In writing about my experiences and frustrations after the election as a woman of color, I started draft after draft of essays. A lot of “White People, Here’s a List of Things NOT to Do” and more than enough “This is Some Bullshit.” A lot of humorous takes, some satirical takes and even some mock how-to instructions complicated enough to be displayed at IKEA.
However, I can’t. Five days into our new presidential term, it’s been a virtually non-stop stream of horrific news, bills, fascism and tweets; a soul-sucking glimpse of what’s to come. It’s bleak. It’s not been good, to say the least, and probably far worse than we all imagined. I don’t have the will to be funny today, this Wednesday morning.
So, I’ll be blunt: white people, this is on you.
“Not all white people!” and “Not ME!” isn’t going to cut it. We all saw the stats and the racial breakdown of votes. White voters overwhelmingly voted for that monster and helped elect him. Yes, you may not have done it, but your friends did. Your family did. It’s time to face that. It’s time to be ashamed. It’s time to be enraged at your friends and family who are currently brushing aside what’s happening.
We’re all going to suffer under this new order, but LGBT+ folks and people of color — both for a lot of people — will suffer first and more. It’s already started. And it’s going to get worse.
The hugely successful Women’s March was met with pats on the back for the zero arrests report, disregarding the cold fact that police will generally be more behaved around white women; some white marchers even noted in shock that they realized they were probably unintentionally protecting the women around them. People like Susan Sarandon, who encouraged not voting and brazenly stated Hillary Rodham Clinton was “just as bad” as the monster currently running the country are now calling for citizens to fight back. On Twitter, white feminists deny accusations of mistreating people of color and try to tell non-white women how to feel and act in the face of this new, horrifying order.
As a woman of color, I’m going to help you out. Shut up and listen. Shut up and YOU fight back. You work with us. Because you did this. Millions of people of color, myself included, are currently living with an ice cold daily wave of terror, wondering when we’re next, what comes next. It’s a constant roller-coaster of dread and tears and sleepless nights and we don’t need your fucking pats on the back. We don’t need your condescension. We don’t have time to coddle your hurt feelings when you’re yelled at for saying something insensitive and we for sure don’t have room for your tears over our coldness when we’re trying to protect our black and Muslim and immigrant brothers and sisters. We don’t have fucking time. There is no time.
So, I’m pleading with you. Listen. Help us. Fight for us. We no longer have the energy or time to coddle you. Your family and friends did this and now you have to pick up the pieces and help us fix it. We need you guys and we need you to swallow that pride and listen. We understand it’s not all of you. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about three million votes, we know it’s not all white people. We know you’re upset and scared too. We. Know. So this is being said with love: enough is enough, it’s time to take responsibility. If we can all agree La La Land got way too many Oscar nominations, we can come together on this.
It’s going to be a long, scary battle to 2018 (you all better vote) and we need you guys to be ready to fight for us. Like Samantha Bee said after the election: you have a lot of karma to work off.
I love you guys. Listen to us and let’s get to work. Do it for my constantly crying, shaking Latina ass. Do it for your friends and family of color and your LGBT+ friends and family. There’s no time left to defend yourself or ask to be handled with kid gloves. It’s time to fight.
I really do love y’all. So let’s go.