What now

I’m a white man in his late thirties. I’m married. No kids, just cats. I’m an atheist, but not a vocal one. We have too much debt but my wife and I make a good living. We own a house. The only changes for us are going to be not talking about that atheism, probably losing our public service loan forgiveness programs, probably watching our home value tank (which Colorado richly deserves anyway). I don’t have a job where any of my social beliefs—they’re not political. Equality isn’t a political issue anymore. I’m not sure if social is the right term, but it’s closer. But I don’t have a job where—for the time being, it could very well change—my social beliefs are going to interfere with my interactions with coworkers or customers. I love a lot of gay people, black people, Hispanic people, Jewish people. Their lives are going to change. After living in a country where they saw eight years of social progress—and, let’s be fair, Bush II was nowhere near the nightmare on social progress as we thought he’d be, so eight years of slightly forward moving static before—they’re going to have targets on them. And not from “Squeal like a Pig” rednecks, but from 52% of white women, from 63% of white men. The white people of the United States—educated and not, probably not lower income but middle and up—have rejected the idea of equality. They’ve embraced the greatest promise of universal hatred (think about it, Germans in the 1930s scapegoated Jews and maybe Romani—fuck you, Peter David who isn’t ready this btw—and some social classes, but these people have embraced a much bigger hatred. There are fifty-six million Hispanic people in the United States. Thirty-seven million black people. They’ll be the first targets. Well, maybe suffering refugees first. Those refugees also aren’t white (but white Americans don’t tend to save anyone, not even people with their own skin color). This targeting is all just based on visual indicators. Wait, so now thinking about it, I suppose it’s going to put trans women in danger first and foremost. This target and danger isn’t always going to be violent, though it’s not like cops are going to even blink at shooting people now. It’s going to be the little stuff. The sniping at work. Maybe pushing ahead in line at the Starbucks. White people were raised in this country to think Gone with the Wind is a masterpiece. We start watching it at a young age. And what does it teach us? I will admit it’s a universal we—I didn’t see it until I was in my late teens and knew it was reprehensible bullshit and I highly doubt a lot of dudes see it—but you know Gone with the Wind has been shown to more white children than “Sesame Street.” When you learn history in school, it’s all written from the white perspective. Even if the teachers aren’t white, the text is white. It lumps people into a group with a name. It removes the humanity from the people. People, who lived through history, get left out of history books a lot. White people love leaving out the people. Remember when Howard Zinn got all that shit? Washington was an idiot. Jefferson was a rapist. Yes, Alexander Hamilton might have saved the country, but he didn’t get to do it. Ignoring history, ignoring people’s faults, it’s a bad way of teaching. Whether it’s a child or an adult. For years, I’ve assumed everyone—by everyone, I mean the majority of white people—were selfish and racist and hateful. I’m right. So what now. I’m in my late thirties, I have house payments, a wife, three cats. What do I get to do about other white people acknowledging that fact? But these are white people I know virtually for the most part. I follow some truly excellent people on Twitter. They’re constantly surprising in their insight, inspiring in their thought. If I were an optimist, I’d say I won’t have to do anything. That people are inherently good and trustworthy and so on. But that’s not true, is it. This post actually started—in addition to being an excuse not to work out for a while—about what I would do with blogging. How would it go forward. I’ve never shied away from political statements; I sort of reveled in them at the beginning and I’ve gotten very passionate on the podcast lately. Writing is an act of solipsism. We evaluate the world as we perceive or adapt or create it. Reading is an act of solipsism too. Writing is sort of just the active version of reading when you think about it. I’m not sure I like solipsism, even though I’m thrilled to know the word again. I forgot to write it down in MFA school. It and self-efficacy are my two big word learns for 2017, much like lilliputian and Brobdingnagian were in 1999. There’s a romanticism to solipsism, there’s a romanticism to reading, there’s a romanticism to writing. Twitter helps me reject solipsism. Or so I thought. It might just be I reject solipsism, even though I covet it, and therefore on Twitter. Not all of Twitter is a rejection of solipsism. Sports Twitter is probably just as much an embracing of it as sports are in real life. Because understanding a thing with another person, sharing an opinion, isn’t the same thing as acknowledging that person. It’s actually quite less. I like Marvin because he likes the same sports team as me and therefore I can’t believe he beats his kids. Or is it worse? Is it I like Marvin because he likes the same sports team/God/phone/game/movie/TV show/body spray as I do and therefore I don’t care that he beats his kids. He’s always got the latest Axe flavors. So what now? Don’t change.

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