race + gender + politics

Friday Forgiveness: Getting Over This Week In America

June 28, 2013

bridge

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,
~Gem


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.

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11 Comments

  • Reply Wu Young, Agent of M.E. June 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I have no f***ks to allocate to Paula Deen, her plight or anything else pertaining to her. Nary a one. She will be okay… one way or another.

    I haven’t been following George Zimmerman’s trial due to the fact that I manage a law firm I usually don’t like to deal with that ish when I get home. I will say that that all of these new n***as on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else who was railing on the young lady-they can go to hell. Just like on social media everyone makes $100k dollars and has mind blowing sex ALL. OF. THE. TIME, everyone also speaks with the eloquence of Paul Roberson. The flack thrown at Rachel and her accent was a sad reflection of how young, educated black America can act like complete savages from time to time. I would like to think we’re better than that but I can’t prove that right now.* Do better Lolo!

    If Wendy Davis played football she would get a sticker on her helmet!

    With the DOMA taking a loss I was shocked at people on Twitter saying things like America is going to burn and the Lord will def come back now. Not a theologian by a long shot but if your religion tells you that one day that yes, God will return with fire so “get right” I’m wondering if the detractors are so pious and supposedly have “gotten right” then why are they worried? Oh wait they aren’t right. Let these folks live.

    Props to Senate passing the Immigration Bill… but Congress will f**k it all up… that’s what they do.

    *I understand why the defense attorney was doing what he was doing.

    • Reply That Damn African June 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      “I understand why the defense attorney was doing what he was doing.”

      Yeah, that’s what I kept thinking when people on twitter seemed confused as to his line of questioning with each witness. Gotta destroy their credibility and add doubt to the accuracy of their testimony anyway you can. I think all the twitter lawyers forgot that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Defense just has to get the jury to think “I don’t know if George Zimmerman killed with intent and malice.” Beyond a reasonable doubt is still a thing in our judicial system.

      • Reply Wu Young, Agent of M.E. June 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm

        His tactics make sense but make no mistake that he’s an ass. This sh#t makes me glad I compartmentalize things.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 1, 2013 at 2:31 am

      oh Paula. smh. i have no effs to give either. i just want her to go away.

      i sooooo hear you about the Twitteratzi! folks out here living lies every day B. but the sad thing about the comments about Trayvon Martin’s case is that the comments i’m referring to arent even from Twitter! some are comments from people who show up on the HLN coverage and others are from people i know and kinda respect on Facebook!! smdh its disappointing and irritating. and yes, i understand what the defense was doing – thats the defense’s job. but for so many ppl to act like this girl was some incomprehensible hoodrat, smacking her bubble gum and constantly sayin “nah’m sayin??” and “cuz what had happen was…” is so damn ridiculous.

      lol @ sticker on Wendy’s helmet.

      man, i can’t even make sense of this bible thumpers. forget Sodom and Gomorrah, let’s talk about how Jesus came directly for the Pharisees – He did not fool with these folks who thought they knew every damn thing!! STOP. THE. MADNESS.

      Nancy said she’s confident the bill will pass in the House. lets hope her 6th sense is right!

  • Reply That Damn African June 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    This week was doing way too much. I need a cigarette.

    1. Texas was in the news this week too many times for all the wrong reasons. New voter ID law before the ink had dried on the SCOTUS decision and telling Wendy Davis “Good job, good effort.

    2. I understand why the SCOTUS made that ruling on the VRA, but this just opens the door again for discriminating voting regulations to seep in, as we’re already seeing. The one thing helping to prevent this from happening was just struck down because, apparently, it was doing such a good job of preventing this from happening. And Congress isn’t gonna do sh*t about it anytime soon.

    3. We’re not Christian enough or black enough. Guess that makes us white atheists.

    4. The insults and jokes aimed at Rachel Jeantel by some black people and the constant need for some on twitter to put down someone the first chance they get always reminds me of how insignificant a lot of black people still feel in society. Some black people fight each other and push each other down because deep down this is their only chance to feel significant and to gain the approval of white societal expectations. Then again, some people are just a**holes looking to get a RT.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 1, 2013 at 2:37 am

      lmfao @ cigarette. ikr?? sheesh.

