A woman living on the Pacific Coast embarks on a journey of social justice and feminist advocacy.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
I’ve been very deliberate today about what election-related news and commentary I’m allowing in. It’s a hard day to be an empath.
53% of white women voted for Trump, compared to only 43% for Hillary Clinton. White men and women combined voted 58% for Trump, 37% for Clinton. Bottom line, white supremacy won last night. And while most of us were taken by surprise by Trump’s victory, we shouldn’t be surprised by the prevalence of white supremacy in this country.
Innocent Black men, women and children are executed in the streets, captured on film, and white people still justify it. And time after time those officers are not held accountable by our criminal justice system.
A group of white militants staged an armed take-over of a federal facility, some crossing state boundaries to organize the occupation, destroying property and sacred artifacts, and all were released without convictions.
Treaties and federal laws have been ignored by the government so a company can build an environment-threatening pipeline; security and police with military gear have used dogs, rubber bullets and pepper spray to attack Indigenous people trying to protect their own land. They have been arresting reporters and peaceful protesters alike, and systematically conducting strip searches.
Hate crimes against Muslims have escalated since 9-11. Domestic terrorism is overwhelmingly caused by white Christian extremists. And yet the media continues to manipulate the stories by describing the white terrorists as “troubled,” and “lone gunmen.” Meanwhile all Muslims, who in fact comprise nearly ¼ of the world’s population, are judged as terrorists. And black victims are criminalized even after they have been murdered.
In subtler, but no less dangerous ways white supremacy dictates the life choices of people of color. Since public schools are funded by property taxes, and since white people are the only ones who benefited from robbing land from indigenous people, then making profit off that land by the slave labor of black people, white communities are the ones that can afford good schools; meanwhile Black neighborhoods, Latino neighborhoods, and many schools on reservations have crumbling infrastructure and molding books.
The school-to-prison pipeline ensures that the majority of black men are not available to help raise their children, help support their families, and help bring their communities out of poverty. In prison they actually become more indebted, because the privatization of prisons allows for inmates to be charged outrageous fees for their “room and board.” Once released and rehabilitated, felons are never again allowed to vote, furthering the control of white people over black. The list goes on and on.
So, we shouldn’t be surprised by the prevalence of white supremacy. It is rampant and insidious. It was built into the very foundation of this country. How else do you explain these injustices which go on every day, day in day out, for years, with white people not rising up and demanding justice for our brothers and sisters? How else do you explain the continuation of racial injustices that have occurred under Obama’s presidency?
We may have all been surprised last night. But now in the light of day it makes complete sense to me. Now I understand why white people have been allowing blatant racism to go unchecked. It’s all good, as long as we get our own, right?
As for me, now that the election is over I can resume my role in fighting to dismantle white supremacy. Some progressive friends are already planning to run for office. Not the Hillary variety of progressive; the Bernie variety of progressive - but even more intersectional. And I will be helping them.