I Am White: Racism Sucks

Disclaimer: none of this is meant to be in any way offensive. If it comes across as that, I apologize deeply and ask you to educate me on potential misinformation (no one’s perfect) and phrasing/terms.

Date: November 27th, 2016  

Alternative Title: Why Racism Is An Illness

Racism sucks. It truly, tragically sucks. Well, “sucks” is actually a pretty downgrading word. It does a hell of a lot more than suck.

It megasucks.

Just kidding.

The sad truth is that racism is a foundation of nations and countries. It is an integral part of history, just as art, an assortment of plagues, and the concept of royalty are.

The even sadder truth is that even now, us Europeans and descendants of Europeans have not learned from our mistakes. Gosh darn it, we’ve screwed over so many people, and we continue to do so…

When will it end?

The screwing over? When will it end? When will all the crap catch up to us and give us a chance to better ourselves? Can God, or some psychic, give us an exact date to look forward to?

It is my personal opinion that racism is an illness (not a physical one, a metaphysical one). Here is a list of some observations that support my theory:

1. It has been passed down through generations and generations of humanity, so it is clearly something both hereditary (family passes it on) and contagious (able to infect other people in close capacity, especially infants).

2. Not everyone is racist. Like all illnesses (including the plagues I mentioned earlier), an immunity to it has formed. This immunity appears to be both hereditary and transmittable, in the same way that the illness itself is, except in all situations that the immunity faces the illness (such as a case of clashing communicability), the immunity conquers.

3. There are strains of it, not just one big gloppy mess. The three biggest strains are Insidious Racism (IR), Ignorant Racism (IGR), and Violent Racism (VR).

a) IR is the type that sneaks in when no one’s looking. It is the hardest strain to seek out and eliminate, because it is thought of as harmless when in actuality there are thousands, maybe millions of silent victims. It is not necessarily violent, which is one of the reasons that the victims are “silent” – in fact, it is arguable that nothing has actually been done to them. Symptoms include frequent stereotypes coming from the infected, finding humor in prejudiced jokes, and of course, the “silence” – this particular strain has found a way to weave itself into normalcy. Even the uninfected have a hard time raising their voice against injustice, because the infected wave off any evidence that they are infected.

b) IGR is unintentional and not necessarily violent. The symptoms are very similar to IR’s, so much so that there is only one difference – those infected with IGR are much more susceptible to treatment, because though the stereotyping, finding humor in prejudiced jokes, and “silence” are the same, those infected with IGR are literally unaware of what’s so offensive about what they just said. Nothing is wrong with them morally, it is simply that they “just don’t get it,” therefore they are more likely to recognize their mistake once you explain it to them.

c) VR is arguably the most dangerous of the strains, resembling a parasite. This strain causes aggression and fear within the brain of the infected, creating a large discrepancy between rational thought and the “natural” instincts, such as fight or flight. (Sadly, the infected almost always chooses “fight.”) Those infected feel alienated by those of a different race/color, and the parasite-like illness in their body causes them to act on their internal fear and aggression.

(End of list.) If racism is an illness, then it is clear how we must address it: like an illness. There are already treatments in abundance, but people choose to ignore them due to the equal abundance of weaponry – there are some who choose to fight this illness like a war. My opinion? Bad idea.

"White jokes" are part of a larger treatment; awareness.
Figure 1: “White jokes” are part of a larger treatment; awareness.

List of available treatments: 

– Awareness: Awareness, as a treatment, is slightly different than education as a treatment. Awareness is being enlightened, that first step, that first correction, the broadening of horizons. After all, it is known that recognizing a problem is the first step to treating it. White jokes (see Figure 1) are part of Awareness in the simple way that they balance the playing field a little in terms of race jokes, and give way to further learning and acceptance. Another factor in the popularity of white jokes is the “laugh/cry” factor – you’d rather be laughing about something if the alternative was crying about it.

– Education: Education as a treatment relies on the mind’s given willingness to deepen their understanding of a situation. Even those that have been infected with VR can be shown, with subjects like biology (to show that race and color do not and should not create any negative difference in the body), philosophy (to show that race and color do not and should not create any negative difference in the “soul,” at least internally), and psychology (to show that race and color do not and should not create any create any negative difference in the mind, at least internally), that there is a better way to live.

