I wrote this last month and life happened so I never got around to posting it. However, I wrote it to share so I’m going to do just that. Even if it means I will have to add an update-if anything has changed since I wrote this long ago. I’m trying to get much better at posting, but I do have my relapses-be patient, I’m a work in progress.
As my sunny blue skies turned muggy and cloudy because of the current fires in Northern and Central California, I’ve come to the realization that we cannot ignore this much longer. We, as in the collective WE are not okay. We are so far from okay, we’ve pretty much pitched a tent in fucked up land at this point.
Update: Even though we have had some rain recently, fire season is not over. In sunny hot mess LA, we’ve gone from hot weekends to chilly weekdays. But it still feels weird to listen to Christmas music when I still have to turn the AC on in the car.
There’s so much to choose that one incident in particular cannot be isolated, but I will start with what has been haunting me lately.
Those god awful images of the border agents on horseback attacking Haitian asylum seekers at the US and Mexico border. Monica, what part of the border exactly? I’m glad you asked, it happens to be in our great state of Texas where they have zipped back to the 1800’s. First by attacking women’s reproductive rights, and now by going back to their slave catching days. I mean, what else do those pictures remind you of? The BBC’s headline says it all “Grim echoes of history in images of Haitians at US-Mexico border”
How is this okay? I really do want to understand the reasoning behind treating people as cattle? I really do want to understand who did not read the damn room and thought to themselves “hmm, maybe the optics of using horses is not something we should go with today?” No, they just went with it, Texas help me understand what the hell is going on with you?
Before we tackle that last question, I must also ask “why are we messing with Haiti?” Our poor Haitain brothers and sisters can’t seem to catch a break. They are getting hit from all sides. Asylum seekers being treated as anything but human, Haitians who were waiting to have their cases heard and have been at the encampment on the border for months now, are now being boarded on planes. Their destination, a collapsed state. A country that has been hit hard by everything you can think of: the brutal assassination of their president, gang violence, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake, and then a hurricane. They just can’t catch a break, wouldn’t you risk everything for a chance to live in peace? To live without fear? They have yet to recover from the last earthquake and hurricane, and we all know they have not entirely recovered from the US’s military occupation where so many human rights were violated. Let’s face it the US and France did them dirty, I mean they had to pay the country that made them slaves in order to be considered a sovereign nation? That’s just messed up. That’s “I cheated on you, but you still owe me alimony because I’ve grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle” dirty.
Update: Nothing… nothing really came from this outrage, there was a hearing…but..Haitians were still sent back. Some with the trauma of being wrangled up like cattle. I mean did we expect much from the agency that put kids in cages? Oh wait, lawmakers were outraged, yea, it just went from cages to plexiglass. The latest is that their Dominican neighbor is also making it harder for them to get any assistance or asylum. They just can’t catch a break.
Texas has been making the headlines since earlier this year, when Cruz hopped on a plane to Acapulco as his constituents were going through the worst snow storm in years and were left without power for weeks. Fast forward a season later to Summer 2021, where Texas Governor Abbot signs SB 8 into law. Texas has been threatening women with anti-abortion bills for years, we might remember the great 13 hour long filibuster by then Senator Wendy Davis against SB5, which included restrictive abortion regulations.
I’ve been hearing some of the arguments in favor of this law, and it just doesn’t make sense to me. They say it’s all about the “babies”, they are fighting for the babies, they need to save the babies. I would like to know who they are saving them from? And why is it that once those babies are out and the mother’s need help because they knew they were not ready to have children but the state told them “Yes, you are. You must!” Why is it then that those saviours are now fighting so damn hard to end programs that will help them? They are fighting to end programs that will help families with rent, food, and healthcare?
Update: Unfortunately, none to report here. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the bill, but in the meantime it’s still in full force. This law is so ridiculous, even your Uber driver can be fined. What’s even worse is that Ohio has introduced a new bill that goes even further than the Texas bill. I swear who would’ve thought that White Men would be so scared of a woman’s uterus.
There’s also been so many incidents of school police abusing their power: beauting up kids, putting 5 and 6 year olds in handcuffs, and here in Southern California killing a teenager. Why do we have police in schools that are violent against the very children they are supposed to protect? Why do we not have gun control to prevent school shootings in our American schools? Children are innocently killed, at a place that should be safe. Instead you have no problem with our kids having to go through lock down drills, in case there is a threat to their school.
