WTF, and things I do to feel better.

First off, hi…hello!  I’m writing exactly the way I told you I do in my last post.  Liam is sleeping on his back the way he is supposed to, in some ridiculous-looking contraption that makes him look like the Michelin man.  It’s supposed to magically help him sleep, and since I’m trying to nudge his bedtime back from 11:30pm, to something a little earlier so I can get some things done and maybe manage a shower before one in the morning, especially once I go back to work, we’re trying it.  Which is another tormented post for another day, but let’s stick to one thing here.

An aside: to be clear, Liam sleeps really well, but like his mom and dad, he goes to bed much too late for a baby, and then I look over and it’s 1, and I’m pumping, and useless for a good bit of the day because I’m kind of tired, and I’d like to get better about that.  I should have gotten better about that before I even got pregnant.

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Ok, so…WTF.

2016 has given me the most beautiful, wonderful moment of my life, the birth of my son, and has at the same time, almost beaten the faith in humanity out of me, which all came to a head when somehow, as a country, we decided that DONALD TRUMP WOULD MAKE A GOOD PRESIDENT OF OUR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.  Let me be absolutely clear, when I say that I believe in my heart of hearts that the States, though not free of issue, is one of the greatest nations in the world, and I believe in us.  I so do.  No matter where we go, where we end up in the world, I believe that there is good in this country, and there is a reason we’re here.  But I’m a black woman, born to immigrant parents.  I married a white man.  I live in the south.  I studied social work, and work for a non-profit, which has afforded me the opportunity to work with the public exclusively for the last three years.  And from my perspective, the approximate 50% of us who voted in this election (seriously?!) got it wrong.  We got it wrong.  We got it wrong.  And I so badly want for he-who-shall-not-be-named (for the moment, because I haven’t quite come to terms with this yet) to prove me wrong, I am open to be proven wrong, I don’t want anything but the best for my gay friends, my poor friends, my Muslim friends, my Mexican friends, my women friends, my overweight friends, my immigrant friends, and my black friends, but simply going off of some of the the things I studied during this particularly-vicious election, I’m not sure that I will be.  And I’m afraid, I’m petrified of what the Trump effect means for all of the aforementioned groups, as well as my interracial family.  Forget about me.  But I want my son to always be safe.  I want him to be okay always.

Honestly, I woke up in despair after a night of fitful sleep on Tuesday.  I went to bed around one in the morning, when things weren’t looking good, and woke up to the news that Donald Trump had won the election.  I felt gutted.  Here are a few things I did to make me feel a tad better.  I hope maybe one of these may help if you’re similarly feeling like the world has ended.

  1. I listened to good/live music.  Thankfully, I was raised in a household where I got exposure to some of the best artists in the world.  I also have a palate for incredibly bubbly pop music.  That combo is amazing when you’re feeling awful.  So in addition to listening to Stevie Wonder’s live album from 1970, I listened to ‘Love Yourself’.
  2. I’ve always been really really imaginative, so I thought about my future.  Not the one where the United States looks like Pride Rock did after Scar took things over, but the one where I write for a living maybe.  The one where I have like a million kids.  The one where my student loans are paid off (very very soon).  The one where I get to correspond about pop culture all the time.  The one where I get to do some public speaking about health and wellness.  That made me feel better.
  3. I researched jogging strollers.  Doesn’t have to be strollers.  Just whatever you’re into.  Poke around the internet about that.
  4. I read some stuff that really smart, good people wrote.  On both sides.  Rational people.  I read some of that, and remembered that a good majority of people are rational, and can think things through, step by step.  So I did some reading.
  5. I paid some bills.  I hate to see that money go, but damn, it feels good to be up-to-date on stuff.
  6. I talked to my sister and one of my best friends of the phone.  It’s harder for me to sit on the phone for any length of time these days, but it feels nice to chat and make plans with my homegirls, biological or not.
  7. I started making some plans for midterms.  

No more moping.  No more tears.

What did you do the morning after election night? (Even if it was as boring as sucking down a coffee, I’d love to hear 🙂 )

 

Dear Famous People,

Hi, my famous friends.  Good to chat.

Can I speak with you candidly here?

I am an active consumer of what you have to offer.  Instead of being highly critical, I’ve embraced pop culture wholeheartedly, respectfully remembering that despite the fact that you put every aspect of your lives on display, that you too are a human being deserving of the benefit of the doubt as well as privacy where it’s clear that you desire it.  (I’m talking they way that the Carter-Knowles’ keep Blue under wraps and Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel keep it quiet for the most part).  I can respect that.

However, there’s some advice I feel like I need to bestow upon you, simply based on the foolish behavior I’ve seen the past few years.  And for your convenience, let’s break it down so you can reference this later, should you find yourself confused on any of the following.

via telegraph.co.uk
via telegraph.co.uk

Making blanket statements about different races.

Don’t.  Additionally, please don’t insist that you’re not racist because you once dated a person of color.  You’re making it worse.

Blackface. Brownface.

Do not.  It NEVER goes over well.

Racial Slurs. 

No. You may not.

duggar-family

Covering up sexual abuse.

Also a really terrible idea.  That is a horrible way to handle abuse within your family.  And I get it.  You’re a parent, you don’t want to throw your kids to the wolves, but there are better ways of handling it than hiding it, THEN inviting cameras into your home for the better part of a decade.  It’s your job to keep ALL of your kids safe.  And you’re not doing it when you pretend this stuff doesn’t/hasn’t happened.

via Wikipedia.org
via Wikipedia.org

Rape/Sexual Assault/Joking about Rape and Sexual Assault

Guess what.  What’s done in the dark will come to light.  We will find out what you’ve done, and drag your ass.  ADDITIONALLY, (and I’m talking DIRECTLY to you, Bill Cosby), you have some nerve touting yourself as some sort of moral lighthouse for the black community when you know good and damned well you preyed on women who were looking to get into the industry.  People trusted you, looked to you, and you shat all over that.  Rot.

Defending any of the aforementioned behavior. 

Please just don’t.  It’s okay to recognize when someone has behaved badly.  You don’t even have to comment on it at all!   But certainly, can we avoid defending deplorable behavior?

Now I recognize in today’s world, it can be really hard to avoid saying and doing offensive things simply because of the way that things have changed rapidly over the past 100 years or so.  Racism used to be ok.  Intolerance of gay people, the trans community?  Joking that something ugly or stupid was “gay” has only recently become unacceptable.  Dressing in blackface used to be a hurtful, yet accepted form of entertainment.  If you’ve never done any study on sociology, you may not realize that certain groups – poor people, overweight people, women, or gay people (this list is not exhaustive btws) face a greater likelihood of being discriminated against or may be subject to systematic oppression – policies and procedures that are either inadvertently or purposefully meant to keep them from being successful.

And that’s fine.  You’re not a social worker.  You’re not a human rights activist.  You might not have even finished high school.  And your job is not to know everything about everything.  However it IS your job to maintain some sense of decorum, class, and the respect for others that would prevent you from doing any of the aforementioned.  And if you do?  How about you own up to it, apologize, and educate yourself for your future.

Got it?

Love,

Cheri ❤