I Was Going to Skip This Week's Blog PostDec 07, 2022
I had planned to skip writing a blog post this week because I'm just so tired. But as I wrote the intro for my weekly newsletter, I decided to share it as strictly opinion. I don't have the energy to do the research, cite facts, add links.
I wanted to talk about the role white dominance has played in the Georgia election. I wanted to talk about the way a majority of white people are so desperate to hang onto power that they would vote for a candidate with obvious brain injuries, who clearly isn't competent to serve in the Senate. I was going to write about the audacity (caucasity) to try to convince Black folks that because Herschel Walker is willingly being manipulated that makes it okay and it means their actions aren't racist.
I thought about how hard Reverend Raphael Warnock has worked to convince white folks (because Black folks already know) that he is not only a decent man, but qualified to do the job. Watching him show up as the "model minority" who is an educated, God-fearing family man, exactly who the Republicans say they want in a representative - and then watching white people grit their teeth and pretend Herschel Walker is a decent candidate even though he's a proven liar who says what's convenient, has no clue about the issues facing the country or the world, and rarely makes sense when he speaks, breaks my heart.
I get partisanship. Everybody wants their side to win. But sometimes yours isn't the better candidate. Sometimes your candidate is a disaster. People with integrity will admit that. People with integrity will vote against a catastrophe, even if it means giving up power for the moment.
This drive by the GOP to retain power at all costs at all times, even when they don't have a platform besides hate will ruin this country beyond repair if we let it. And the only people who can stop it are white people. There aren't enough Black people and other people of color to stop fascism for good, even though we often put a plug in it. There aren't enough LGBTQ+ people to make it happen. There aren't enough disabled people to end this naked all out power grab. But there are enough white people.
Every breakdown I've seen about overall voting patterns shows that the one group who consistently votes for people and policies that hurt marginalized groups is white folks, especially white men. But white women aren't far behind. If just one segment, either white men or white women, decided enough was enough, the hateful people would lose their power and they'd be ashamed to be so openly malicious. We could do some good for EVERYBODY. But this white grievance, this idea that white people are losing something by others being treated as equals, is so ingrained in this country that white folks who also belong to marginalized groups cling to their whiteness before all else.
Too many white people who know better are afraid to call out their friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances. They're afraid of change, afraid to speak up, afraid they might witness violence, afraid they might lose their standing in the community, afraid they might experience a fraction of what marginalized groups face daily. (People have told me these things directly.) So they stay quiet and hope someone else will undo the work. They post anti-oppression memes on social media and feel like that's enough.
But if they stop being afraid and thought about what they would gain, would it change things? Because change is inevitable, and even though there is the risk of losing friendships and community standing, would it be worth it to gain self-awareness, self-esteem, true friendships based on shared values, a more diverse community, showing up as your true self? These are just a few of the answers that people who are actively undoing white supremacy gave on Twitter recently. (Click the tweet below to read some of the answers.)
Hayden Dawes, LCSW, LCAS posted: "I have an open and honest question: For the White people who are committed to dismantling white supremacy, what have you gained in doing the work? We often hear about the losses, but what makes it worth the struggle for you personally?"
I have an open and honest question:— Hayden Dawes, LCSW, LCAS 🏳️🌈✊🏾 (@hcdawes) November 28, 2022
For the White people who are committed to dismantling white supremacy, what have you gained in doing the work?
We often hear about the losses, but what makes it worth the struggle for you personally?
I'm so glad and relieved that Reverend Warnock won! The fact that this runoff election wasn't a landslide doesn't surprise me, but it does make me tired. I know this is Georgia, a heavily gerrymandered, voter-suppressed, longtime Republican stronghold, and any win is a win. But it doesn't need to be this hard to do something good for the community and the country.
What's giving me hope is that when younger voters showed up this year, they leaned Democratic (about 2/3 in the general election), and they've been showing up in 2022 in record numbers. I'm hoping they keep those "I acknowledge the humanity in others and I'm willing to show up for everyone" ideals and vote that way for life.
Congratulations to Senator Warnock! Maybe next week when I'm in a better frame of mind, I'll write about how grassroots efforts are turning a Republican stronghold blue, little by little. As always, I'm sending you all fierce love!
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