– Kindness: Fighting an illness like a war is a bad idea because how it works in reality is a bit more like the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and less like The Walking Dead. Killing a zombie vs potentially finding a cure for said zombie. My question for you is – you’re in a room with two people with the flu and ten people without the flu, and you have the cure in one hand and a gun in another, are you honestly going to shoot the people with the flu to kill the strain? No! Of course not! Killing with anything other than kindness activates a formerly dormant symptom called “Martyrdom” (it can be activated in all strains) among those remaining alive that makes it much, much harder for the illness to be dealt with. If you want to educate a person on what true kindness is, you be truly kind to them. Remember, it can be easier for you if you are kind. A person infected with racism may not realize that they exhibit negative behavior, if you “retaliate” in any way, they will feel as though they have been attacked without any justification and proceed to close themselves to treatment.

(End of list.) The strains have “substrains,” named by organization (eg. VRstrKKK, VRstrNYPD), location (eg. IGRstrLosAngeles, IRstrOhio), etc. Keep in mind that like every illness, some treatments may work for some strains but not for others. If we deal with them with a combination of “big picture” tactics and “small picture” tactics, we have a better chance of wiping out the illness for good.

I wish you all luck.

– ZMKF

P.S Racism sucks. So does this (Figure 2):

fullsizerender-copy
Figure 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sigh.

This is an example of when they do try to fight the illness like a war.

We’re all human(oid), my friends. All of us. We’re all just trying to find our way in this world.

Forgive me.

The Ultimate Clinton’s America Re/source

You’ll notice I put the date on every post – not this one. This is because it’s timeless, in a way – I will update it quite a lot – as the information changes (and as I find more that would belong here), this will too.  

It is typed as “Re/source” because most of this information comes from other places. The only things I do are put them together and provide commentary. You could quote this “article,” but it is not an “original source.”  

Clinton’s America refers to the large number of people who do not believe Trump will make a good President, and therefore voted against him in the election. (Of course, I am excluding the people who do not believe Trump will make a good President, and voted for him – I’m not counting those who want to watch the world burn.)    

It is here you will find, for your convenience, all of the important stats, from trustworthy sources, on Clinton’s America, in one place:

1. Size, Geography, and Population Density

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-5-53-57-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-6-17-01-pm

From The New York Times. They imagined what Clinton’s America would look like as an actual nation, with large lakes, seas, and oceans taking the place of abandoned swaths of land (the Trump’s supporter’s areas).

2. Population: The Power Of Progress

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-6-45-00-pmFrom Robert Reich and/or the Progressive States Network. Mr. Reich summarized this idea (on Facebook, click > here < for the link to full post) better than I can: A “Trans-Progressive Partnership” – an alliance of several of the most progressive states in the union (California, New York, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, New York, and Vermont) — a sort of nation within the nation, which would: 

1. Raise state taxes on the richest, and pool the money to fund single-payer health care. 

2. Coordinate an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

3. Move toward tuition-free public university education. 

4. Commit to raising environmental standards. 

5. Confirm that women will have freedom of choice, even if and when the Supreme Court reverses “Roe v. Wade.” 

6. Become sanctuary states that will not cooperate with immigration authorities in deporting undocumented workers.

Sounds pretty nice. But I have to bring this up: the Trump administration will not like this one teeny weeny bit. As #4 suggests, at least the Californians are getting ready for battle.

3. Population: The #LoveArmy

This is another “nation within the nation” idea. But this “withinnation” is not based on barriers between states as much as it is individual cooperation. Wherever you are, whoever is “in charge” politically in your area, you can go to lovearmy.org, join the #lovearmy, and be part of something bigger. The #lovearmy will work on a multitude of issues, all integral to progress.

Here is Van Jones’ original video on the #lovearmy: HOW TO STOP TRUMP: Join The #LoveArmy…

And here is the link to the #lovearmy, through my recruiter ID (use this link, and your joining will be attributed to me): http://www.thedreamcorps.org/?recruiter_id=2057873

4. Population: California Is Angry

Whether or not the rest of us are caught up, the Californians (I suppose that includes me) are definitely ready to make Trump…the opposite of “President.” Loud and proud, we are indeed. Here are some excerpts from different articles shedding light on just how loud and proud we are (click name of article for link):

California Looks to Lead the Trump Resistance (The New York Times): Nobody knows yet what Donald Trump is going to do to immigration enforcement. Only a month has passed since the election, and the president-elect is no different from the candidate: erratic, self-contradictory, hazy on principles and policies. But states and cities that value immigrants, including the undocumented, do not have the luxury of waiting and hoping for the best. They are girding for a confrontation, building defenses to protect families and workers from the next administration.

