It’s not hard to find gratitude and I do take thanks in the smallest joys. There is so much to be thankful for even if I’m filled with an extra dose of cynicism this year. Of course, I have my family, friends, health, nature and creativity to fill me with pride and gratitude. I’m very thankful to have dinner in my Bay Area bubble with like-minded friends. I kinda don’t have the energy to reach across or learn about an opposing view today. But, I do have empathy for those, who have traveled through a gauntlet of harried travelers and bumper to bumper traffic, only to navigate potentially thorny conversations at dinner, sitting tight-lipped and tense. Hang in there friends, it will soon be over, just be happy you have a community! Anyhow, it’s probably the best advice for all of us to avoid politics at the table this year, I’m not sure my digestive tract can take much more anxiety. Buurp.
And frankly, I’m also butting heads with my liberal friends who are still struggling with their whiteness, trying to convince me that my activism is part of the problem. We are all a mess over this election, casting dispersions and blame to and fro. None of this feels very comforting and sometimes I’d rather just go at it with my Republican family because they’re not filled with guilt and confusion over their positions. Oh, and yes, there are members of my brown, immigrant family that did vote for Trump. So that should blow up some of the stereotypes. Trust me, they can care less about diversity, identity, and have no interest to learn about intersectionality. It all comes down to the almighty dollar. They will get their rich people tax cuts and go back to exploiting the oppressed to win elections. Mostly they’re benevolent businessmen who want what’s best for their family and view capitalism as a means to end for their own self-interests, a system they feel works equally for all. But I am so thankful I don’t have to listen to them this year or bite my tongue, which is a difficult task for a big mouth. Anyhow, I have mostly given up, why bother talking to people who read Anne Coulter? I will never, ever agree with them and visa-versa. The most frustrating thing about Republicans is how dismissive they are about any of the negative consequences of Trump’s administration. They just chalk it up to media bias and liberal hogwash and there isn’t really an end-game to win this debate. Instead, we just walk around the huge elephant in the room and breathe a sigh of relief when as we part ways.
Well, I am about to make pies and a yummy cheesy gratin. I love this white people holiday, mainly I’ve boiled it down to food, food, food. But I have not overlooked the fact that this artificially constructed day was created to promote capitalism, white supremacy and greed. Like most of us, I just stuff the feelings with tons of food and alcohol and hope to pass out early from an overdose of tryptophan. I do love a nice long four-day weekend, even if I am aware I’m a part of the managerial class, the liberal elite (I guess?) that has the privilege to overeat and wallow in self-pity. Yes, my sadness has given way to a streak of anger but I’m pretty sure this is one of the stages of grief.
I do wish everyone a lovely holiday and hope you don’t sit around questioning the validity of protesting as brave indigenous people, who at this very moment are getting tear-gassed and attacked by the evil forces of corporatism. All I have done is donate to the Sioux tribe, so at the very least I ask all of us to honor their sacrifice. They are using their bodies to stand in the line of fire, a fight that began when English separatists landed at Plymouth rock. I am grateful for their stance and seeing the horrible images from Standing Rock reminds me not to waver from fighting for justice and equality, and yes one way will be civil disobedience and protest. To all those that question the purpose of protesting, I ask you to read history if you have time this weekend or try to recall past successes that arose out of people power. Try not to be dismissive of these actions, find ways to honor the legacy of true heroes, some who have given their lives in the fight for human rights. And finally, I say thank you to all the civil rights crusaders, past and present, who stand tall against cynism, anger, and hate.