13 November 2016

My Homeland is Still a White Supremacist Police State

I'll start by saying you don't have to read this.  I likely have nothing new to say.

My heart is heavy with all these emotions. The righteous indignation about the electoral college and about white women somehow going for Trump.  The grief and despair for my home.  The gnawing fear for my family and friends.  The flat acceptance.  The embarrassment of being from such a place, of believing that things would be different.

I feel like this is not a place I can go home to anymore.  At the same time, I want to go back and fight - I want to found a safe house for LGBT youth, I want to send my kid to the Muslim Montessori preschool in Baltimore and work at Healthcare for the Homeless.  But I want to tell everyone to leave.  I want to change my visa status to permanent resident and find people jobs here in New Zealand.  I want to get excited about wearing safety pins and I see the hollowness of the symbolism. I want to cling to my belief that these small gestures of human goodwill matter - in some ways, that they are the only thing that matters.  And I also feel the crushing isolation of knowing that my small gesture means nothing in the face of overwhelming fear and hatred manifest in this election.

It's the same feeling I get every time I read another news story about American police killing a black person.  Powerlessness, grief, the aching gulf of injustice and impotence.  But I'm able to tell myself a story about police violence - namely that this is the Old System that is moving on, that is changing, that things are going in the right direction.

And then my fellow Americans voted for police violence.  They voted for white supremacy.  They voted for violence against women.  They voted for more guns.  They voted for mass deportations and economic collapse and the end of our hope to do a damn thing about climate change.

I can't tell myself a story about progress today.

So today I went to the beach. (And yes, you exhausting liberal corner of the internet where I live, I acknowledge the absurd privilege I have in being able to do so.) I took my "gender creative" four-year-old and went to the beach.  And I tried not to think about what country would be safest or best for him to grow up in.  I just watched him play in the sand and I listened to the waves and the gulls.  And for a moment I felt ok.


  1. Amazing pictures. Looking forward to having Bear show me his beach and the ocean. The huge crowds remind me of the beach in Florence.
    As to the election I'll give you a hug when we are there but this is where we were headed for a long time and having it confirmed is a necessary part of focusing on the changes that still need to happen. I like to think that Lenin had it wrong and that we are taking one step back (admittedly a pretty big one) in order to take two steps forward. We shall see.