EDITORIALs: responding to the election
If having cancer taught me anything, it's that I need you, especially in challenging times.
Trump's election has shown me that it is not enough for me to be committed to social justice; I have to recommit to the fullness of my identity, including my Christianity, because I must put to use everything I have to secure our liberation.
It's time to stop being shocked about the extent of White racism and to start figuring out how to do something about it.
The problem, put crudely, is that resisting authoritarianism requires un-authoritarian modes of acting, speaking, and thinking. You don’t learn that in school. It doesn’t read like The New Yorker.
Our collective freedom is bound up with the eradication of racial hierarchy, which from its inception has placed Blackness at the very bottom, and has been utilized for the collective exploitation of workers and poor folk of all races. I believe that when all Black lives flourish, all lives will flourish.
This election means that many people will die who did not have to die. If our first step is to vigorously defend the bodies and identities of those in marginalized communities, our second must be to insist that our rhetoric and our politics acknowledge both the relative security and absolute vulnerability of White bodies.
The Democratic National Convention failed. They failed to meet the racialized challenges of a modern presidential election. They had too much faith in White voters, took voters of color for granted, and it cost them the election.
There’s been hardly any investment from the Left in organizing poor and working class White folk, and that void has been justified by this notion that they are hopelessly racist and backward. That has turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We were strange children. We were obsessed with androgyny, or unable to imagine ourselves growing up. Sometimes we were just acutely alienated, for seemingly no reason. We were vulnerable, and that made us angry. This, at least, hasn’t changed. What has changed is the culture of homophobia and advocacy in North Carolina public schools, and the political situation that surrounds it.
"Freedom songs" may sound like it describes relics of an older generation's civil rights movement. But this moment has its lyricists, too.
Be honest: When you picture a midwife in 21st-century America, you probably picture a White woman with White clients. And the natural-birth movement really is overwhelmingly White. So it's important to hear the story of Afua Hassan, the only Black woman in the whole Houston metro area who owns her own midwife practice.
When thousands of fish went belly-up on the Ogeechee River, investigations suggested that a riverside industrial plant was to blame. But the local outrage had less to do with the proximate cause and more to do with something bigger: a loss of innocence, and a loss of a sense of home.
Central Appalachia is increasingly looking toward the prison industry to deliver it from a hopeless economic situation; five federal prisons have been built in Central Appalachia in the past 25 years. Prisons are perfect for land that is often cheap, flat, isolated, and cleared of trees. And cynics might note that they’re probably also perfect for communities accustomed to sacrificing quality of life for a meager paycheck.
"I have never really understood the desire to get married. I can’t imagine committing in that way to one person for life, especially in front of a crowd of people. But the thing that has taught me what that desire must feel like is my love for this place. West Virginia has taught me about the kind of love that doesn’t stop, that doesn’t break, that never walks out – even if you can’t always stay."
By Other Means
And the sight of Taylor Swift shaking
It off feels like a sort of dark omen
Why is it a sport, how we tell white lies
On our resumes and lose
Track of who we are
if not knowing how
to swim I still wade
into deeper waters
am I brave or do I want
it all to end?