This Was My Morning

 

Three white women speaking in the preschool hallway.

Two of them are women I’ve known for three years. Their children were in Major’s toddler class and we’ve known each other fairly well. The third is a nanny for one of the richest families in our preschool community. A woman I’ve walked past every day but haven’t said much to. They were speaking about yesterday’s voting. There was lamentation about the winner on the Republican side (I won’t write his name on this blog. I refuse to give him presence here.).

The nanny goes off. “I wish that woman would just go home. I wish she would go and just play with her granddaughter!”

The other women only minimally commiserate. “All of the options are pretty rough,” one of them says.

“Well, I just can’t think of a more power-hungry woman that Hillary Clinton! She’s awful!” The Nanny continues.

“Well, they’re all power-hungry. That’s why they are running for president!”

There is other chatter. People are realizing that the conversation is getting to hot for the children around us.

But then the Nanny says this: “Well you know, the only reason why those people are voting for her is so that they can keep getting their freebies from the government.” She rubs her fingers, making the money sign with her hand with a sneer.

I raised an eyebrow in my friend’s direction, fully understanding what the woman meant. There is a pause. Next thing I know, the woman is glancing in my direction. She had realized one of “those people” was standing right behind her.

She shrugged, kept going. Talking about how That Man has good Christian values because he’s anti-choice. She even deflected and defended as the other two women talked about That Man’s refusal to flat out and unequivocally disavow the KKK.

I walked away. I put hands on my children.

Then I went to church to pray

but ended up crying instead.

There were actually a lot of Those Supporters at my little polling place yesterday. They had their signs, their happy grins, their jovial parading of their hateful proclivities. I know where I live. I know that I’m on the outer-most border between the true suburbs and truly rural areas. I know that I’m in Massachusetts, where white people have always been and will always be really angry.

and yet, I also know that I live in a town with one of the highest concentrations of advanced degrees in the entire state. This is not just any sort of place. This is supposed to be a different sort of place. And I know that it’s not everyone around here. It’s just more than I wanted to believe, you know?

Ignorance was certainly bliss. I feel so differently, so unsafe.

Because as people come out of the woodwork and let all of the bigotry hang out in the open, more people get bold, more people get loud. Then suddenly, you’re the only Black person in the grocery store when someone is having a moment and makes a decision to do something about it…

I’m having a hard time, Dear Reader. Tomorrow, I hope, will be a better day.

I’ll see you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.

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9 thoughts on “This Was My Morning

  1. 😦 Everything about the American elections scares me, to be perfectly honest, and I don’t even live there. Candidates like Trump are terrifying, but more terrifying is the fact that they’re even seen as a valid option and might get voted in. How can so many people be so ready to allow that to happen? Wishing you and your country all the best with electing semi-decent human beings…

    • I would usually vehemently defend my country, but… I’ve got nothing right now. This particular cycle has been heartbreaking. I love my country, I believe in our election process. I also believe that we get the leaders we deserve… and we’ve made poor choices of late. It just makes me so damn tired, Miriam. I have no idea where it goes from here.

  2. We don’t have good choices this election. I feel like people are watching an episode of celebrity apprentice and are awaiting a reality show train wreck instead of making decisions based on the needs of our country. I sympathize with you. And for the record, “those people” that milk the government come in all colors, shapes and sizes. Take that nanny!

    • I wish I had the heart to say that to her at the moment, but we were surrounded by the children and I just couldn’t even. It was just one of those moments where you’re shocked into your silence: like wow, all decorum is gone. It’s just gone.

      I agree with you about having no good choices this election. I hadn’t made up my mind about who I was voting for until I walked into the booth. I’m not sure if I made the right choice. I don’t think I can be convinced that there IS a right choice this election. (There is certainly a WRONG choice, to be sure, but that’s different.)

      I think what is the most heartbreaking for me is the very real sense of danger that I feel right now. Where my existence in Massachusetts has usually been one of invisibility (people just don’t see Black people here. They look right through me, like I’m a ghost, like I never have and never will exist), I feel totally and utterly conspicuous right now. Exposed, even. It’s a scary world right now.

        • Haha, if only it were so easy. My husband has an amazing job here. In this economy, you don’t turn your back on that. We have to get good with our choices and do what we gotta do. 🙂

          I love your blog, by the way. I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles in the future! Your family is just gorgeous. I’m so jealous! I pray every day for the opportunity to have a little girl. Probably isn’t in the cards for me.

  3. If her statement were even remotely true about y’all wanting free shit, then Sanders rallies would look like the Million Man March, not Lollapalooza. Ignorant cow.

    My step-mom calls me and mine “those people.” The first time she did it, we all looked at her a bit stunned, they all looked at me, and we fell on the floor laughing. Obtuse is inbred; I’m convinced of it.

    Love you babe.

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