My son is five, he should not have to be dealing with this. An earthquake drill is normal, we are in California that happens, a lockdown drill should not be. We are so not okay. You have governor’s fighting against mask mandates, threatening to withhold school funding if schools require masks. Why? Most importantly why are parents stating that masks are traumatizing to their kids? Like that’s some BS! Lockdown drills are traumatic, having family members die of an illness that could have been prevented by simply wearing a mask or staying home (if you simply do not want to get the vaccine). Not getting the care you need because there’s no room for you in a local hospital is traumatic.
This is not okay. We are not okay.
Voting rights are currently being threatened, with some states already signing bills into law that will keep most marginalized folx outside of the ballot box. Why? Because they are threatened by our power. Let’s not get this shit twisted. We see this with the abortion ban. Abortion did not become an issue until the Supreme Court said Women had a Right to an abortion. Women had been getting abortions clandestinely for decades, white rich women had access to an abortion by their medical doctor if needed. Everyone knew this was happening and looked the other way. But once we were told we had a right to an abortion, that’s when it become a problem.
I strongly believe this is what is happening with our voting rights. We, the majority minority, were not meant to vote. We must remember the suffrage movement was not intended for me and those that look like me. I don’t want to diminish it, but let’s be honest with ourselves here. Giving us the right to vote was always a threat to those in power. They knew we could challenge the status quo and we are. Let’s not shy away from it, we are! It’s but a whisper at the moment, but it’s getting ready to roar. Now more than ever, during this racial reckoning that we are facing, we are yet again a threat. We have activists becoming lawmakers, such as Cori Bush in Missouri. Things are changing, the veil is being lifted, and the ugly truth is no longer being hidden. This is what scares the crap out of people. People who have nothing else to go by besides their old ways that no longer make sense in today’s world. So they attack thinking that those that were scared for so long will stay in their lane. Are they right? Will they win? Our action or lack of will decide this one out.
As I write this, the body of graduate student Jelani Day was found in an Illinois River. A mother is angry and grieving at the loss of her son. But even more at this country’s “missing white woman syndrome” in which white women — particularly young, attractive and blonde — get the majority of the media’s attention. He was missing for weeks, before the Petito story broke out. But yet the media covered her story, her face was all over the media, her name was heard all over the airwaves. It’s sad, it’s frustrating. Even more so when you realize there’s many more women of color missing and double that amount of indigenous women missing. But yet we don’t know their names or their faces.
Update: None, really this is still the case. The paler the victim, the more coverage they will receive. I did want to mention that a beloved Bay Area newscaster, Frank Somerville, was suspended (then fired) because he wanted to highlight the lack of coverage by the media for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people.
People say, “things are getting better…” but are they? I think they are staying the same, I think people are so jaded by all of this, that they no longer react. They no longer flinch at the pain, the horror, they just look away. Yes, the house is burning all around us, but at least here we know we are safe.
We are not okay and we are not going to be, until we ALL realize that we are not okay. Until we all realize that we need to be proactive in bringing about this change that we so drastically need. We need to understand that change cannot be left in their hands, and expect the benefits of that change to include you. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works and we’ve seen this multiple times. You voted, so now you get to relax? Wrong. Now you must keep them accountable and be their constant reminders of everything they said they were going to do that got you to vote for them.
Update: Arizona-Sinema-hot ass mess…voters are not messing around with her anymore and they brought receipts.
There’s a shit storm happening in your local school board, “glad I don’t have kids in school”. Wrong approach. Get engaged, you pay tax dollars for that district. Both you and your family’s future wellbeing, depends on those kids getting a fair and just education today. The last thing you want is a biased doctor or attorney when you are in your golden years. You wouldn’t let anyone mistreat your neighbor’s kid or your grandkid (I hope), so why let an entire system do it to our future generation?
We must remember, their fight can easily turn into your fight with time. You steamroll one group of people, they easily feel they can do it to the next group. If we only cry “injustice” when it’s convenient for us, we are already too late.
I believe we can…someday…with a lot of work…actually be okay. We just need to get our head out of the sand and realize what “okay” means and looks like in our world. We all gotta start somewhere, why not start now?
Here’s a clip of someone that makes me believe that being okay might just be achievable.