You Can Stop Telling Me to Calm Down, Now
I am getting weary of white (and even white women) men telling me to “calm down,” and how to “think” at this time. Or men who live in gated communities, in wealthy communities, far from the fray in which people are frightened and feeling threatened, and who have NOT taken the time to understand WHY people are now afraid.
Or men who do not even live in this country, telling me how to “be” now. There is nothing wrong with “white men” overall — my beloved, beloved father was one — (you know, I have lots of white friends! ;) I am half-White, even. I love white people!) … but I will say this:
I will NOT CALM DOWN until my Muslim brothers and sisters — who have already heard the words “registry” and “internment camps” as well as many other offenses to their personhood and liberty and religion too unspeakable to share from Trump and his crew — tell me it’s OK to calm down now.
I will NOT CALM DOWN until the immigrants who may not have papers but have nonetheless been encouraged to come here by those companies and businesses and those consumers who need them to pick our berries in 100-degree weather for minimum wage, and clean our toilets and wash our dishes … until they are no longer afraid for their own lives and their families staying together, and we begin to have rational, and not fear-based and subliminally racist conversation about immigration and what it’s really all about, no, I will not calm down.
I will NOT CALM DOWN until people of color and Black Lives Matter leaders who have experienced mis-understanding, and severe and shameful twisting of their message, who have experienced hate crimes perpetrated in Donald Trump’s name — including my own friends and family members — tell me they now believe Donald Trump is NOT actually a racist (despite he and his son tweeting white supremacist memes and authors; despite publicly, hatefully excoriating five innocent black youth in New York accused of rape via full page ads in the New York Times and elsewhere, and NEVER apologizing; despite reportedly reading Hitler’s books — via two Trump-friendly sources — despite waging a racist, xenophobic campaign against President Obama, questioning his place of birth; and despite his biographer stating, and various video clips of Trump bragging that he is a believer in eugenics) … Not until they tell me: It’s OK. He’s changed totally and yeah, the cabinet too. You can calm down now.
I will NOT CALM DOWN until I feel that poor women and teenagers will maintain the right to health care and contraception and yes, even abortion and control over their own bodies and their own lives, until THEY tell me to calm down, and not until all women tell me that they feel safe and protected and supported and empowered by this new president, who has turned a corner, and now believes in women’s rights, no, I will not calm down.
I will NOT CALM DOWN until journalists and essayists and celebrities and professors tell me it’s OK now, we feel we are free to speak without receiving death threats (Megyn Kelly) and harassment and stalking of their homes by self-styled vigilantes for Trump whom he has not discouraged, or deflected or truly disavowed. And let’s think about this, really the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is now ATTACKING THE PRESS and a FREE MEDIA and ENCOURAGING THE DISSEMINATION OF “ALTERNATIVE FACTS,” otherwise known as LIES .. No, not until all the solid journalists who check and double check their facts and sources and try not to let their opinions in overly much, unless they are very clear about that, not until they tell me it is OK to calm down now, not until they say, as one: “This guy has really seen the light!”
I will NOT CALM DOWN until I feel that this government to whom I pay my own taxes to, and which purportedly works for me and represents (and no, I am not on Obamacare, though my insurance rates keep rising, nor Social Security nor disability, but nonetheless I am OK with paying my taxes and sharing with those who need a leg up, who need health care (which is a human right and not a commodity) … and I am OK too with talking about how to do all of this better, but I will not stand by and watch as more and more people are made homeless, and sent into the street impacting us all via our hearts and minds, when we could be taking care of this via compassion, intelligence and creativity and NO, I will NOT CALM DOWN until we are taking care of our people, all of our people, in the best way that we can and using the best models from around the world in a spirit of our shared humanity.
I will NOT CALM DOWN while the threat of collusion and treason which hang in the air like a dark poison, poisoning this new #NotMyPresident’s administration like some kind of foul stench, so that we do not know whose hand is on the till here, and what is their purpose, WHY? Until all of this is revealed and seen and brought to light and the judgment of the people of the United States, no, I will NOT CALM DOWN.
I will NOT CALM DOWN until the native Americans (and who are the true “illegal immigrants” here? Who decimated a population to come here? Would we now call these pilgrims & manifest destiny seekers “terrorists”? Does genocide qualify for that title? … Did they have “papers” from the natives? Did they even ask permission? And once these “illegals” set up the “rule of law” and treaty, how many of their very own treaties and laws did they break to get what they wanted?) … I will NOT calm down until the Natives say, as one: “Thanks so very much for your efforts! DAPL is stopped, the water is protected for all, the air is protected for all, and the fossil fuel industry has indeed turned over a new leaf, but more than this, the Planet is on her way to healing so she can continue to support us all, and so, Ami, you can calm down now.”
Only then will I “calm down.”
So, you can stop wasting your breath. Thanks.
And believe it or not, I feel very calm about this.