We, the People…

By: Lessa Leigh

When Jessica and I started Feminactivist in July of 2016, we were both at a crossroads. I had just removed myself from a beloved community because I no longer felt that my voice was necessary to the conversation. Jessica was looking for employment that would suit her skill set, which can be broadly summed up as “raising money to save the world.” We saw a need to cut WhiteFeminismTM off at its roots, and we wanted to expand conversations to include all the intersections of humanity as possible, all the while educating people as to why feminism still matters and is important for all of us.

I look back at our selves from a year ago, and golly gee, we were so adorable. And naïve. It’s not that we were wrong; intersectional feminism is basically the life breath of humanity in very crucial ways. However, we made our assumptions on a future that didn’t look like 2017. Even though we were well aware that Donald Trump could easily become the President, neither one of us really understood what that meant. How could we when we’ve never seen anything like him before as the “Leader of the Free World”?

It’s the casual cruelty that stuns me. How easy it is for people to be callous and abusive for no reason other than that they can. Trump unleashed something that was always in America, something foul and ugly that had previously been tamped down and publicly starved. Trump fed the beast, and the reward was unwavering devotion from his supporters.

There is hope. People, who really didn’t think that politics mattered in their daily lives, are waking up to the fact that politics form the basis of our lives. We may not like that fact. We may fight against it and try to ignore it, but the sun still rises in the east and the earth isn’t flat. Some truths are undeniable.

While the resistance gives me some optimism, I worry that the people in the middle, those “white moderates” who Dr. King so eloquently warned us about, don’t see the fight for what it is. My fear is that they will choose their own comfort and stability over doing what is right and necessary. What they don’t know is that they will need to pick a side, and the sooner they do so, the better it will be for all of us. Unfortunately, most of them won’t choose to believe this until it’s too late.

There’s an analogy I’ve been using lately that talks about an egg. Crack open an egg onto a hot pan. The globular yolk remains mostly unchanged though-out most of the frying process. Moderates are the yolk. Meanwhile, the minute the whites of the egg hit the heat, they start to firm up and coalesce. Those of us in the margins, on the fringes, in the resistance or against it, are the egg whites. There are many ways to cook that egg; over-easy, over-hard, scrambled. Some ways are more violent, like scrambling, but they lead to a better tasting result in general. Or, we just let the egg cook, harden, and solidify without ever mixing the radicals with the moderates.

Those of us in the resistance need to find ways to reach and convince moderates of the dangers they face. Everyone has a pressure point. It might be their gender, their sexuality, their race, their socio-economic status, their religion, their health…find that pressure point and press it:

The NRA is scared of liberal protesters.

Christian Dominionists really want America to become Gilead.

Whatever version of GOP Healthcare really is that awful.

The Feds want all states’ voter rolls.

White nationalism is more of a danger to the United States than ISI/Islamic terrorism.

The police state is real.

The freedom of the press is under attack.

Trump once again tries to ban Muslims.

Missouri doesn’t want women on birth control to have jobs or apartments. (Correction: MO doesn’t want women to get abortions, but St. Louis wants to be a “sanctuary city” to protect residents from restrictive state laws)

Rape culture is real.

The history of America is about race riots, started by white people.

The War on Drugs is a farce.

We imprison more humans than anyone else in the world.

Climate change is real.

The Confederacy lost. Get over it.

Enjoy the light reading for the Fourth of July holiday. Then think about our Founding Fathers. They made a lot of mistakes that we see clearly in hindsight, but we can’t fault them for having the courage of their convictions and for being willing to die for what they believed was right.

So, yolks…ready to scramble?

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