fun!):

  • Selects Pence as running mate. As anti-woman as you can get; anti-science; anti-environment; anti-LGBTQ equality; the list goes on…he’s pretty much evil personified if you feel that anyone but Christian cisgendered men should have any rights at all and the earth is worth trying to save.  http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/mike-pence-isnt-boring-hes-one-americas-most-extreme-governors
  • Appoints his children to be advisors on his transition team. No clear conflict of interest there, considering they will also be running Trump, Inc. Nope. There’s no historical precedent for despots installing their children in positions of power either. See: Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, Papa Doc Duvalier, for a few examples.
  • New Chief Strategist is Stephen Bannon. The publisher of Breitbart and an avowed anti-Semite, white supremacist, anti-gay, anti-women, pro-violence against minorities, etc. ad nauseum.
  • Appoints lobbyists to transition team — and we all know that team usually ends up with positions in the administration. This is the guy who said lobbyists were part of what was wrong with Washington, right?

The list will continue to grow as the weeks go by. And so many of his supporters said we were worried for nothing, that we were just “libtards” and he was going to “Make America Great Again”. I watched the 60 Minutes Interview, and if I have the stomach (and enough Xanax) for it, I’ll rewatch it and compare the rhetoric to that of Hitler and Stalin.

America isn’t going to be great again. America is going to be something completely different from what it was, and soon enough the man/woman/group behind the curtain will be revealed. You’ve been had, Trump voters. Even if you aren’t one of those “deplorables” who only wanted change…well…you’re getting it. But not quite the way you wanted it.

Get ready to start wearing stars or triangles or living in camps or whatever the 21st century equivalent is. Because he was right about one thing: The election sure was rigged:  bought and paid for by something far, far worse than anything Hillary could ever have dreamed of in the worst nightmare of the most conservative white cisgendered racist male of means could dream of.