This week in news in America has been a tough one. From Paula Deen to the Supreme Court of the United States rulings on various cases (and the backlash that came with all of them) to the Trayvon Martin case, I is tired. My head and heart are on information overload and I just want to hit the reset button, and start the week over. But apparently America has already decided to backwards anyway, so it’s unclear where forward progress begins.
So much of what I’ve seen on social media and news outlets infuriates me. It’s abundantly clear that racism, ignorance, and hate still run rampant in this country. And yet those of us who openly recognize this are told we’re “too sensitive” or why do we make everything about race? Sigh. I’ve once again I feel like I’ve lost my happy place, since I can’t seem to detach myself from feeling anger and disgust towards people who’s privilege prevents them from being compassionate towards the injustices so many still face in this nation.
Here are a few things that have really set me off this week:
- The SCOTUS ruling on the Voting Rights Act – “the provision of the landmark civil rights law that designates which parts of the country must have changes to their voting laws cleared by the federal government or in federal court.” The very racist practices my very recent ancestors fought hard to prevent, the SCOTUS basically said “eh, its not an issue in today’s post-racial America.” Leaving this issue to be addressed by a defunct Congress, who, in my opinion, is the Ultimate Welfare Queen (collects a government check to do not a damn thing). So without federal oversight of states known to have discriminatory voting practices, these states are open to passing laws that make voting difficult for disenfranchised groups (namely the poor and minorities). Exhibit A…
- Texas immediately enacts a voter suppression law after the SCOTUS ruling on the VRA. The Texas voter ID law is considered one of the most stringent in the country, and the Texas GOP wasted no time (2 hrs) to get the law up and running, and also put into effect the redistricting maps that had been described last year by federal judges as ” evidence of discriminatory intent than we have space, or need, to address”. SMDH.
- After all that Wendy Davis endured the other on behalf of women in the state of Texas (hell, for women everywhere), Rick Perry had the nerve to come out his mouth and say, “”It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.” As if Wendy is incapable of being an advocate for women’s reproductive rights because she is both the daughter of a single mother and once single mother herself. As Wendy herself has said, she had the CHOICE to be a mother, and regardless of her own experiences, she recognizes that each woman should have the right to choose motherhood. Who the fluck is Rick Perry to tell this bad-ass Gladiator what she should fight for? Just like a privileged rich white man to tell a woman what she should think and how she should feel. STFU Rick Perry and SYAD.
- Christians on social media accusing other Christians who support marriage equality of not being Christian enough. Because somehow supporting consenting adults’ freedom to marry negates one’s personal relationship with Christ (more on this later in my Religiosity series). STFU and SYAD.
- People – especially my Black brethren/sistren – coming for Rachel Jeantel1, the last person who spoke to Trayvon Martin before he was killed. Her manner of speech was largely criticized (some saying it made “us” Blacks look bad, some saying it made her look like a liar and a non-credible witness). I could go on and on about how her use of language is NOT on trial, and how it is not her burden to be understood (despite the fact that I and countless others understand her very clearly), I am utterly disturbed by the attention drawn to her appearance – with comparisons made to “Precious” and Madea (*side eye to Lolo Jones). Not many days after the Dark Girls documentary aired, and all the commentary centered around skin color (including my own), many of “us” Blacks have decided to shame this girl for being dark skinned and plus-sized. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! The comparisons to Precious (a character who is victimized and traumatized by her family and strangers alike) got me the most. As if some one that looked like Precious or Gabourey Sidibe who played the character isn’t worthy of our collective support during a murder trial that is putting our justice system to the test when it comes to killing Black kids being Black while in a white neighborhoods. Why focus on justice for Trayvon when we can focus on how his looks and talks? SMDH.
While I want to let all this negativity go, and be over the hatred and ignorance I see every moment through various media sources, it’s hard. It’s hard to see past people’s steadfast desire to be unreasonable and unwilling to put their privilege aside and be sympathetic to the plights of those that are less privileged. It’s hard to get over the racial, heteronormative, classist tension in this country. It’s hard to see people you thought you knew show their true colors that are rooted in bigotry and hypocrisy. It’s hard to get over it because getting over it feels like walking away from a confrontation of discrimination that needs to happen. And unfortunately I haven’t quite learned how to detach my feelings from issues that I am passionately an advocate for. So I guess I’ll just have to play the angry Black girl and NOT be over it. Because I don’t quite forgive these creep ass crackers and those who defend them, these new age pharisees (who Jesus condemned, by the way), these shamed bougie Blacks. I just don’t think I’m ready to let it go until this society changes for the better.
What are your thoughts about this week in the law and the media? Have you found yourself getting caught up emotionally in all that has happened? Are there other things that happened this week that you just aren’t ready to get over?
Waiting on the other side,
1 The outpouring support of Rachel’s courage has been tremendous. Read about it here, here, and here. It’s just a damn shame this support is necessary to combat all the negativity, instead of just being support of a young Black girl who is testifying for her murdered friend.