Several months ago, I accidentally cussed while trying to avoid a hazard in my car. My daughter who hates cussing, reminded me of the family cussing limit she imposed of only ONE cuss word per day. I explained my transgression was justified because it was an impulse. I saw something dangerous in the road and just reacted. She said, no. It didn’t count. The only justifiable reason to cuss would be if Donald Trump were elected president. ONLY on that condition would I be allowed to have unlimited cussing for a day, and then my limit would be upped to TWO cuss words from there on after.
Talking with my girls as I tucked them in last night, and over cereal this morning, I realize that they, like me are worried. What will happen to those of us who are the MOST vulnerable? What about trans teens in the South? What about poor families across the country who rely on Obamacare to get medical care? What about any Black male and female between the ages of 10 and 60 who comes in contact with a police officer?
Then I remembered… This is bad. But, it’s not anything new.
Those of us who know what it is like to be targeted know this is nothing new. The “rise” of “Trumpism” is in fact very American.
If this election has taught us anything, it has revealed the racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, transphobia, homophobia and rape culture that is so prevalent in our society. It has shown us that “respectability” and making White folks comfortable isn’t getting us anywhere. It has taught us that NOT talking about white supremacy leads to white supremacists becoming president.
It is time to be unapologetically black and feminist. As it turns out, I come from a long line of uppity Black folks. My ancestors have been resisting, persisting, and overcoming this $hit since the beginning of time.
As members of marginalized and oppressed communities, we can take pride in our heritage of resistance. We are here because our mothers, and fathers, and their mothers and fathers pushed back!
And if I was LOUD and PROUD before, you just wait. Now, I’m gonna get even louder.
It’s time to get it together, people! It’s time to join the fight. It’s time to use all the ways we are privileged to stand up for those without a voice. And it’s time to do it together, in solidarity, with LOVE, and with JOY… and with music!
Aside from using my unlimited cussing privileges today… I’ll be rocking this kid-friendly playlist with my girls while I push back on racism and bigotry of all kinds in our schools, communities and country.
We DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY of wallowing in sadness today. We need to get to work!
How will you be pushing back against all this hate? While you do it, what’s on your playlist?
Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.
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