I’m typing this while feeling both hopeful and utterly annoyed at the same time. It seems to be the ailment du jour for many Americans, as we still sit and wait for our man-baby President to accept his loss and move on.
I’m hopeful because a slim majority of our country voted for a return to civility, respect, and science. Still, there’s a nauseating fact that will forever haunt me: More white women voted for Donald Trump in 2020 than voted for him in 2016. WTAF?
I foolishly thought we had turned the tide on the Karens.
I thought that we had been at least somewhat effective with the public naming and shaming of racist Central Park Karen. I figured millions of white women looked at her sickening behavior and thought, “Wow. How f*cked up is that? She’s risking an innocent life. She’s lying about feeling fearful when a damn bird watcher is nowhere near her dishonest ass and she’s screaming about that, knowing full well she’s being filmed. Is this 1940 or 2020?
I stupidly thought that we had seen enough of Starbucks Karen, rudely yelling at a young employee who was simply telling her she needed to wear a mask. You know, a small, harmless piece of fabric to help prevent the spread of a f*cking deadly virus that has killed close to a quarter of a million Americans. Not a big ask for someone standing in a retail establishment for five minutes so that they can purchase an overpriced latte and a blueberry scone.
I figured there were enough of us who had grown tired of the President’s misogyny. And his refusal to even utter the words “Black Lives Matter.” And of his assault on science and facts, and on his war against an intelligent, even-tempered, well-respected medical expert who has been trying to save our sorry asses.
I naively thought there were enough of us appalled at his shady business dealings, his immoral refusal to pay his fair share of taxes, or release all of his tax returns, as all other Presidents before him have done – before being elected.
I thought there were enough of us who felt completely sick upon learning that innocent children being held in cages had been taken away from their parents. If we witnessed this happening in any other country, shithole or not, we’d be hashtagging the hell out of that, and demanding our government do something. Wouldn’t we?
I figured there were enough of us who had become f*cking exhausted of his cruelties. Of the blatant lies and disrespect and the gassing of our own citizens protesting for equality. Of watching Black people held down with a boot on their neck, gasping for their last breath. As punishment for allegedly using a counterfeit bill to buy a pack of cigarettes.
I thought there were enough of us with LGBTQ kids. With family members and dear friends of color. With friends or co-workers who had died of COVID-19 or were still experiencing symptoms six months after being infected. With relatives in the military, who Trump seems to think are losers and suckers, should they lose their lives fighting for our freedoms. With lived experiences of being treated like shit by men like Donald Trump. Of being touched, or groped, or raped. Or simply just paid and respected less because we have a p*ssy he might grab if he feels like it that day. Because you know, he’s famous, and so it’s OK.
I thought there were enough of us horrified to watch Trump speed through the nomination and confirmation of yet another Supreme Court justice indicating she would take away health care from millions of Americans and would make it harder for women to have control over their bodies and their futures.
I thought enough of us were done with the nepotism and the abuses of power. I thought enough of us wanted to make the world a better and healthier place for our children and future grandchildren. That we cared about clean water and clean air, for all Americans.
I guess those Black squares on social media didn’t really mean all that much.
I guess too many of us bought into the insane conspiracy theories our crazy uncle posted on Facebook. I guess our warped sense of a “good” economy or a green stock exchange number meant a whole lot more than people’s equality. I guess feeling secure in our white privileged positions of power means a hell of a lot more than other people’s humanity.
I had such hope that in November of 2020 we would show that the Karens of the country were an extremely small minority. That white women weren’t buying the BS that the President has been shoveling for four years. That suburban women wouldn’t “love” him the way that he was pathetically begging them to.
Even with a new and promising administration, we still have a lot of work to do and an abundance of problems to solve. As a white woman, I feel disgusted and saddened.
I thought we were much better than this. Or at least had started down the path. This is a grim reality.
I vow to keep talking, working, trying to understand, and to help lead fellow white women towards that path.
Maybe if I tell them there’s a latte and scone around the corner, more will follow.