Hello, beautiful boot-wearers!*
So I hope you have had a nice week trying to hold in your mind things like “now there is an EO designed to ban Muslims**” AND “now the congressional switchboards are melting, because the most ever people are like ‘no the fuck thank you.'” Both at once. Everything at once.
To get my boots on this week I needed less “ok listen: this is how bad things are” and more “whoever you are, get in the damn streets.” (Particularly nice examples of “no really, whoever you are” movement-building came from Keenanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Alicia Garza). You may have also seen some of the pieces floating around that are like “it’s all a set-up/fake-out/distraction/chess game, so while we’re looking elsewhere, BOOM! COUP!!” (archetypal example here). These are good things to read if you need some icy fear in your heart. They have not helped me get my boots on, but this counter to them did:
“Fuck this White Dude Game Theory” by Ijeoma Oluo. “I have worked in the tech industry. I live in a tech city. Nowhere else in America will you find a culture more steeped in the supposed brilliance and ingenuity of white men. And when articles start coming out from white tech dudes stating that the resistance headed by women and POC is just playing into the hands of brilliant white dudes, I’m gonna need y’all to pause.” #listentoblackwomen!!
On the subject of the perfectionism taught to us by white supremacist patriarchal capitalism: “The Folly of Purity Politics,” by Julie Deck. This is an interview with Alexis Shotwell, author of Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times. In the book and interview, Shotwell “argues that ‘personal purity is simultaneously inadequate, impossible, and politically dangerous for shared projects of living on earth.’ Focusing on maintaining your own innocence or goodness is counterproductive, she says, to actually fixing the world’s problems.” It’s a really good interview for right now, when tweets like this from Carlos Maza are the humor I seek:
SELF-DOUBT IN 2016: My work is not good enough to impress my peers.
SELF-DOUBT IN 2017: My work is not good enough to save the republic.
Also recommend: Dave Zirin on being at the inauguration itself. “I spent a good part of Friday looking for people in red #MAGA caps and speaking to them. I cannot say loudly enough how different their mood was from the 2001 and 2005 people with whom I spoke at the Bush/Cheney inaugurations. The Bush supporters were confident, ready to argue and even fight. The famously pugnacious Trump supporters were unsure, confused by the small turnout, and disoriented about how to respond to being on security-checkpoint lines and finding themselves outnumbered by chanting protesters.” It is all that good to read!
And for dessert:
Samantha Bee’s “LEAKED: The White House’s Black History Month Program Of Events.”
And bonus, ongoing dessert: if you are on Twitter, I highly recommend following @trumpdraws. Every day, in the mix of laugh-instead-of-crying-apocalyptic tweets and cry-instead-of-fainting-apocalyptic tweets (maybe that’s only my feed; I recommend it!), you’ll see something like this:
Oh, and! Here’s a coda to that Huff Post thing on the women’s march: I am being harassed! (Not 100% clear whether they get that what they are doing is harassment, but it is). It’s a specific person, with very strong and anonymous feelings about me. And lord knows, it is an acknowledged fact that any woman who writes anything public on the internet will be harassed, often with threats of rape (this isn’t that), but it’s still so weird, because online harassment just IS weird (though this instance also involves the phone). It’s the combo of “Hey, I think I’ll spend a lot of time researching a person I don’t know, and looking into and using various avenues for trying to say things I sure hope will hurt their feelings (or worse)” AND “Well, I know deep down that this behavior is not ok and I’d be pret-ty embarrassed if people actually knew that this was my hobby, so…Imma keep all this hard work anonymous.” Those are remarkable mental gymnastics…but apparently I am worth it ❤❤❤
*Q: is it y’all that are beautiful, or y’alls boots?
A: of course.
**At the actual moment I write this, it’s been ruled against and DHS says they are complying. Who the fuck knows what will happen next.