      1. Texas needs to get jumped by NY and Cali.
      2. i see why the SCOTUS made their ruling on the VRA but i still disagree. just because these states dont legally ban Blacks from white establishments and dont openly call Blacks niggers doesnt mean they dont have issues with racism and discrimination.
      3. lmfao @ being white atheists. that about sums it up…
      4. its not just people on twitter – its people on facebook making serious arguments about why *they* shouldn’t be ostracized for pointing out Rachel’s unrefined-ness. “why is it that when those of us who point out problems in the Black community we are in the wrong?” smh

  • Reply Tunde June 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    what REALLY bothers me is when people tell me i’m being too sensitive. who are you to tell me how to feel about something? you’re not me.

    this week has been a really long one indeed. VRA being the one that actually got me the most upset. i can’t believe that the supreme court would actually think that congress would work together and get something done on behalf of the people. we all know how that’s going to turn out. everyone keeps saying that all we have to do is vote in new legislators as if no one would lie to get their way into office. i really hate congress.

    i have no words for the way that rachel jeantel was treated over the past couple of days. the amount of self-hate that i’ve seen over social media platforms is very telling. that’s all i’ll say about that.

    i am glad that doma and prop8 was struck down tho. at least that’s one good thing to be happy about from this week.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 1, 2013 at 2:40 am

      what REALLY bothers me is when people tell me i’m being too sensitive. who are you to tell me how to feel about something? you’re not me.
      exactly!!

      we have a lot of work to do to get Congress back on track. i really wish the people who arent voting – the people who these shitty ass laws effect the most – can SEE just how much injustice is going on and get up and VOTE!!! we need a revolution, like fa real.

      yes, DOA to DOMA is a victory indeed. and that is certainly one thing that i am very excited about! which reminds me – i’m so sick of seeing people on facebook ranting about how *whoever* care more about gays than Blacks – like we cant have more than one cause that we stand behind. like there arent Black gays who suffer from multiple discrimination – and black gay WOMEN!??!? FOH and SYAD.

  • Reply Sope June 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    This week combined with the incredible stress of having to get my research ready for submission = I’m over it all.

    The SCOTUS was able to do the right thing on DOMA but in order for one marginalized group to succeed another had to lose. *sigh*

    I love Houston but Texas is always on some real foolishness. ALWAYS. The Texas filibuster had me STRESSED. All I could think about were all the women who could possible lose their lives by not having access to care. Then the GOP tried to do some real shady shit even with 100k+ people watching them. Privilege is breaking the rules in front of a group of people and still expecting to get away with it. -_-

    As far as the Trayvon witness… Twitter has shown me that many of the people who tweet are operating at or below a 4th grade reading/comprehension level any got damn way, so their assessment of young woman who heard her friend’s LAST MOMENTS is null and void. These same members of #BougiesBlackTwitter are criticizing this girl using the same rubric Zimmerman used to determine that Trayvon should be stalked and killed. FOH.

    I had to just step away from social media. I felt oppressed by the stupid things I was seeing, coupled with the boldness of those saying it.

    Horrible (Or honorable, whatever) Mentions

    Paula Dean – We knew you were terrible when you found a way to monetize your diabetes, so I’m glad you’re true wickedness has been discovered

    I’m praying that next week is laced with nothing but good news and pictures of babies, because this week has been doing the MOST. Luvvie tweeted, “GO HOME THIS WEEK, YOU’RE DRUNK” and that pretty much sums up the entire thing.

    • Reply gemmieboo July 1, 2013 at 2:44 am

      girl that whole voting after midnight ish had me STRESSED!!!! praise the Lord for time stamps and public proceedings!

      I felt oppressed by the stupid things I was seeing, coupled with the boldness of those saying it.
      girl!!!! this was me. althought i could NOT pull myself away. i had to get my rant on. and the comments on my facebook status?????? smdh i hate people.

      LOL @ luvvie’s tweet. i missed that but yes, drunk ass week be GONE. sober up and try again.

  • Reply Monday Motivation | That's What GEM Said July 1, 2013 at 10:11 am

    […] one helluva week last week, I thought I would start this week off with some positivity and encouragement I saw the following […]

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