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Flash Fiction

Plovember 13: It Was A Day Unlike Any … Wait A Minute.

 

Warning: this post will probably make some people upset. I ask, respectfully, that you remember this is my Cave and my thoughts. I do not speak for anyone else. I write from my own experiences. 

Now, back to our regularly scheduled rant.

Image result for election

Image courtesy USA Today

It was actually a day like any other and here’s why: people’s hearts were on display.

Twitches, Facetime, Instagoogle, Snaptalk and all the rest were buzzing — ‘Did you vote?’, ‘I voted’, ‘Problems voting’, and on it went. However, what made 8 November in the US no different than any other day is what most conscious folks have known for a long time:  this is a fractured country. The lack of understanding is a vast chasm. To wit:

Person A: ‘Those people are taking our jobs. I applied for [fill in title] and some [fill in gender or cultural identity here] got it. It is not fair that they all are getting the jobs when we are suffering.’

Person B: ‘I just got hired as a [fill in the same title from above]. I heard I was the only applicant of [fill in gender or culture from above] identity. I figured they needed someone like me because, you know, diversity.’

Okay, so here’s the deal: Person A is typically a person from the majority. In this case, ‘majority’ refers to whoever has power in a given area. In the US, the breakdown is typically that so-called white men and then so-called white women are at the top of the heap. People from other backgrounds jockey for next in line, often by their own accounts, particularly if they are not US born. For example, I’ve explained my experience to people from across the African diaspora and they look at me like some of my US white sisters and brothers because they do not align with me in my dark-colored skin. They are immigrants or visitors, so that’s different (rolls eyes).

As a descendant of African slaves (and a female, which adds yet one more layer to the cake that I won’t go into here), I have never been near the top of the pile. It matters not that I am a homeowner, drive a decent vehicle, and hold a terminal degree. I always have to prove that I am, that it’s mine, and that I did.

If you are not Black, it’s actually a reality. Trust me when I tell you.

The worst thing in the world is when a majority person tries to convince someone like me that my view of the world is skewed. I have had a few discussions with neighbors, co-workers, and others about the election that just happened. Those in the majority who were staunch Republicans attempted to extol the Don’s virtues to me.

Me, the woman who, along with many others in South Jersey, watched the implosion of Atlantic City that was Trump.

Me, a woman who the Don was speaking to every time he looked in a television camera and said ‘the African Americans’ and described ‘them’ as having no education, living in the worst neighborhoods and inner cities of the country where ‘they’ get shot just walking down the street. ‘The’ — as if a people group were a thing.

Let me be clear – I am critical of every national and local leader. If you voted for the Don, don’t take this personally; I’m trying to open your mind to a different point of view. However, chances are you may not even read this because I am one of ‘them’ to you. In your heart.

It matters not and in fact makes it worse if you say to me, ‘Well, I love you‘ — as if you separate me from my history and all the aspects that make me who I am.

When our current president was running against Hills (yep, got issues with her, too. And if you’re interested, I voted but not for either of them. More on that in a moment), I had a colleague stand up in a public meeting and say (and I might not have the terms exactly correct but you get the idea), ‘I said to myself that I would never vote for a Black or a woman. Guess I’ll be voting for a woman.’

I went to this person privately (primarily because there were many in the room who hooted and cheered in agreement and I wasn’t in the mood to die that day, which would have been a likely outcome) and said, ‘I am a Black woman, which means you offended me in multiple ways by what you said. Just because I am a woman, you can’t assume I’d vote for Hillary. And just because I am Black, you can’t assume I’d vote for Obama. It is wrong to make such offensive, racist, and blanket statements.’

The person said that he liked me … I explained his ‘admiration’ for me didn’t make it hurt any less. In fact, it made it worse (for the reasons stated above). His response? ‘I’ll go and apologize to the women and African Americans in the group.’

No!

I explained that there were people of other backgrounds in the room who were offended as well. He was completely confused.

The lack of consciousness about what has been the lived experience of large segments of the population is …

I don’t have a word. Sad? Offensive? Because folks don’t want to see what’s right in front of them?

Yeah, all that.

Note that I used the word ‘typically’ above. The group to which this applies includes those who suggest historically oppressed peoples should ‘get over [fill in the issue, such as Indigenous segregation and extermination or slavery]’ and opine that they themselves didn’t do these things. Yet, when support is offered for folks like Arpaio and the Don, it is akin to doing it themselves. One cannot separate some notion of good (like the Don being a businessman … ) from all the rest.

I have a neighbor who said the Don would be a great prez because he is a good businessman who used the reg’s of this nation to succeed and that much of his rhetoric is just talk.

Like that neighbor and many others who voted for the Don don’t expect him to hold to his promises. If he comes out and says, ‘All that was just talk to get elected’, what then?

I believe the same about the Hills and many others seeking office — what they say is the magic act to distract the masses from what’s really going on and how they really feel. I wasn’t feeling her about her love for communities of color; where was that love all along? I heard someone who called into a talk radio show who said for all her comments about such communities, she did little to reach men of color and that was probably her downfall. I would suggest that like so many others near the top of the heap, many of us are

simply

not

seen.

On a different talk radio show, a caller complained about the ‘contrarians’, as in those who voted third party.