California’s Democrats Are Ready for Political War (Bloomberg): Immediately after the election, state Senate President Kevin de León and his Assembly counterpart, Anthony Rendon, both Latinos from Southern California, sent out a scathing statement in English and Spanish assuring all 39 million Californians that they were ready for political war. “Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California,” they wrote. “We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.”  

I Wish We Could All Be Californian (The New York Times): Everybody knows by now that California tacked left on Election Day: 61.5 percent of our voters choose Hillary Clinton for president; we made Kamala Harris the first Indian-American (and second African-American woman) to be elected a United States senator; we reaffirmed overwhelming Democratic majorities in state politics; and we voted to legalize marijuana, ease parole for nonviolent criminals, raise taxes on cigarettes, extend income-tax increases on the wealthiest few, boost school spending, restore bilingual education, encourage the reversal of the Supreme Court’s noxious Citizens United ruling and ban single-use plastic bags.

What Is Calexit? California’s Reaction To The Election Results Is Understandable (Bustle): What is “Calexit”? Well, it’s the name that’s been given to the desire of a growing number of Californians to secede from the United States in the wake of Donald Trump’s win, and it’s equal parts joking and serious. California is a true-blue state, essentially guaranteed to go Democratic in any election, and Nov. 8 was no exception.

#Calexit: Will California secede with Trump win? (USA Today): Half of the country might be celebrating Donald Trump’s victory, but others are talking about seceding from the United States. Are they being sore losers or opportunists? For some people in California, and other western states that went blue for Hillary Clinton, the road forward is clear: Cut their losses and make a go of it without the rest of the country.

California, at Forefront of Climate Fight, Won’t Back Down to Trump (The New York Times): Foreign governments concerned about climate change may soon be spending more time dealing with Sacramento than Washington. President-elect Donald J. Trump has packed his cabinet with nominees who dispute the science of global warming. He has signaled he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. He has belittled the notion of global warming and attacked policies intended to combat it. But California — a state that has for 50 years been a leader in environmental advocacy — is about to step unto the breach.

I guess you can rest assured that whatever happens to the rest of this country, California will be okay.

It’s lonely at the top. I vote that if we secede, we take the rest of the Trans-Progressive Partnership with us.

4. Losses And Aftershocks From The Election

Click name of article for link.

The End of Identity Liberalism – The New York Times.

Will Women Still Want to Run? – The New York Times.

Donald Trump’s Plan to Purge the Nation – The New York Times.

Not Your Grandmother’s Wisconsin – The New York Times.

It’s Our Land. Let’s Keep It That Way. – The New York Times.

Hmm…it appears I really like the New York Times…

A Cold And Broken Hallelujah

Date: November 14th, 2016

Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah… – Leonard Cohen, “Hallelujah”

Some facts:

1. On November 7th, Leonard Cohen died. (I did not know this until a few days later.)

2. On November 9th, I “officially” announced that I had created a coping playlist (affectionately titled “Fuckface Von Clownstick” <<< click for link) with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in it.

3. On the most recent Saturday Night Live (so, November 12th), Kate Mckinnon (as Hillary Clinton, of course) sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” – here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG-_ZDrypec – her voice is actually quite nice, which I was not expecting (to be very honest), and…it helped. It was beautiful.

First of all, rest in peace, Leonard. Second of all, can SNL stop stealing my ideas? (Just kidding.) Third of all, I don’t care if Donald Trump is the new President. I still don’t respect him.

And I’ll tell you why, yeah, I will, that way you’re not left wondering why I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, y’know? (I’m being very sarcastic right now, in case you can’t tell.)

The main reason is that he, simply put, doesn’t care about us. Any of us.

It’s not as though we simply “don’t like him.” The moment the results came in, many of us were crying. A few people I know contemplated suicide. I became depressed again, and I’m still in the process of shaking that.

I don’t hate Mr. Trump. I don’t. (Hard to believe, right?) Okay?! I don’t hate him! I don’t, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t! Or his supporters! That idea that the liberals are so damn condescending that they don’t recognize a Homo sapiens sapiens when they see one on the other end of the political scale, I’m done with that! I don’t hate him, or his supporters! You hear me? Whoever you are, I care about you! And…I get it.

I fear Mr. Trump. This is an important distinction. Between fiery, ugly hate, and grieving, pathetic…fear.

