As a child, I was abandoned by an alcoholic father who died when I was 11.
I later became an alcoholic myself, though I have been sober now for 27 years. I have survived the death of a child, a surprise divorce with all the trimmings, single motherhood, a beating by an unfair court system that doesn’t insist both parents actually support their children, rape, 9/11 and more.
Yet this is the first time in my life — and I am 54 years old — that I actually feel afraid for my future and the future of our world.
Clearly, I’ve “lost” before. But this is the first time in my life that I find it hard to choke out the words, “That’s my president.”
On the other hand, I’ve raised three white sons and I’ve been hearing about the “privilege” that my boys supposedly have. I resent being made to feel guilty for the color of my skin and theirs. It’s not my “fault” I’m white. It’s not my boys’ fault either.
I’m a liberal. I’ve always been a staunch advocate of the underdogs of the world. My heart breaks for the injustices I see. And, as an empath, I literally feel the suffering of others.
But here’s the thing: some of this we liberals have brought on ourselves. We have gone too far. “Black Lives Matter” but so do the lives of my three white boys and every other one out there.
Yes, I understand the nuances behind the name. But most people don’t. Plus there is this — You don’t get past your own disenfranchisement by disenfranchising others.
You see, at the same time I have been trying to instill in my boys a love for all people, those same people have been telling them that they should be ashamed or pay back the world because of the color of their skin.
It’s been a reverse-racism and, yes, I’m a liberal and YES that reverse racism does exist.
On the other hand, as a woman, I have been marginalized, threatened, trivialized, hurt, underpaid, discriminated against, and raped because of my gender.
I’m a woman who has lost.
Again and again and again.
Still, because I’m white and because I’m a member of the middle class there has been no safety net, no government hand-out, no quarter for me in the losses I have suffered.
Hold your baby while she dies, and then, “figure it out, girl.” Discover in the middle of the night that the marriage you thought you had wasn’t real at all and suddenly find yourself a single parent with no government to demand equity.
Just, “figure it out, girl.”
Thank god I have a family who loves me and cares for me, even as we disagree significantly on political issues.
Yet as a woman who has had to pull herself up from disaster again and again and again, I am so very tired of paying taxes that support others who refuse to do so themselves. And yes, this applies to people on both “sides” of the political aisle.
I don’t believe in welfare (except in very limited cases) or farm subsidies. I also don’t think the government should rescue you from an uncertain job just because you haven’t worked hard to get current job skills.
And don’t get me started on “no child left behind” and “standards of learning.”
What are you going to do when you graduate and we have let you be weak and the WORLD leaves you behind?
I have HATED raising my kids in a liberal culture that believes that they each deserved a “participation award” instead of letting them lose and win and get stronger for knowing the taste of each.
It hasn’t worked, people.
None of it has worked.
And, so white people are hurting.
And I am a white person. Hurting.
I’m caught between two worlds. I can’t afford my own bleeding heart. I’m a fiscal conservative trapped in a social liberal’s body. Or, maybe it’s the other way around.
Because of this, every election, I have “lost” one or another parts of myself. And yet, this is the worst. This is the unthinkable. This is beyond the pale.
This is reverse reverse racism at its worst. This is fear and homophobia and all other phobias combined.
This is a nightmare – of our own making.
But I know that I will find a way, because I’m a “way-finder.”
Just for today, though, I’m so very, very tired.
And afraid. So very, very afraid.
photo: flickr, Steven Depolo