To quote social media: WTF?!

The notion of a democracy means we have choices. It’s not black and white or left and right. There’s a middle, under, over, around, next-to.

I voted third party because I read the materials and could not align with the two ‘major’ parties.

Guess I’m a minority in more ways than I counted before. But I digress.

It’s been a day just like every other. People are divided, gubmint is weird in the US, and change is needed.

Still.

Time to activate the #Underground.

Before I go, you might be wondering if I’m angry. Lemme answer that for you.

I’ve been angry for most of my life. I get tired of being mistreated and having those who dish out the mistreatment act like they are put out because I speak on it. The pain is real.

Am I angry about the election? Not specifically because Those Who Move the Chess Pieces have been at it for centuries: why would this year be different? Do I wish for a different outcome? Yes! I would have preferred to have seen different nominees for both major parties. And when that didn’t transpire, I wished for a winner from the pool of non-major party candidates.

Truth.

And there you have it.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Green Embers November 13, 2016 7:40 am

    I voted 3rd party too… I wish the two party system would go away. 🙁

    • AR Neal November 13, 2016 1:06 pm

      Agreed! It would be nice (I am sure there is wide disagreement here but for those of us who read and write to live …) if we could just have a bunch of people we could vote for. I’m not saying to do away with a party system, but let’s not be locked into who we can and can’t vote for. Voter registration creeps me out with regard to the need to adhere to a party …

  2. Lyn November 13, 2016 12:20 pm

    Andree my dear, this would have to be one of the best posts you’ve done! You probably haven’t heard about this, but here in Australia, teachers in grade schools were telling the children (under 10’s) that if Donald Trump won the election, he would start WW3. The result was a whole heap of terrified children whose parents had to be called to come and take them home.

    Your comment about: ‘All that was just talk to get elected’, yeah, we all know that one. As far as i’m concerned, any politician who says/does that isn’t to be trusted. Let’s face it, the Don has already backtracked on some of his election promises and his followers are not happy campers.

    You made another salient point too, when you wrote: The group to which this applies includes those who suggest historically oppressed peoples should ‘get over [fill in the issue, such as Indigenous segregation and extermination or slavery]’ and opine that they themselves didn’t do these things. The thing is, they might not have personally and individually done “those things,” but I believe I read somewhere: I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected–even children in the third and fourth generations.
    Think that might just cover this generations in that case.

    I’m standing and cheering for this post my friend.

    • AR Neal November 13, 2016 12:31 pm

      Thank you so much, Lyn — It is interesting to hear the impressions of people outside the US on all this. And it will continue to points of intense conversation as the time of inauguration grows closer.

      • Lyn November 13, 2016 6:01 pm

        Somehow, I can’t imagine Melania Trump as First Lady. Typically, First Ladies have always been their own woman and not their husbands wife – if that makes sense.

        • AR Neal November 14, 2016 9:28 am

          There is a lot of social network talk about her being abused, that her actions are evidence of such. I suppose everyone reacts differently to abuse but in my own case, there was no way I touted my first husband’s virtues. I guess I subscribe to the ‘if you cannot say anything nice, do not say anything at all’ motto.

          • Lyn November 15, 2016 12:15 am

            Back in the days when I was in my 20’s, if you left your husband because of violence, and sought help from the church, you were told to go back and be a good little wife 🙁

          • AR Neal November 15, 2016 9:08 am

            Exactly — that’s what I went through in my first marriage. The pastor who married us was definitely into the whole caveman thing. He got angry at me one time because he’d decreed that we couldn’t wear any jewelry beyond a wedding ring and watch. I asked him why he work a decorative ring on his other hand … oh, boy! The look I got. I was sort of oblivious but I think his goal was to teach wives to be completely subservient, no matter what the husbands did, instead of teaching how the two were to complement each other.

          • Lyn November 15, 2016 1:27 pm

            The verse where Paul says, “Wives submit yourselves to your husbands,” is actually a military term when you look at the meaning of the original Greek. It is akin to two soldiers standing back-to-back protecting one another.

  3. Mr Tookles November 13, 2016 12:33 pm

    Its a bit like collective gaslighting when they try to convince you that your own views are skwed. In a relationship this allready causes emotional damage but when a society does this too..

    Id have voted third party. I think more people would have if they gotten an equal and fair share of coverage. it shows how deeply corrupt the media is too. But the 1.7 million is promising. Trump will make hollow promises for four years and then say bye bye.

    • wolviela November 13, 2016 12:56 pm

      “Because folks don’t want to see what’s right in front of them?”
      Love this.. they also dont want to acknowledge..

      • AR Neal November 13, 2016 1:04 pm

        Yes — acknowledging means that a person must critically assess his or her relationship to the issue and that may require changing that point of view. It’s intimidating to realize what you’ve thought all your life is not the only point of view.

    • AR Neal November 13, 2016 1:02 pm

      It will be interesting to see if he lasts in the big chair for four years … keep an eye on the veep. He really makes me nervous …

      • Mr Tookles November 13, 2016 1:03 pm

        A toddler in charge puts anyone at unease

      • Mr Tookles November 13, 2016 1:03 pm

        And the vice… I think he’s like the Brain only less funny and more evil

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