It’s the morning after election night in America, and the race is too close to call. Everyone said to expect that, but there is still something particularly demoralizing about it. I guess I just hoped more people would outright reject the cruelty of the last four years, but then, the cruelty was always the point. I’ve read Jonathan Metzl’s excellent book, Dying of Whiteness, I understand, intellectually, that there are many, many people who will vote against their own interests as long as it means hurting the other guy, especially if the “other guy” is a person of color. But I guess I still don’t know that. I’m not some damn hero, but I really, truly, cannot fathom voting against my own rights and advantages just so I can kick someone else while they’re down. Who even has the energy for that much hate?
The only things I know in 2020 are this: after breaking a lifelong habit of biting my nails last year, this year my fingertips are all taped because I’ve bit my nails into the quick; I’ve lost 25 lbs pounds this year, and not healthy loss but “I think I have scurvy” loss (a bag of oranges DID help); a bunch of my hair has fallen out; I’ve developed acid reflux which has damaged my already-scarred vocal chords and made talking physically painful. I’m so stressed out it’s wrecking my body, and I know I am not the only person in such a state. The last four years have been dreadful, it’s taken a physical and emotional toll on a lot of us, and the next four years could be absolutely devastating, especially as, even if Joe Biden wins, a conservative Supreme Court could roll back certain human rights at any time. Even if Biden wins, the suffering won’t end.
A Biden presidency isn’t a guarantee that everything will suddenly be rosy, and we’ll all be okay. There are still imminent threats to queer rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights, and we’ll still have to live with the f-ckwits who gave us four years—AT LEAST—of a Donald Trump presidency. This is the thing I don’t get. How are we supposed to move forward? This is not a plea for civility, or whingeing that I want to go back to brunch or whatever. I don’t want to be civil, and I can eat brunch and be mad at the same time. I’m just overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness. I don’t know what to do next (besides eat more oranges). I keep seeing people say we need to “forgive” Trump voters, but I don’t want to f-cking forgive them so give me another option.
But I’m afraid there isn’t another option. We’re just stuck with each other. America is in a bad relationship with itself. (Serious thought: it may be time to break up.) I truly don’t know how we move on when almost half the goddamn country is so devoted to sabotaging the other half they are literally willing to let the economy crash and over 200,000 people die in a pandemic just to prove a point. Of course, the BIPOC community has always known this cruelty, and it’s not exactly breaking news that there are racists and bigots in America—there have ALWAYS been racists and bigots in America. This isn’t new. It’s the same old sh-t that has plagued us since the country’s inception, it’s just been turned up to eleven, and I guess we’re done even pretending to try to evolve past it.
Notable Hypocrite Thomas Jefferson once described America as having “the wolf by the ears”, regarding the inherent contradiction of slavery and America’s founding ideals of freedom and equality. But we don’t have the wolf by the ears. The wolf chewed our hands off long ago and lit out for the hills, and we’ve just been standing around with bleeding stump arms for a couple of centuries. We blame the wolf for all the blood, but the real problem was trying to hold onto a goddamn wolf in the first place. America was founded on a broken promise with the (stupid, irresponsible) hope that we could fix it later, but we never did. And we never will, that much has become clear. I wanted a Biden landslide to signal a complete repudiation of Trump and the cruelty that passes for his governance, but instead we have (more) proof that America is, probably, irreparably broken. Forget all that hope and equality, racism will always be the most alluring song America can sing.
IT'S THE RACISM— ðŸŽ¶My mama told me I'm alienðŸŽ¶ (@starkillerqueen) November 4, 2020
God if black people alone could decide elections.... https://t.co/QuJWNfFLip