To: Psychopath President
The last couple of weeks I’ve been seeing fewer and fewer antiracism signs in people’s yards and windows. On the block just south of us that I take most mornings when I head out for my walks it was especially noticeable how many fewer such signs there were. I found myself bracing as I’d get to where I should be able to see this or that sign and would either feel a palpable let down or a bit of relief. It does occur to me that signs in windows block the daylight and now that we’re down to 9 hours of it here in Seattle (and will lose even more over the next couple of weeks), people might have decided to stow the signs.
Maybe. I hope that’s it. This doesn’t explain the dwindling number of yard signs, but maybe there are yard sign bandits. Maybe. I hope that’s it. But really, I doubt it since why wouldn’t they make a full-on sweep and take them all?
The saving grace this morning was that my second favorite sidewalk-chalk-message-leaver (Laura’s my first) was at it again last night and there’s a fresh batch of strong messages sprinkled throughout the neighborhood. Some are as simple as “BLM” and “Black Lives Still Matter” (note: simple yes, but clearly not easy for US). Others remind us that “Discriminatory Incarceration is the New Jim Crow” and that “Black Trans Lives Still Matter.” My two favorites say “Racism Doesn’t End When Trump Goes” and “White Silence Equals Violence.”
I have no idea who this person with the endless supplies of chalk, passion, and righteousness is, but I felt seen by them, especially since I was acutely feeling dejected and sad that my uber White neighborhood seems to be reverting to its old cozy, comfy myopic ways. I hope other people feel seen by this person and I hope way more people feel prodded and pushed not to settle back into complacency and complicity when it comes to racism (and sexism and homophobia and income inequality and, and, and….). I’m so worried that center/left (and even some left/left) people are going to just breathe huge sighs of relief on January 20th and feel as they they/we can move on now that the Racist Supreme is out of office.
We. Can’t. Do. That. We. Can’t.
A friend of mine texted this afternoon to check in and see how I’m doing and I told her that while I’m fine overall, it’s been one of those close to tears for no apparent reason days. I loved her response so much that I’m going to give it to you verbatim:
“Awwwww. I hear you. Who would think that life could be so hard in a pandemic during the reign of a psychopath president as the earth signals that we are doomed? :\”
I told her she nailed it.
She really did.
And here we all are. Trying to get by, trying not to get sick or to get better if we are sick while not giving it to anyone else. Trying to figure out which of the malign Tweets or most-important-speeches-ever of yours we better track and which we can safely tune out. Trying to figure out what the hell we’re going to do when the eviction moratoriums run out and/or when our jobs disappear and/or when the fires threaten our neighborhoods. Trying to sort out whether we really can come out of the shadows and safely apply for DACA protections before you finally leave. Trying to keep our balance without resorting to too much (or any) alcohol or ice cream or Netflix. Trying to remember that while we’re all in this together, some of us are experiencing stress and grief and loss beyond what many of us can imagine.
May we be safe. Just safe.
May we hold onto some happiness, whether as an act of rebellion or self-preservation. Or both.
May we continue to be strong and resolute in our commitment to justice. For forever.
May we accept that we’re going to have hard days. And then some.