A Friendly Reminder

Okay I can’t believe I have to do this but I think I have to do this.

Look, no one is particularly jazzed about the choices we have for president, including myself. On one side we’ve got a raging egomaniac, and on the other side we’ve got Donald Trump. (*ba-dum PSH!* *laugh track plays* Thank you, thank you ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be here all night! 😉 )

Okay no but really, I understand we are all pissed about our rigged party system. We’re mad that it feels like Hillary was appointed rather than voted in, and that it seems like a bunch of shady deals transpired over the course of the primary to make her the nominee. We loved Bernie, we were inspired both by his ideas and track record, and we were sorely disappointed when we realized we wouldn’t get to see him elected into the White House this time around. I get it. But if you, not only as a Democrat – maybe as an Independent, Moderate, whatever – choose to write in a 3rd party candidate in order to “prove a point” or “stick to your guns”, digging your proverbial feet into the ground, let me be clear: YOU ARE FUCKING ALL OF US OVER.

Listen, this isn’t fucking New Zealand or some shit alright? This is America. We have a two-party system. It may not be the best way to go, it’s 100% corrupt, but it’s what we’ve got. Writing in a 3rd party candidate is essentially throwing your vote away, and throwing your vote away in order to maintain your  personal feelings of self-righteousness and “autonomy” is selfish here. I beg of you, DO. NOT. DO. THIS. There is no excuse for Donald Trump ascending to the presidency! On that day, no amount of pride, or ego, or pseudo-intellect, or conceit will save us – HE IS NOT AN OPTION. And again in case I wasn’t clear earlier, A THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE IS ALSO NOT AN OPTION.

Listen, Hillary might be kind of a sham on some things. I’m going to be honest, I don’t readily trust her, and I even less readily like her. If I had it my way, Michelle Obama would become president and then we could just do this again for eight more years. Except it would be better than the last eight because I’m also planning to vote everyone out of Congress, but I digress. What I’m saying is, sure, Hillary is not my favorite.

BUT AT LEAST SHE’S NOT INSANE.

Do you REALLY want Donald Trump to have the Nuclear Codes at his Cheeto-colored fingertips? REALLY? No, think about that for a second, I’ll wait.

Like President Obama said, “Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice?” Do you want to tell your kids that you fucked up our economy and international standing because of your “principles”?! Come onnnn – PLEASE! Donald Trump is threatening the lives of immigrants, the rights of Muslims, and the strength of the Black Lives Matter movement. You’re not cooler if you write in a 3rd party candidate. You’re not being like, ~subversive and ~anti-establishment in the punk rock way, you’re being a fucking asshole. It’s selfish, it’s shortsighted, AND IT’S FUCKING US ALL OVER SO AGAIN I SAY UNTO YOU: PLEASE. DON’T. FUCKING. DO THIS.

 

Thank you, this has been a Public Service Announcement.

Nope.

This is what I’m not here for:

  • Overgeneralized, amorphous calls for us all to “Love each other”.
  • People saying shit like “Can’t we all get along” or “Spread kindness” or “Love is the answer” in response to rampant police killings of black people and the subsequent reactions of their communities.
  • Other aimless Kumbayah shit.

If your calls to love one another come without recognizing, acknowledging or speaking about the institutionalized racism, police militarization, and systemic destruction of black communities that runs in our nation’s veins and has gotten us to this point, you can miss me with your bullshit.

If you had something to say about the officers killed in Dallas but remain silent on the countless unnecessary murders of unarmed black people at the hands of police, you can miss me with your bullshit.

If you are so dense and willfully ignorant as to believe that #BlackLivesMatter is anti-police (like SERIOUSLY guys?!), you can miss me with your bullshit.

I’m not here for it. I don’t want to see videos of policemen hugging little black kids in the street. I don’t want to see articles about SIX policemen picking up a TWENTY-EIGHT dollar tab for a couple who didn’t want to sit next to them at a restaurant to show that they’re really “nice guys”. Like yeah that’s great that you paid an extra $4.50 for someone else’s meal, but I don’t give a fuck about any of these individual acts of human “kindness” because it all blurs the fucking issue.