I don’t know how to this explain this to you Trump supporters out there. Instead of the sharp, pointed anger you think I feel, and I’m sure you dislike me for (I bet you think I’m condescending!), what I really feel is more akin to that split second during which you realize you’re falling. Stretched out for an eternal amount of time. Anxiety. Please, I’m begging you, give me a chance! Show me you are nothing to fear. Show me you care about me! Show me you won’t hurt me! Please, please, show me you care! Tell me I’m not a “hater!” Tell me I’m not a “loser!” Tell me I’m not “small!” PLEASE, I’M ON MY KNEES, SHOW ME YOU FUCKING CARE!

Maybe there’s a God above,
but all I’ve ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you,
and it’s not a cry that you hear at night,
it’s not somebody who’s seen the light,
it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen, “Hallelujah”

It Matters Who The President Is…To A Point

Date: November 10th, 2016

You know, I really feel a sense of serenity.

That’s right. You heard me.

Serenity.

I already went through my day of mourning. I already went through my stages of grief. I had my mental health day yesterday. And that day, you know what I saw?

People walking their dogs. People driving in their cars, listening to music. I went to the beach, and there were people on the bike path. The nearby pier was no less crowded than any other day.

In other words, no, the apocalypse hasn’t started and the world isn’t burning.

I’m willing to make a bet with you – ten dollars and my dignity says that you don’t suddenly care less about any important issue just because the Fuckface Von Clownstick (Jon Stewart’s name for Mr. Trump) won. In fact, I’m willing to bet another ten dollars that you actually care a lot more.

I get to keep my $20.

If there is a problem, you fix it.

If there is something you need to work on, you work on it.

It doesn’t matter who is in charge of the country – no one is in charge of you.

The Creature From The Orange Lagoon cannot stop me. I will continue to do my best to make the world a better place, no matter how hard it gets – because that’s what I set out to do a long time ago, before we even knew Donald Trump was in the race.

I feel serene because I can still do good work.

There are protests against the victory. And people giving each other hugs and telling each other it’s gonna be okay. And heightened awareness of racism, sexism, and activism.

I feel good inside, I truly do.

Call me crazy. But I believe that no one can stop us if we continue to work on what is important.

We have love in our hearts. He has hate in his. We will rebel. But we will do it peacefully. After all, we are lovers.

Fuckface Von Clownstick Has Won

Date: November 9th, 2016

Donald Trump has won the election. (Fuckface Von Clownstick is Jon Stewart’s nickname for him. I find it delightful. Gosh darn it, I miss you, Mr. Stewart.)

What now?

Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, so I’ll say what I did this morning: I made a playlist. (Link: https://open.spotify.com/user/lionesseye/playlist/1YADwgoVAxb4J30FM11AFK) An awfully simple thing to do, isn’t it? Especially for such a horrible event. You’d expect a bigger reaction. You’d expect some screaming and crying.

That playlist is just part of my reaction as a whole. There are different levels to “my reaction” that can be unlocked, you see. (Just kidding.)

To me, music is important. It is an opinion of mine that humans are at their most beautiful doing two things: making or listening to music, and comedy improv. To me, music is so, so important. The rhythms and melodies and patterns and tones…it is therapeutic in many ways. You don’t have to listen to the playlist, it’s for your enjoyment anyways.

Back to the election results.

First of all, what the fuck.

Second of all, what the fuck!

I’ll say it – I’m devastated. Absolutely devastated.

But you know what? This isn’t over.

I know what my name is. My name is Zoe. Zoe means “life” in Greek. (As opposed to it meaning “life in Greek.”) Zoe means life, the force that drives people, the force that keeps people going. I am purity and chaos, souls and cells. I am the organs in a body, the veins and arteries. I am necessary. My initials are ZMKF. ZMKF, now those are some damn cool initials, I told myself when thinking of a name, for myself within the world, fluctuating and growing as the world does. Now ZMKF means rebel. Not trendy rebel, not the one who wears rebel on a shirt. I wear rebel carved into my heart.

Trump may have won.

We will overcome this.

Not alone. Definitely not alone.

The people who voted for him, they will stand by him – but we will not stand down. We will not let him bully people.

ZMKF is no longer a person. I am a person, and I am ZMKF. But ZMKF is a symbol, an entity. Not necessarily related to fire. Fire’s already been done, with Katniss and her Mockingjay. Honestly, I don’t care if you compare me to neutrinos. ZMKF should one day strike the same fear in Fuckface Von Clownstick’s heart that he struck in mine.

