This is your last reminder to vote. Nothing I can say right now will change your mind. So this is your reminder to actually get out and do your civic duty. Vote.
Honestly, I have no idea what to write right now because Samhain is a loaded time for me on a good year. While this is a good year: I’m successfully divorced with only a few details remaining and I’m living in a place I’ve dreamed of; it’s also a very bittersweet year. A year ago exactly today I packed all my things and left.
There are a lot of things that influenced my decision to get a divorce. One of the ones that played no small part was my ex-husbands politics and his family’s politics. They’re a special kind of libertarian that will see the world burn, as long as it never touches them. As I read the news about gender being strictly defined and the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue, I can’t help but be reminded that to my deep eternal shame I was once part of them. Even if I voted blue, and donated blue, and tried to persuade them blue, I was still part of that tribe. (Although as my mother noted, that tribe and my wedding into that family were some of the coldest we’ve experienced.)
But I pulled my way out. And that means something. So maybe as we head into the new year, we should pay tribute to the beloved dead, and then honor them by trying to pull our way out of the national mess we’re in. The first step is to vote. The wheel won’t turn unless we turn it.
My deepest condolences and prayers goes to the victims from the Tree of Life Synagogue. May you rest in peace and return in power.
My deepest condolences and prayers go to the survivors, and to the surviving families. I see your grief and pain, and I hold space for you in your mourning.
While I hold space for them, let us not forget: this is why we need gun control; this is why Trump’s stochastic terrorism from the “campaign trail” is dangerous; and this is what America will become if we don’t turn things around.
Don’t let their deaths be a bloody footnote of insignificance. These victims are more canaries in the coal mine of Trump’s America, and we would do well to heed the warning.
There is a record number of Indigenous political candidates this year. Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day by researching the candidates, and then voting for Indigenous women in the midterms!
CW: Kavanaugh, Christofacism
The moment that Brett Kavanaugh began his angry tirade during the Blasey Ford hearing, I knew that he was going to be confirmed. I knew that our stories didn’t matter, whether we screamed them in elevators or courageously asserted them in Congress or even if a Senator read them into the record for posterity. No matter what we did to protest and no matter how concerning Kavanaugh’s record of sexual assaults, or drinking habits, or suspicious debts, or lack of qualifications, or lack of judicious temperament; he was going to be confirmed and the Christofascists would celebrate this as a win and mock and humiliate the victims.
I wanted to be wrong. That’s why I didn’t write about it, because I wanted so badly to be wrong. To see Kavanaugh step down, and some equally horrible Christofacist take his place. Because that meant having hope that things could still get better. Sitting here, braced with gin I’m prepared for it to get worse.
Honestly, I don’t know where we go from here. I do know that some of the ideas floating around about loading the Supreme Court are more reactionary than proactive. And while reactionary feels good, it isn’t always good in the end. Loading the courts is a Christofascist game, after years of campaigning on the issue of judges, they have it down to an art form and have the infrastructure to support their goals. We don’t, so we can’t realistically expect to play by their rules and win. But we can figure out how to go around their rules, I know we’re smart enough.
More immediately, what I can recommend is this: 39 states elect judges at some level, 38 of those have elections for high court positions. While I’m still uncertain about the safety of the upcoming elections (given that no one has improved ballot security), judicial positions get low coverage and low turn out; so our efforts to elect progressive, Democrat, or liberal judges might actually make a difference for the judiciary.
I had to take some time off from writing because the Kavanaugh news was getting to me and I took my Masters exam yesterday and I needed to prepare for that (I passed by the way!). So I’m back and trying to get back on my normal schedule.
Today is “Bring your Bible to School Day” to celebrate religious freedom. Christian groups on campus pray (although, in my experience as the president of a Pagan college group neither I nor any of the non-Christian religions were invited to join); and a cluster of men in cheap suits hand out New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs Bibles outside my building. They forcefully press the Bibles into students hands, the students feel uncomfortable so they don’t put the bibles in the garbage or recycling bins next to the men. So they take them into the large lecture halls in my department and leave them there. Of course, no one else wants them. When I go to the lecture halls throughout the day they Bibles move from desk to desk, abandoned.
Normally I can ignore the Bibles. They irritate me a bit; I think the money spent on the money could go to feed the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, helping the sick, or helping the children being separated from their families. But who am I to tell a camel how to go through the eye of a needle?
But this time, I was really bothered. The men handing out Bibles were asking us to pray for Kavanaugh.
I can’t. I’m a survivor and I can’t light a candle for Kavanaugh. I can’t support him in any way. Especially when the FBI doesn’t even do their due diligence and interview Dr. Ford.
This is our daily reminder that we can’t ignore Kavanaugh, we can’t ignore the machinations of the Christofascists in America, and we can’t stop resisting.
About a year into my relationship with my ex-husband, he proudly told said that he didn’t believe that I was raped until he saw my night terrors on the anniversary of the trauma. He was so proud of his skepticism, that he didn’t unfairly judge a man he had never met. If he realized that he destroyed my trust in him, he never mentioned it. I doubt he ever did. I also doubt he realized how that compounded the trauma I was recovering from.
I was required to perform my trauma to his satisfaction before I was believed, and then once I had performed well I was to get over it. To not let it impact my life. To ignore the harm that came from repeating the event in detail over and over.
On a much grander scale, this is what Dr. Ford is going through. Many members of the public do not believe her, and she has had death threats and has had to spend the time she would use to prepare her testimony talking to the FBI about her safety. When she testifies, she will be asked invasive question after invasive question. She will construct the scene as accurately as she can for the salivating GOP.
That same GOP and their deplorable supporters will hoard her story and use it as the foundation for their rape fantasies. They will take her trauma and use it to get off. And after they will tell her to go home and continue her life like nothing happened.
Like her family and life weren’t threatened.
Like she wasn’t forced to re-open her wounds for their pleasure.
Like she wasn’t forced to bleed for them.
So I stand with her. Today, and every day, I stand with survivors and I believe them. I hold space with Dr. Ford and send Unconditional Love to give her strength from the Divine.