✼ Beginning of the year I had decided to leave facebook and make the best of the isolation that has been shaping all of our lives during Corona.
I felt that I had been causing more and more problems or in the least discomfort with my critical attitude and my unrelenting criticism of systematic contradictions and hypocrisies, even or especially amongst my friends.
I have been accused of being anti-white, anti-american, homophobic, transphobic, islamophobic, antisemitic, misogynistic, anti-chinese, anti-black, anti-sex. I was made to feel that I was projecting my frustrations and insecurities onto others. In a way I was, but they are not informed by my parents not loving me enough or my mother not breastfeeding me.
I believe, a true ally, a true friend speaks up when he feels something is wrong. A friend doesn't shy away from telling you when something is going wrong, even if challenging. In doing so I have often been accused of projecting my own problems onto others. But what does that mean? By taking up a cause against an injustice inflicted upon a particular group and extending this problem beyond the targeted group, does one not project the issues of this group onto others?
Being homosexual and an Asian person of colour, being born in a western country one must learn to project oneself. Being a person of colour one must live two lives.
The life according to the hegemonic white subject upon which under the assumption of equality everyone must obey the same rules and interact and compete as though one was a citizen like everybody else, and the life of a person of colour. In this mode one must constantly struggle to cope with what to many white people is just being.
That's not a personal issue that needs some therapy or radical self acceptance. The remedy is fixing this world. I let myself believe, because I truly want the world to be a better place, that liberals and progressives had it under control and that I was obstructing progress by bringing people down. I had convinced myself that Trump was an aberration and that liberalism was too strong a force to be stopped. Trump gaining in support, in fact having more support than Obama did in 2008 shocked me, but why the shock, I knew that it was going to end badly and I believe I know why. Let's get this straight: Trump may have lost the election, but he is winning the war. And the Democrats, liberals, progressives and leftists are still engaging in a cultural war for the soul of America.
This continues to alienate those that have more pressing issues impacting their lives than the correct gender pronoun. Even with more people voting in American elections than ever before it still falls short. More than 50% felt that they had no stakes in the result of the most important election in recent memory. What does that mean? And what does it mean that the Democrats, more liberal than leftist, are losing the white working class as an electorate to conservatives? Living my privileged existence away from social media and the things that have been disturbing me is selfish. I am back to cause discomfort, with a better understanding of myself and angry. Yes, I am angry and you should be angry too. My anger may not feel great. But feelings shouldnt stop us from confronting the problems that impact people, especially people less fortunate than us. Love and compassion are great, but tough love is what we need right now.
✻ Imagine you have a beautiful house with a front yard. A beautiful lawn with a beautiful hang-out area where you and your friends of many colors enjoy being alive, smoking weed, with a from view protected corner where you can enjoy sexual pleasures. But there are these family value neighbors, conservative and close minded who hate you for flaunting your liberal lifestyle in the face of their repressed desires. At one point your troubles got so unmanageable you decided to put up a sign 'god is dead'... You enjoy your life, no question, but the constant fear of your neighbors is giving you nightmares, anxiety, it consumes you, but you have your friends, you share the same values and you feel loved.
Recently, you have discovered that every day after work there is a dog turd violating your lawn, your space, your safe space, You... This aggression against you is unbearable and you are deeply hurt and your anxieties are reaching a new level. You put up more signs, first a nice message, you are a liberal after all... "Please, I take care of my lawn: don't do unto others, what you don't want done unto you - Confucius". But to no avail, the turd reappears...
You get frustrated and put up another sign, you tried being nice. Why cant we just get along? You ask yourself. "You racist religious redneck hypocrite, stop shitting on MY lawn!!!", but to no avail. The shit reappears. You have had it. You decide to build a fence to keep the dog far from your garden, but again, the shit reappears and worse, it was clearly thrown as it splattered, on your sign and your once beautiful lawn.
One day you decide to park your car a couple of streets down and stay at home to see who the perpetrator is. Parking has been a mess in this area, fortunately you have a garage and you need it anyways to charge your Tesla. You end up parking outside of the neighborhood where the highway is, but you don't like it at all. There is a reason you park your Tesla in your garage. There have been car thieves. The parking lot at the highway, that's where all the trashy cars are. They are old, extremely destructive for the environment and they look like they should be scrapped. Your Tesla stands out like a diamond on top of shit. But it's just gonna be for a couple of hours. You hide behind your sofa, staring through the window, and then you see him, unlike your neighbors, he does not look like the cliché republicans that you have been arguing with all this time, he looks poor, his clothing a mess, clearly not chosen as a style representing identity, but worn solely for its function.