My mother, last night, when we didn’t know for sure but it was getting close, said to me “Maybe it’s time for a revolution. Maybe it’s time for California to secede.” My mother. A – relatively – calm, kind woman.

Maybe it’s time. And I can totally do a peaceful revolution. In fact, that seems like my strength. I’m hardly a fighter.

But I am a thinker – a writer, a maker.

ZMKF is a symbol that says “This is not the end of it.”

I’m hardly a fighter. My heart is filled with love. We can get through this together, all of us, we hold on to each other for dear life, we’ll be okay. Even if okay is “on the next flight to Canada.”

I AM A REBEL.

AND A LOVER.

Election Night Is Tomorrow – I Am Scared

Date: Monday, November 7th, 2016

Election night is tomorrow night.

Why shouldn’t I be scared?

Found this on Instagram and screenshot-ted it. Read please. 

I don’t care if that person was paid by Hillary to write that. I really don’t. Because all of that is true. The person’s not wrong. And I’m sort of “100% done” (as the people of my generation say) with the hate on Clinton. Listen – we aren’t supposed to hate the presidential candidates we disagree with.

We just aren’t. The idea that you throw a literal party if “your side” wins, and scream and cry and feel as though the worlds ends if you lose…that’s not average (I resent the word normal) in any way. It’s become that way, all over the world, but I guarantee, it’s not supposed to be. When I say “supposed,” I’m not talking about any laws, spoken or unspoken, that you have to be following.

I’m talking about human decency.

I haven’t been around for that long (although I suppose people who know me say I have an old soul), but I do know – the country has never had a demagogue rile up this much anger and lack of civility.  I suppose it’s always been a rule to never talk about politics during dinner, but it never used to inspire such vitriol.  I mean, we are like gladiators today! An election is supposed to be about issues and policies and shaking hands, and meaning it, before a debate!

There weren’t too many good things about the early days of the U.S.A, but basic civility (between rich and middle class cisgender white men only, yes I know) was one of them.

But then again, there has never before been a candidate like Donald. Never ever ever. Maybe a few Roman emperors and dictators, but never any American presidential candidates.

This election is historic.

All of them are.

But this one in particular could go down so many ways. Here are a few scenarios (excluding the victories of the third parties) I can think of:

Number One: My mom vocalized her opinion; “I know Hillary’s going to win, I’m worried about the Trump supporters going all freaky.” (Paraphrased, no one remembers these things exactly.) She means, of course, that Hillary is victorious in the election process but with Trump’s gentle prodding, his supporters will rebel against her, unwilling to except her victory as fact. And by rebel I mean rebel. Those folks are 1) warning about revolution and 2) behaving with intimidation.

Number Two: The same thing happens, in reverse. Trump vs The People Of The United States. Except instead of the rebellion being quelled easily by Clinton’s calming and respectful nature, as well as the forces of the government, Trump inspires further anarchy, martyrdom, and violence by utterly destroying the rebel movements without caution or mercy.

Number Three: There is a mass migration as about half the country “moves out” – in fear of either of the two main candidates, and unaware of (as well as not faithful in) the others, they choose locations like Mexico, Canada (to the immediate South and North of us respectively), the Netherlands, and the U.K. The people who choose to stay are left with a greatly imbalanced political community, and too many problems to deal with on their own, but with no other country to look to for help – they have been left behind by most other large nations and countries, with the officials in charge of them wanting about as much to do with the U.S as the people who moved out – they begin to succumb to the imbalance. What happens exactly, in the aftermath of this, is left to speculation.

We cannot let Trump win.

And I mean, can not – he is quite literally dangerous.

He might even be worse than this guy.
He might even be worse than this guy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You want to know what happens when a man filled with hate is elected to power? Not the “hate” Trump says Clinton’s heart is filled with, the real kind, the kind that feeds him. He practically lives off of insulting others. This is no exaggeration, heck, I give you permission to ask him about me, I bet he has plenty to say! You want to know what really happens?

Not progress.

Pain.

 

img_4487
My own picture, from my Model UN class I take on Wednesdays (as of this year).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elie Wiesel. Yes, that Elie Wiesel. Holocaust survivor. And no, I’m not trying to downplay what he or any of the others went through. I’m not trying to normalize it. And I’m definitely not trying to use him or disrespect him. I’m saying, this is what happens when a guy says a certain group is unsafe and that he’s going to fix it all for you!

People compare him to Adolf Hitler as a joke.

I say, it’s no joke.

I say, it’s life or death. For so many.

Election night is tomorrow night.

And I am scared.