Thank you to everyone for your kind wishes for my move. As of this morning, the cats are at the cat spa (no, they did not go gently into that good night, but were quite happy once we got there), the freezer and fridge are empty, I have a suitcase packed and a tape measure in my purse, and tomorrow the movers will be here.
Just a reminder that Dio has kindly listed all of the Magical Battle workings over on the right hand side of the page. Please do keep doing the work. You can go back and do ones that you missed or those that felt most powerful to you. I’ll start writing new workings as soon as I can unpack and line up internet.
My brilliant friend Deb posted this earlier today and, wow, haven’t we all been there? Here’s a taste, but you should read the whole thing:
I’m reading an email from a white man. It is about 15 paragraphs of poorly written vitriol, telling me in far too many words about how wrong I am. About everything. I’m wrong about feminism. It’s unnecessary. And by the way, the wage gap doesn’t exist. I’m even more wrong about racism. There is no more racism. It’s been over a very long time and maybe if people like me would just get over the past we’d be motivated to get off of our asses and get real jobs. As proof of how wrong I am, he’s included links to youtube videos made by other white men saying pretty much the exact same thing as him. He has also inserted a few graphs. He consistently calls me “Ms. Oluo” and reiterates a few times that he “means no disrespect” but it is clear from his insistence that I read all of his horrible paragraphs and that I “learn a little more” about “my people” that he means every bit of disrespect his poorly phrased sentences are capable of conveying and more.
He suggests that I try being “less angry” as if it is not anger that propelled him through a google search of my name, to my website, to my contact page, then to his email, and then through the writing of a billion paragraphs complete with charts and footnotes. He says “less angry” as if I am not currently adding his email into a file with countless other long-winded missives, dismissals and violent threats from white men who decided to take the time out of their day to let me know in sometimes very disturbing ways that they need me to be “less angry.”
In closing he puts his full name and title. He’s a woodcarver and personal trainer. And, apparently, expert on race and gender studies.
Somebody needs to stop telling these white boys that they can be anything they put their mind to.
I say that in jest. A lot. But I’m only half joking. Actually, I’m not joking at all. Somebody really does need to stop telling these white boys that they can be anything, and that they can have everything. Because it is not true, and it was never true, and we’re the ones who have to pay when they find that out.
I know I go on about the importance of local politics, but I want to tell you a quick story. My county (and, for odd historical reasons, the town next-door) share an elected official known as the Commonwealth’s Attorney. It’s essentially the same position as a district attorney. This year, we had a challenger who campaigned, inter alia, on the idea that the incumbent was failing to exercise prosecutorial discretion and was jailing people (of course, mostly people of color) for possessing pot, something most other jurisdictions have stopped doing. There was a campaign in next-door Fairfax County along the same lines. After some groundswell support, a liberal political action committee got involved, donating money to the challengers. This is sort of the mirror image of what the Koch brothers have been doing for years — working to change local-level politics in order to make bigger changes, kind of like dropping a pebble in the water here to make big waves over there. It was a hard-fought race and local conservatives screamed bloody murder over those “outside agitators” coming into OUR county and trying to tell US what to do. But, in the end, both challengers won. And, guess what? The very next week, Virginia’s Attorney General (who’d apparently been paying attention) called for state-wide decriminalization of pot and for addressing previous convictions.
That’s what local elections can do. And, as I’ve noted before, your vote in one of these off-off-off year elections carries far more weight than it ever will in a presidential election. Your donations count far more. Your volunteer time (writing postcards, calling voters, knocking on doors, putting signs outside polling places, registering voters, and handing out campaign literature at farmers’ markets and soccer games) counts far more. Obviously, I want everyone involved in state-wide and national elections, but I really want to encourage you to pay more attention to local elections, too.
So as we move towards November and then into the major elections, please consider doing a bit of research, finding a local candidate you like, and doing what you can to support them. You might just be surprised at the ripples that flow out from that pebble, at how many actual lives can be made better.
Picture found here.