I've been battling what to do with this one for awhile. Repeatedly, I've gotten up to get my computer, but I've made a different decision. Finally, I decided it's time to do this. A huge part of the reason that I've gone back and forth is that I feel like this will be a long one. Buckle up, and thank you.
There are so many wrongs in this world that I want to help make right, but in so many cases, I feel completely helpless. I'm not sure this will be as cogent as I'd like it to be, but here we go. I'm going to try to do this with some sense of organization.
The first category of helplessness involves science. At what point did we stop believing in expertise? The two most long-lasting examples of this right now are Climate Change and anti-vaxxers. Sadly, we can trace the anti-vaxxer trend to a completely fictitious article and Jenny McCarthy. I'm sure we can trace the origin of Climate Change denial, but it's become so prolific and has been around as long as I can remember, so it's felt ever-present.
One of the things I love most in life is winter. It's true. In fact, winter is home to my favorite leisure time activity, snowmobiling (Which, I realize, is not great for addressing Climate Change). The vast majority of scientists who study climate agree that Climate Change is human-caused. We have the means to fix it, but we don't. I realize it's because so many governments are beholden to large corporations and many of the most established peddle in fossil fuels and other means of emission.
It can seem insurmountable. We have an electric car (A Nissan Leaf). We have solar panels. We make conscious decisions in this house to try to do things that will reduce our footprint, like biking or walking rather than driving, but it feels like it's way too little. Every time I see a drought, or a hurricane, or some other weather phenomenon that has seemingly become all too common, I feel like I'm handcuffed. What more can I do to help?
That leads to the second sciencey part of this post, Covid-19. For starters, like I think everyone, I'm VERY over this pandemic, but that doesn't mean it's time to be cavalier and pretend it's not ongoing.
Firstly, some people in this country need to reread the Constitution and it's associated amendments. Requiring masks does NOT infringe on ANYONE'S rights. In fact, in the Declaration of Independence, it lays out Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Pretty sure my wearing a mask helps solidify the right to life for myself and others.
Again, WHY ARE WE NOT LISTENING TO SCIENCE? I hate it. I hate wearing masks when I go out. I hate not being able to emote and express as much as I usually do, but it's such a minor inconvenience that could possibly save countless lives. Again, I feel as though I'm rendered completely powerless every time I go someplace and some self-absorbed idiot isn't wearing a mask, or is wearing it wrong. IT GOES OVER YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH! If you want this thing to end, you are likely to have to make short-term deep sacrifices for a long-term gain.
I just. Don't. Get. It. Yeah, all of the restrictions suck. I'm worried now that school is going to have to go fully virtual and that I'm going to lose the one glimpse of normality that I have which is Sunday night volleyball. Red state leaders won't do the things that would inconvenience us that might somehow infringe on our personal liberties...? As of today, the top five states in positive percentage for Covid-19 are in red states. Entirely. Why? Because they won't listen to science.
Again, left feeling totally helpless. I'm wearing my mask any place that's not my car or my house. I'm not going out. We haven't eaten in a restaurant since February. We have barely left the county in which we live since March.
If we'd follow health expert recommendations, I also wouldn't be frightened that many of my favorite places in Lincoln would close during this pandemic. It's so ridiculous that this is even a conversation we are having right now.
Let's get a little heavy. BLM. Wanna feel helpless? Try to talk about #BlackLivesMatter with people who don't yet recognize their privilege.
I'm not going to discuss again here the ways I feel as though I have privilege beyond white privilege. They're in a previous post. I think it's in "I'm a Racist" but I'm sure it's elsewhere.
I'll be the first to admit that I've had, and will continue to have, evolving views on this as I learn more. I was awful to gay people in high school. I've learned. It's constant learning. I hope I continue to have friends who help me learn.
I see so much ridiculous stuff about Black Lives Matter, equal rights for all People of Color, gay rights, trans rights, women's rights, and so many other marginalized groups who are NOT TREATED EQUALLY TO WHITE MEN IN THIS COUNTRY AND OTHERS AROUND THE WORLD. "Why aren't BLM protesters doing something about black-on-black crime?" THEY ARE. There are thousands of advocates on the ground in those communities working, because they are deeply invested in their communities. However, what they're fighting for on the national stage is that they shouldn't fear for their lives in every interaction that we, as white people, take for granted, including law enforcement.
Look, your inability to oppress others wouldn't actually suppress your rights... except for your right to oppress other people. I hear what can only be described as ignorance when people fire back with "All lives matter." While you're right, it's hard for me to take that seriously when you're not acknowledging the struggle that all of these marginalized groups face on a day-to-day basis.
When will I not feel helpless? When my Puerto Rican friend, who's nearly as tall as I am and much more muscular, doesn't have stories about having to name drop a friend on the PD to avoid what could've been a tragic traffic stop. When my gay friends don't have to worry about their marriages being invalidated based on who is elected. My trans friends shouldn't have to fear for their lives just because they're trying to live who they are.
There are countless other cases. Look, I want to go back to having long, funny, inspirational, whatever pieces I used to write before. Used to write before. Goodness that's redundant. Anyway, I see too much in this world that I want to fix before Everett and Vivian get a stake in this world. I try to do everything I can. I know I'm not, but I want to do more. I want to learn.