This election has been a rough one for all of us. As a black woman in these United States of America, I can tell you it feels anything but united. I feel steamrolled. But I finally voted yesterday. It felt the way I imagine Bunjee jumping must feel, headlong over the edge hoping that the cord does its job.
The Progressive Army gave me the opportunity to make my opinions known to a larger audience than just my social media posts. I shared my hopes for a Bernie Sanders presidency. Expounded on my fear for my family, friends, and community as they navigate this world that condemns them for the bodies they are in. My fury, angst, and pain were exposed as story after story of racism, sexism, and transphobia in this country found its way to my timeline. To paraphrase Hemingway, I sat at my keyboard and bled.
Apparently, this was too raw for some of my friends. Some of you were “turned off by the negativity” and unfriended me. It is quite unfortunate that you don’t have the same distaste for the negativity of oppression, but I digress. I’m sure I’m not the only one this has happened to. This election was intensely personal for so many of us. This election is a veritable Civil War, a war waged on the backs of those of us who don’t have the privilege of just walking away.
I say to those who were piqued because I didn’t suffer silently; too bad. Did you clutch your pearls because of the language I used? Too bad. Were you a hit dog who hollered when I inadvertently or overtly pointed out your racist, sexist, and/or xenophobic behavior and language? Too bad. Have you spent a lifetime supporting and/or benefitting from a system that oppresses me or others because you just “couldn’t take all the negativity” involved in dealing with it and now you are butthurt because I addressed it with the fire and contempt that it deserved? Too bad. Were you put off that I didn’t mince words to make YOU more comfortable? TOO. FUCKING. BAD! Friendship is not about me minimizing my pain for your convenience. The revolution isn’t about making you comfortable.
Don’t wait until the election is over and attempt to mend this fence. It’s too late. I needed you before the die was cast. This country needed you to take a stand when my life and other lives were on the line. Understand clearly and plainly, what you did was walk away from me when I needed you most. But I’m thinking of it as a team-building year. You strengthened me by removing weak links I might not have otherwise realized that I had.
Most certainly do not expect, hint at, or hold your breath waiting for an apology from me. I’m not sorry. Everyone deserves a safe and equal existence in this country. I will not apologize for standing up for those rights. If our friendship required my polite acquiescence to my oppression, then your leaving was best. You proved that your temporary discomfort was paramount to my suffering and pain. I don’t need THAT kind of negativity in my life.