You love vintage clothes, but you would never buy what he has picked. What confuses you most is that he doesn't seem Caucasian. Latino? Hispanic? You don't quite know. The dog leash is worn down and the dog a pitbull mutt. You hate these dogs. The dog for insecure men. His hand wrapped in plastic he holds his dog's turd and throws it onto your yard... What do you do? Confront him. Ask for his ID, threaten to call the police? Threaten to call ICE... Lecture him about property rights? You're seething, sure, but you feel pity for him. You might decide not to rush out and instead wait till he is further down the street and follow him discretely to understand who he is and why he has resorted to invading your space. Following him you realize that he doesn't live that far away from you. You don't go often into that part of your neigborhood, first, you don't like passing the church, the house of hate, a couple of years ago they build refugee housing in this area and there is a lot of trash and the Muslims haven't been friendly towards you. I haven't been here since the day the first refugees moved in. I felt so proud, but their regressive ideas about sexuality are what they are, but you welcomed them. Refugees need help. It's an unalienable human right. Unlike your conservative neighbors you welcomed the refugee housing. You still remember the day they started construction and your neighbors were seething. Refugees in THEIR neighborhood... That was a victory for liberalism, a personal victory. The work I did to help the project come to fruition was turning point in my life.
Next to the refugee containers is social housing. A rather ugly big monstrous complex. Inhabited by poor working class and unemployed people. Come to think of it: your former cleaning lady lives here. You had to let her go, she was too expensive and racist and homophobic on top. I still remember the day I forgot she was coming and she entered the bedroom without knocking interrupting a threesome. Her face, disgusted, judging me. After this event she completely changed. Judging me with her silence, avoiding me. Religion ruins everything! We used to get along, almost like friends, talking about the Kardashians or the latest crazy TLC show, but since then the little that she did communicate was always complains about the containers being placed where their parking lot is. Now they need to park outside of the neighborhood, she nagged. Next to the highway. It's dangerous, she said. She is always worried her children might run into traffic while she is distracted emptying the car. And she always buys in bulk, it's cheaper, but the distance to her apartment is so long. It's unbearable.
Cry me a river. I always explained to her that it is not as unbearable as being killed in a senseless war started by the Republicans and my shit neighbors who support these misanthropic policies. I tried to explain to her that she should stand in solidarity with the poor and disenfranchised. We are a rich country and we are a nation of immigrants. I explained to her white privilege, but she wasn't willing to listen. That day changed everything. It was supposed to be a great day. We had beaten the conservatives that were against the refugees, I was ecstatic, high, literally. It did get wild, but all my campaigning had paid off. I forgot about her coming to clean. Haters gonna hate. In some ways she reminds me of my mother and just like my mother she cast me out for being myself. It's too late now. They are Trump's. I tried, I really tried, but what could I have done. Her hatred was too much. I pity her. I thought she knew, the day I moved in I was so proud, finally, my very own house, a dream. Finally, I planted my rainbow flag. Michelle Obama said it right: "when they go low, we go high".
Her husband was the worst. Always grumpy. Come to think of it, he has turned into the worst kind of human on the planet. He started it, he turned her against me. That's what men do. When I saw the sticker on his car the scales fell from my eyes, "Trump Pence 20 20". Of course, a Trump supporter. Fortunately, I don't see him as often as I used to. He works in some environment destroying factory, luckily far away. The air quality though is not as good as it should be here although the factory is 100 miles away. I have been campaigning against the factory. We need to live in balance with nature. He had been quite angry that he was forced to park his car further away from his apartment. These people's obsession with cars always bugged me. That's why I drive a Tesla. We should do as little harm as possible to our environment.
You decide you have seen enough and walk back towards your beautiful house with your beautiful garden. It's gotten late. At the church is a queue. These religious zealots, you think, queuing to get into church. Don't they have anything better to do? As you get closer you see that there are boxes of clothes and they are serving food. A little embarrassed, you look away, you don't want to make them feel uncomfortable, you think to yourself. Back at your house you are looking at the mess of a garden that is now the front of your beautiful house. What a fucking mess... It's a warzone and you contributed to it. Things don't have to be like this. They shouldn't. You vow to do better. You are the hypocrite, you should know better. You are the rational one who believes in science, and believes in a postmodernist conception of truth. How could you be so ignorant, so self-righteous.
All my liberalism and the good I strife for. I stand by it, but did I do it justice? You go to bed and fall asleep. The next morning you wake up to go to work only to realize that your car is not standing in your garage. Fuck, you need to run or you will be late to work. You get ready as good you can. It sucks... And run to the parking lot, only to discover that your Tesla has been scratched, one horizontal line. Fuck. You knew it... I forgot and that's the price to pay. You approach the car and get in. You need to get to work. The scratches will be taken care of. As you are starting your car you realize the hood has been scratched as well. Something was written on it. You get out to read it and you are in disbelief, horror. "Trump 2024" You knew it. You fucking knew it. I hate these redneck regressive Christian fundamentalist sexually repressed hypocrites!!!
What do we do?