Dear President Trump,
Some days it’s really hard to trust there is a divine spark in absolutely everyone, but I’m going with the leap of faith that we all have this quality even if it’s not discernible. Maybe some peoples’ sparks get rusty and other’s get caked over with mud and slime while still other’s get wane and so tired they are like an almost spent cigarette lighter that can’t put out a useful flame. Even still, dormant sparks can be rekindled and thus, there is hope.
I’m guessing the fact that today is the annual “national neighborhood night out” has completely escaped you and I bet you’ve never (ever) attended a neighborhood block party potluck. If these assumptions are correct, you are missing out — it’s really nice getting to know people who we normally just wave to as we drive past their end of the block on the way to our end of the block.
I got into a fairly long political conversation with someone from the other end of the block (male, white, in his mid-40’s). He talked about a lot of things, but a recurring theme was his concern about racism and misogyny and how unusual it is for a fairly privileged white man to have such concerns. I believe he means well, but he went on and on, completely unaware that he was cutting me off, monopolizing the air time, and brushing past anything I managed to say, even when I tried to point out to him that he wasn’t listening to what I was saying. Quite ironic, and frustrating, and demoralizing. He is so obtuse that he can’t see he is doing in his real life conversations the exact things he finds so problematic in other people’s behavior. But really, it wasn’t surprising. This is in part because I’ve known him for years and this is how he is and in part because white men are so often like this, whether or not they staunchly identify as liberal (and sadly, the staunch ones are probably actually the worst). I do think I could have done a better job of letting him know how it felt to be on the receiving end of his steamroller approach, but after trying three or four times, I decided to let it go. For now. I know where he lives.
May we all be safe enough to speak up.
May we all be happy to share the floor.
May we all be healthy enough to see our own hypocrisies.
May our lives unfold and intersect with mutual respect.