Where to begin with this month’s happenings? As I type, the fallout from Charlottesville is still unfolding. The man holding one of the highest political offices in the world has just mandated the racist agenda, again – but what does that tell you about our systems of power and the make-up of our societies? Trump’s the latest monied and coiffured white mouthpiece to show his colours, but he didn’t bring all of this with him when he set up shop on Capitol Hill. All of us who benefit from white power and privilege need to look at ourselves as well as the world around us. White privilege, heteronormativity, racism, homophobia, misogyny, class war, poverty and capitalism: a cocktail of things mean this has been happening and gaining momentum for a long, long time.
The one-good-man, one-bad-man theory of history is a nonsense. Things happen, in part, because we let them or we don’t have the power to stop them. I just saw on Facebook that there have been nearly 20 trans women murdered in the US this year. This year. Just let that sink in for a moment. Do these women get justice? The Cheeto pledged his support for LGBT people during his presidential campaign. He showed he obviously had no understanding of what the acronym stands for when he tweeted the transgender military ban.
As a queer woman, I can hear the feet marching and it’s not a stretch to think they’ll be coming for me and mine soon. It sounds dramatic, but it’s not, it’s the very real experience of living in a homophobic world. Yet I was in my mid-20s before I considered the colour of my skin. It took someone else to ask me to consider my racial identity. It was a life changing moment and one that I am still learning from. It’s up to white people to put racism right. It’s up to straight people to address homophobia.
I don’t know what else to say. By next month let’s hope something good has happened. Though it’s going to take a lot more than some administration changes to really get to the root of the problem. If you build your house with enslaved hands and in a field of bloo, that house will eventually fall.