Thursday, December 1, 2016

Election 2016 Fallout Part 9: On Resistance

Hi readers! I'm delighted to let you know that I have joined Shakesville as a new contributor.

(ps - I'll continue to write here in Fannie's Room, so don't worry the Xena posts aren't going anywhere!!)

Shakesville has been such an important resource both to my development as a progressive feminist over the years and during this past election. I'm so grateful to Melissa (and the contributor community) for welcoming me.

For my first post there, I am starting with the final installment of my Election 2016 Fallout pieces. This one is on the topic of resistance. You can read the whole thing at Shakesville, but here's a snippet:
On resistance

In my eyes, the quest to defeat Trump and what he stands for has already begun. Inherent in this struggle is survival. As some in the media ask us to collectively fixate on the navels of angry white people, especially men, I think back to those early Trump rallies when the press would show security escorting anti-Trump protestors out. Trump would encourage violence against them and you could see it on the screen, his supporters cackling with glee in the background.  "I'd really like to punch that guy," Trump would boast, while thousands of white faces laughed at their hateful avatar.

The part of me concerned with self-preservation tells me that these people laughed because Trump was acting out their violent fantasies, particularly against the politically correct, over whom Trump's win has become a symbolic victory.

I do not expect that people entertained by Trump's calls to violence will now be nicer to us with Trump in charge. No. They knew exactly what Trump is. It was part of his appeal. "We know what we're getting," they'd say. "He tells it like it is. That's why we love him." And so, on that basis, here is what I believe, via Liel Leibovitz:
"You should treat people like adults, which means respecting them enough to demand that they understand the consequences of their actions. Explaining away or excusing the actions of others isn’t your job. Vienna in the first decades of the 20th century was a city inflamed with a desire to better understand the motives, hidden or otherwise, that move people to action. Freud and Kafka, Elias Canetti and Karl Kraus, Stefan Zweig and Franz Werfel—these were the eminences who crowded the same caf├ęs Siegfried and his musician friends most likely frequented. But while these beautiful minds struggled to understand the world around them, the world around them was consumed by simpler and more vicious appetites. Don’t waste any time, then, trying to understand: Then as now, many were amused by the demagogue and moved by his vile vision. Some have perfectly reasonable explanations for their decisions, while others have little to go on but incoherent rage. It doesn’t matter. Voters are all adults, and all have made their choices, and it is now you who must brace for impact. Whether you choose to forgive those, friends and strangers alike, who cast their votes so deplorably is a matter of personal choice, and none but the most imperious among us would advocate a categorical rejection of millions based on their electoral actions, no matter how irresponsible and dim. So while you make these personal calculations, remember that what matters now isn’t analysis: It’s survival."
Keep reading here.

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