Wednesday, November 9, 2016


I'm not one, really, to discus politics with people who I don't know really, really well. Many can't have a discussion about politics and it quickly becomes an argument. I want discussion, not argument, so I usually refrain from talking about it at all. But, this is my space, for me, so here I go talking about the election results in no organized fashion.

I am scared and fearful of having him for president, especially with a same-party controlled House and Congress. I've been nauseated throughout this entire election process by media directly coming from him and his campaign to conversations I've read on FB. But here's the thing, it's not HIM I'm specifically scared and fearful of. What I'm scared of is the voice that he has given those who truly believe that I'm a piece of meat, who truly believe that the color of your skin or your country of origin matters, who truly believe that people are coming to take their guns. Whatever the controversial topic, he has given voice and substance to those who truly believe these things.

Did you know that in the South people still care that the North won the Civil War? No lie. Now, I'm not saying that it's all people in the southern states, but there are still people that care. Over 150 years after the end of the war and there are people alive today who think that it is important what side of the Mason-Dixon line you live on.

A friend on FB shared someone else's post and asked how this can be okay to say to another human being:

Walking the dogs, someone yells "Filthy liberal nigger" from the highway. I guess this is the next 4 years then.

The following came out:

Me: I have tried, and usually do try, to stay out of political discussions, so I won't address anything related specifically to the election, but rather from a sociological perspective (my minor in college). A person felt that he (or she) couldn't state what he really wanted because he wasn't sure if it would be received well or not, so stayed silent. That one person heard someone else say something similar, then someone else, then someone else, then someone else. These were all in small circles. But then, over time, eventually a "leader" arose. That leader was saying the things that each of those individuals had been thinking and sharing between themselves for a long time. As the group grows, each individual feels less and less alone, and gains courage to speak how they want because they have a community to support their individual statements.

What is acceptable and what is not changes over time and with the people that are in the group (big or little). Think pregnancy and infant loss. Think depression. Think LGBTQ. It started with one, it grew to some, then grew to many who were talking instead of staying silent. This has happened many times in our history, this breaking of silences. The silence being broken now is those who have been silenced by the talk of LGBTQ issues, gender issues, racial issues. Not sure if that makes sense or not. Sometimes, we don't realize the true thoughts of someone (or a nation) until the silence is broken.

Friend: It does make sense, Brianna. The thing that gets me about all of this is that we have already been through this historically multiple times. And in allowing these voices to be acceptable again, we have stepped further away from looking at another person and simply seeing a person, not white, black, latino, female, LGBTQ, handicapped, muslim, jew, asian, etc. I am not terribly broken up about the election in all honesty. Government was built so well that no single person can truly destroy the country... and it may be a cruddy 4 years or maybe not... I simply hate that we have to all work so much harder to remove the message we just sent to the world and our kids about how America seems to think they can treat other human beings.

Me: To me, it shows that just because a voice is silenced it doesn't mean that the thoughts behind them have been altered at all. Eventually, hopefully not too many generations down the road, I hope the thoughts will stop so that the voices can be stopped instead of just silenced.

This, the silencing of thoughts does not end them, is evidenced by the resurgence of the racial statement that was made to the person (black woman) walking her dogs this afternoon. This, the silencing of thoughts does not end them, is evidenced by the people today who still care about the outcome of the Civil War. If we truly want to silence those voices, it will take generations to do so. We have to teach our children to love and be kind, to have respect and show it, to care of and for others. Our children have to teach our grandchildren. Our grandchildren have to teach our great-grandchildren. I don't know how many generations it will take to silence the voices, but I hope that it happens some day.

Beyond that, the thoughts may never go away. Children learn from their caregivers (parents, grandparents, teachers, neighbors, etc.) about how to think of the world. There may always be people in our world who have the thoughts of separatism among humans because we usually can't undo or change the thoughts of an adult who learned many of these at a young age. Those adults will continue  teaching their way of thinking to their children, grandchildren and so on. What I hope is that there will be enough people, eventually, who were taught to embrace equality and humanity that the voices of separatism will be held by only a few, completely silenced voices.

In the end, even though it feels like everything I stand against has been voiced by and supported by in the next leader of our country, I have hope. It is small right now, but I have to believe that its voice will grow stronger and louder partly because of me and Jon. My small hope has a name: Gus.

Lucy will learn from me. Lucy will learn from Jon. Lucy will learn from Gus. She will add her voice to my hope and my hope will grow. Their voices will join with the voices of others and eventually, with a unified thought, voice kindness, care and love.

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