Nov. 12th, 2016

crazyjane: (shit_list)
Read it, or not. Either way, I've had it.


Oh, it's so fucking easy to just 'blame the Left' for Trump, or the Tories, or Australia's Liberal government, isn't it? As if there's some monolithic group called 'the Left' who sit in their elite cafes with their chai lattes and refuse to 'understand the plight of the working class'. As if people who can't even claim the right - the fucking right - to get married are at fault because others bitch that it's somehow evil. As if people who just want to live through their own faith - and this is the important part - and not try to force others to do the same, somehow threaten the country.

Wake. The fuck. UP. Maybe there is a fundamental disconnect at work here - but blaming 'the Left' and insisting that they need to change achieves nothing but further repression and licence for bigotry. We're supposed to look to our leaders for guidance on how to behave. When those leaders either tacitly give the nod, or actively encourage the kind of behaviour we've seen in the last year, it is not incumbent on us to roll over and show our bellies, and apologise for being in the way of someone's fist or someone's screamed Nazi slogan.

By now, everyone's aware of the immediate effects of Trump's victory in the US Presidential election. Look at the Lefties out in the streets! What are they protesting against, if they didn't want Trump as President, they should have voted for Hillary, don't they know that? Typical professional protesters, never satisfied. That's what we're hearing now from most media, who are falling all over themselves to preserve their ad buys and their access to a new administration.

What they're not saying is that in just a few days, hate crimes have skyrocketed. Go and check out Shaun King's Day 1 in Trump's America for just a sample of how some people have become emboldened to the point of flagrantly assaulting others in broad daylight - and all for the 'crime' of being a person of colour, or a woman (especially a Muslim woman with her oh-so-offensive hijab). Read LGBTI news for the stories of people afraid to show any form of affection for their same-sex partners, for trans people wondering whether it would be 'safer' for them to pretend to be the gender they've never felt they were. Read about the people frightened to the point of being suicidal - and those who already have killed themselves.

This is not confined to the US, though. Go back and read about how British people turned on each other after the Brexit vote. The ones who thought it was somehow perfectly acceptable to scream that those who 'looked like Pakis' (excuse the term) were going to be forcibly booted out of the country. The ones who though it was a good idea to heave bricks through the windows of grocery shops, or follow Muslim women down the street threatening to rape them.

Oh, and just in case it wasn't clear to any of my fellow Australians ... we are no better. Remember the anti-Muslim protests that led to white supremacists assaulting those who stood in solidarity with community members who had legally bought land and received permission to build mosques? (And oh, how jocular that was, when the same people who condemned Muslim women for wearing the hijab covered their own faces with beanies, sunglasses and Australian flag bandannas.) And that's not all. There's the continual anger and despair with which our own LGBTI people have to live because our Prime Minister keeps caving in to those in his government who think there's nothing wrong with denying them equal human rights. The inbuilt prejudice against indigenous people, infantilised by having their benefits sequestered without their consent. The automatic assumption that people with mental health problems are either dangerous, or malingerers who don't 'deserve' our help. The fear with which trans people live every day, because somehow, if they can even muster the courage to report those who assault them to the police, they are to 'blame' for what happened to them.

These are the people that are supposedly 'the Left'. These are the people who live in cities, who get out of small rural communities are soon as they can - because it's the only way they can survive as themselves. Because there's a chance, even just a small one, that in the cities, they can find communities who support them.

These are the people who wept when Trump won the Electoral College (though not the popular vote), and then took to the streets. Who cried out in fear and anger when Britain barely voted to leave the European Union. Who punch walls in frustration and wonder whether marching yet again is ever going to move an Australian government that cares more about lobbyists who seem to have a permanent hold on its policy.

Don't tell me that the Left are to blame. When I see hundreds of queer people hiding their faces and beating the hell out of a bunch of white supremacists, then maybe ... maybe I'll concede that there's equal blame for this shitty fucking situation. I'll own my intolerance for those who refuse to let me, and my friends, live our lives and love as we wish.

The difference - the crucial, essential difference - is that I don't try to make others live as I live.

You want to hate me? Fine. Just don't think that voting in some candidate gives you licence to act on that hate.

August 2017

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