WE HAVE A FUCKING PROBLEM.

America! You! Me! And it’s not cops! We need those! I could never take that job which is why I deeply appreciate that someone would—it’s a really tough job to have. And immeasurably indispensable. But like that one lady on The Daily Show said (I’m not gonna look it up but you can if you want):

Cops are an extension of our society.

So if we’re observing an epidemic in our police departments, such as the widespread, repetitive killing of black people,

we should probably take a look at ourselves and examine how it is we individually and collectively actually view black people. 

So no, I’m not here for the let’s-all-hold-hands-and-sing-around-the-campfire bullshit. You can’t broad stroke this problem with a “love one another” and hope it goes away. This problem will require discussion. This problem will require VERY difficult introspective analysis. This problem will require finding safe places where we feel we can be vulnerable to work through the messiness, sadness, anger, and confusion.

DO IT GODDAMMIT.

Oh, and a couple last orders of business: Stop saying #BlueLivesMatter. “Blue Lives” is not a thing that exists in this world. Being a police officer is an occupation. A job. You woke up one day, decided you wanted to pursue that particular vocation, did the work, applied for the position, got it. Being a black person, by contrast, is not an occupation. Some people might like to think you can apply to be black (I’m looking at you Kylie Jenner)— you can’t. You’re born this way or you’re not. Equating “blue” lives to black lives forms an illogical argument and you sound like an idiot.

Which brings me to my next point: #AllLivesMatter. If you’re saying “Blue Lives Matter” I would dare to guess that what you mean to say, or also say, is that “All Lives Matter”. Okay. There are innumerable arguments and articles that have been written to explain in painstaking detail how and why #AllLivesMatter is bullshit and in effect, racist. I’m not going to do that here because I’m tired and I don’t owe you anything. I will say though that you should know that when you say #AllLivesMatter, you are essentially trying to silence us. Black people. I mean hey, if you’re the kind of asshole that would go to a breast cancer awareness event and start yelling about how “other diseases matter too”, or the kind of idiot that when someone says “Save the Whales” you hear “Burn the Rainforests!’, then there’s not much I can do for you anyway. But if you’re NOT that kind of asshole or idiot, you should know that saying “All Lives Matter” makes you sound like one.

You’re welcome.

Violence

I wrote a poem that I felt compelled to post immediately; it didn’t feel right to wait until next week. I may or may not take next Thursday off depending, but in any case, here is my bleeding heart:

Violence

Violence is wrought against me.
Violence is wrought against me in my body
Because I am Born of the Sun and a Woman.
Stared at like I’m inhuman,
Spoken to like I’m a child,
Touched like my body is not mine;
The violence echoes in my body.
I watch my Brothers and Sisters of the Sun killed in the streets by their “defenders”;
I watch Defenders lay slain out of frustration — retaliation.
And the violence echoes in my body.
Flex and release, vexed day and night
Under the weight, I can’t breathe.
Everybody is silent.
Everybody is silent.
Everybody is silent.

BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

I found this list on mic.com racking up all the things a black person in America can get killed for doing. I stopped at 19 because I’m tired, but you can visit the site if you want the rest. They also generously provide links to articles about each incident, for all of you who want “proof”. Have at it:

  1. Having a broken tail light.
  2. Selling CD’s outside a supermarket.
  3. Selling cigarettes outside a corner store
  4. Wearing a hoodie.
  5. Failing to signal a lane change
  6. Attending a Bible study class.
  7. Calling for help after a car accident.
  8. Walking away from police.
  9. Walking towards police.
  10. Reaching for your ID after a policeman has asked you to present your ID.
  11. Listening to music at a gas station.
  12. Missing a front license plate.
  13. Riding a commuter train on New Year’s Eve.
  14. Holding your wallet.
  15. Walking home with a friend.
  16. Running to the bathroom in your apartment.
  17. Making eye contact.
  18. Attending a Birthday Party.
  19. Laughing