Lately, I feel a bit defeated. When the world goes haywire, I always try to comprehend the negative. I can’t seem to this time; there’s no logic or reason behind it. I’ve studied and observed bigotry and hatred for as long as I’ve been able to think. Even though it has always been ugly to me, I could see why it existed. Now, it’s just getting to a really fucking stupid point- way beyond my understanding.
I really thought for a while it was something we were moving towards healing. I guess my blind faith in humanity was ideological. And yet, I know we can’t give up. It seems like a feasible option when you see what’s happening, but I realize we lose faith in humanity every once in a while . History repeats itself, and the world has put out bigger fires before. It stings, it makes it hard to be positive, it hurts on different levels, but the beauty of this disaster is that it brings the good together.
I believe that we all want progress. Thing is, some people want different progress, and that’s where the lines get blurred. It’s also where hatred finds a way to manifest. Cause and effect are blurred and people begin to only see colour, religion, head scarves and culture clashes. What I’ve learned is that being a bigot makes life easier on yourself. Do you know how much internal stress you can eliminate if you blame entire groups of other people for your problems?
Without ever looking in the mirror, you can identify your issues with the economy, violence, your town looking different, the reason you no longer feel comfortable, your lack of job, your lack of happiness, and your lack of faith. Without ever once considering yourself as an issue, you can clearly see why everything is going wrong in your life and in the world. It’s the easiest thing to do. Being a racist is nothing but a cop out. It does nothing but deter you away from being a decent, evolving, compassionate individual.
Every word I just used to describe what a racist lacks, defines what an immigrant has to be in order to move here. It’s expected, and I see it in most immigrants I know. I’ve seen how immigration works to benefit the world, and I’ve seen the issues that arise with it too.
If we could just eliminate one major factor in the phenomenon of diversifying our world, we could actually function together and work towards real progress.
But we can’t seem to shake it off. It doesn’t only exist on one side, it’s from both, it’s a cycle. I’ve seen racism in my own community, it exists in all communities. It’s not just coming from white people, and we can all admit that. Yes, on a global political scale we can pinpoint who is often at cause, but you have to nourish your surroundings before you go big.
For some reason the idea of just being empathetic and patient is a complicated concept for people to grasp. People shrug it off as if it’s just not practical. Like it’s just a word, a dream of people finally coming together and being kind. Some hippy ideology. Why is it so laughable?
Moments like these, when a man like Donald Trump is in office and is attempting to tear the world apart, is when we have to just take any old risk we can and try to salvage this planet for one another. That means letting go of your anger, and actually focusing your energy into the real issue, not just blaming and pointing fingers and complaining.
When I went to the Women’s March, I felt emotional and proud. Then I went home, and I saw people complaining about it. Not just Donald Trump’s camp, but people I consider my friends with opinions I respect and often agree with. It wasn’t inclusive enough, it lacked real progress, where was everyone at the other protests, it was only for and about white women.
It wasn’t. I’m a woman of colour who has been discriminated against my whole life in different capacities, and I understand the frustration of feeling excluded, but right now is not the time to nitpick at people who are on the right side. I felt united at that march, and yes there we’re a lot of white people there, but they were speaking for more than just reproductive rights. They were standing up and showing themselves as an ally, in agreement with you that Donald Trump is a piece of shit. And you could have been standing there beside them, as I was, and spoken up for what you are. This is the thing, the moment we get angry at people for not standing up for us instead of educating them, is when we become negative.
Right now, if you feel excluded it’s your time to fucking shine, and to do so without feeling like it’s necessary to diminish another movement before yours. Yes, white privileged feminism can be disappointing to people who feel they aren’t represented, but you have an opportunity to speak up for yourself. People are listening right now. We are trying to find a way to unite, so let’s please do that and save humanity before we nitpick.
I have always been someone to call out bullshit and try to peal layers. But now is not the time for that. Right now, let the white women march and march beside them instead of finding more issues to separate us. Yes, we are different, yes we experience different sides of life and politics, and some of us are more prone to be hurt by them than others, but right now, we have a bigger issue. Right now, we all have to be on one side, and if someone who’s standing beside you comes off as ignorant, teach with love instead of anger.
We can’t lose focus, because that deters us away from the big picture. Blaming all your problems on other people is a cop out, let’s not do the same thing without realizing it.
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know what will happen next. The only thing I know is that we can be united, and it all starts with kindness and education. Anger may make a wave, but compassion is what will heal us.
WORDS BY | Shadi Bozorg | www.shadibozorg.com