*** DISCLAIMER *** Thinking and writing freely below. Explicit language due to the need to emote honestly and without censorship. Feel free to read or pass it by, but I've been searching for these words for quite a long time now...
I'm astonished, livid and deeply saddened. My head spins and my heart aches over what I've been watching these last few months. As someone who rarely gets on this platform to rant or rave about much of anything, I simply had to get some of these things off my heart...
What the hell is happening? How have we arrived at this crossroads? Why does it feel as though regard for basic human decency is speedily retreating as the tide does before the first waves of a tsunami? Are we about to be struck down by a tsunami-sized wave of shit entitled, "Did You Not See This Coming"?
First, the hateful, venomous rhetoric spewing from the lips of those who wish to 'make this country great again' makes me sick to my stomach. Why? Because our country has ALWAYS been flawed; from its very inception, but that is beside my point. However, if we are really being honest and asking ourselves how we can make this country BETTER? It certainly does NOT begin by continuing to incite racial tensions (which have been present since the founding of this nation) by mercilessly killing or stripping the rights of people who are labeled as a "Minority."
It does NOT start by silencing people who wish to PEACEFULLY gather and speak out against the INEQUITIES of our current reality. People, who simply wish to have their voices heard. Yet, in the country where "freedom of speech" and "freedom of assembly" are basic human rights; rights that are LITERALLY written in the country's CONSTITUTION and bestowed upon those who live here... they are in fact, not at all. These rights appear to have become a falsehood for those who do not fit within very narrow guidelines. (i.e. race, socio-economic stature and recently party affiliation.)
It also DOES NOT begin by taking a heroic leap into the PAST with the most disgusting anti-LGBT platform in decades. The continued denial and exclusion of an entire community from their rights as citizens of this "progressive and forward-thinking" nation and humans on this planet to get married to who they love, to choose to have a family or to use whichever goddamn bathroom they want cannot and will not stand.
And I cannot stress what I'm about to write enough... This country will most certainly NOT be made better by nominating a narcissistic, openly racist and xenophobic, tyrannical, megalomaniacal pussy, who has no place within American politics. This individual, as far as I believe, will only drive this country straight into the ground, exponentially increase our debt due to the sheer lack of discretionary spending and torpedo us face first into unforeseeable global conflicts that may cause irreversible damage to both American diplomacy and the fucking planet we ALL LIVE ON.
Alternatively, we will not 'improve our current reality' by allowing a power-hungry, criminal (who has already spent plenty of time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.) to be the next president. An individual who sways opinion or political stance more than a willow tree in tornado. An individual who bends to the will of whomever the next meeting is scheduled because it best suits her interests; not the country's or the people's. An individual who has no possible understanding or connection to the everyday lives of those who live within certain communities, are of any race other than white and privileged and who put their lives on the line to speak freely, protect and serve this country and work hard to put at least ONE meal on the table for their families. This individual, I equally believe, would go down in flames if faced with a choice to engage in global conflicts, as she has already been caught lying about previous trips oversees and got people killed for her lack of foresight. And truthfully, a lot of what I wrote about him can also be said about her...
Neither candidate has any place to be the next president of this country and the campaigns of both sides are a gross misrepresentation of what the people want, but this op-ed is not simply about the campaign trail and our country's gradual descent into intolerance and idiocy.
I'm also disheartened and frightened by what is happening globally. Whether you have an opinion (be it informed or not) about what is and has been occurring around the world, like in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Where refugees from Syria are dying to cross oceans in tiny, overcrowded boats to escape what seem to be daily bombings of children and their families. And in Sudan where warring political factions are displacing thousands from their homes to avoid being killed. Whether you have an opinion on ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah in Iraq and Afghanistan. The conflict between Israel and Palestine. Or the economy status and structure of the global North versus the global South. Or even thinking ahead to what the future holds for China, Russia, Japan and Korea... That is on you. No one can make you care about those things, albeit the global reality. Personally, I can't make anyone do much of anything. What I can only do is make sure I'm staying informed. Make sure that I actively work to improve my immediate surroundings... But don't you think those things are more important than this Pokemon bullshit? Or more important than Kanye and Kim? More important than what the mainstream news, sports and cable channels spoon feed us every hour on the hour? I can only hope so.
And lastly, what about our home and the other living beings that occupy the same space we do. I'm speaking about the planet. How have we cultivated such disregard for the place with live, its creatures and the life force it offers us? I mean, there is NOT ANYWHERE ELSE WE CAN GO... So think about that. We pollute everything. We spill oil. We tear entire forests up from their roots. We poach some of the most majestic animals for currency, status or for fun. WE HAVE AN ENTIRE ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN THAT IS LITERALLY MADE OF TRASH... I mean, seriously! What the fuck is that? We leave our beloved companions in hot cars and get mad what other people break the windows of the car to save its life... There are so many things that are insane right now and our country can't get better until we actually agree on that.
I'm writing this for me and only me because I need to get these thoughts out of my head and off my heart. As someone who teaches and truly believes inclusion, acceptance, peace, love and universal connection; my current reality feels heavy with oppression towards all of these things. Once we as human beings, across all racial lines, economic status and anything else that "differentiates" us can put aside that which makes us different, then we will see that we are all the same. We want to live without fear of being shot on site due to the color of our skin. We want to work a job that fulfills us, or at least allows our families to pay bills and put food on the table. We want our children to be safe and have every opportunity that we did and then some. We want the leave behind a planet that is full of life, animals and culture; not death, pollution and intolerance.
As a white woman who grew up with privilege, I know I cannot connect or even empathize with anyone who has experienced and or all of what I have written above. But as an empath and someone who only wishes to spread hope, love and acceptance; I believe the only way to improve our current reality is to do just that. Inform ourselves on what is happening in this world. Make a shift in how we view people who don't look or think like us. And realize that they are a person just like you. Why? Because why the fuck do you think our current way of doing things is getting us anywhere? It's not.
I have a bleeding heart for the national and global injustices I've been watching and I'm usually left speechless. I'm heartbroken for ALL of the people who have had to die under the fallacy that their life is no longer worth living, but especially those within the communities what intolerance and hatred dictates their everyday lives. Fear is what drives all of this hatred, xenophobia, overconsumption and destruction. Fear is what has legitimized what we do to each other and the planet everyday. Well fuck being afraid. I stand for humanity and love, and it's through those avenues I see a light at the future of this crazy tunnel. Yes, it will be hard and yes, it will take a long time. We will probably take several steps backward before rallying for one another, but I don't plan to stop sharing these with everyone I meet and I hope that you might feel similarly. If you really want to make things better, in YOUR current reality, then maybe it's time to re-define what is most important to you. Just sayin'...
Love to you, Grace