Andddddd here we go:
I feel like this is my coming out story or something.
I expect this blog to be popular because it’s polarizing. I wish that wasn’t the case, but I already know that there will be many eyes on this so I want to proceed with love in that respect. I also say “popular” and do not mean that it will be well taken. It’s just something I felt compelled to write, and well, you know how that goes with me. It’s like this burning ember in my soul I can’t let go of until it comes out of my fingers.
Growing up, momma didn’t raise no fool. We just “don’t do” politics in my family. It wasn’t an area of interest and this might be perceived these days as white privilege but I also think culture was just different. My grandfather always told my moms/aunts that politics were meant to be private and so you didn’t discuss which party you affiliated with. This has trickled down into the way my entire family does things….except me. Little lone wolf here. Like actually viscerally visualizing my entire family reading upon this like WHAT THE ACTUAL IS SHE DOING RIGHT NOW?
On top of the fact that I am vocal, I believe essentially the polar opposite of … literally everyone closest to me. ha! Sooooo, when people start throwing insults on my facebook posts, I get WILDLY uncomfortable. While it is “unacceptable” to be on both sides, I just don’t think that anyone could ever understand the dynamic in which I live. I don’t think that anyone could understand the pervasive narratives that are SEEN AS GOOD. They are believed to be good when everyone else I know sees them as disgusting and despicable.
I TRUTHFULLYYYYY don’t classify myself “liberal” but for lack of better titles and inability for anyone to see anything but bipartisan, this is the box that I shall put myself in as everyone else puts me there regardless. I like to think of myself as just “free thinking on every topic” but I’ve found that I end up leaning left on every topic, so LETS CALL A SPADE A SPADE SHALL WE?!
That makes me really uncomfortable though. This brings me to my title…being liberal in a small town.
See, when you’re liberal in a small town, you see things day in and day out that you have to just keep your mouth shut about. Systemic racism, homophobia, misogyny, and bigotry abound but the language of those speaking it are saying them in GENUINELY loving tones. It’s a mind whirl forreallll. No names will be shared in this blog, but I had an old lady very close to me state that her caregiver was great “even though she was black.” Nonchalant. No one flinched. Just normal run of the mill convo. We almost purchased a house and on the deed it stated that the “house could not be sold to African Americans.” This is illegal of course, but it was built before then so it had that written on it.
As I begin to type out stories of things that I have heard, I find myself continually deleting them, because even with sparing names, I can’t possibly let those that read this blog even begin to judge people I love in my life without understanding the full scope of culture.
I’ve noticed what happens is that I have stones thrown at me from all angles. If I understand those that I love, then I obviously don’t stand by these particular topics at hand. Obviously in writing this blog, I am just like straight up walking into it and I’m not stupid to not realize that, so I don’t need a lecture on keeping my opinions to myself. I have CHOSEN to write this knowing full well. (Comments will be turned off on this post because I’m literally simply sharing my thoughts and maybe you’ll connect with them, and then again, maybe you won’t).
What people in areas of mostly liberal minded people don’t understand is the belief systems that are believed to be true are out of good natured people. I have learned SOOOO much this year and about how nothing is as it appears. One example of what I’m referring to is that crimes committed most likely stem from a culture deeply rooted from prior oppression. If we can understand that, then we also must understand that the rich white republican man also comes from a history that while EXTREMELY privileged, it was still his life experience. If he did nothing within his lifetime that has anything to do with what his ancestors did, then he naturally, from human nature, will not feel responsibility for that. Neither will criminals think back to the culture in which they were raised, the lack of education, and how to “rise above”. It goes both ways.
I didn’t grow up liberal. I peeled back layer by layer by layer by layer, and each time found myself no longer in the camp I had previously found myself in. I obsessively research things, from every angle. I read both Fox and CNN and listen to NPR for the most part just day to day. I try really hard to think about what my stepdad would think on an issue (ha), and then what my cousin would think (she’s hella liberal - shoutout bless up). I try really really hard to think about what I know to be true and formulate a solid stance on subject matters.
Being liberal in a small town feels like walking on egg shells all the time.
It feels like constantly disappointing those that would have previously liked me.
It feels like when I’m out, everyone knows I’m “different”
It feels like guilt that I can’t just be “one with them” and that I’m left out
It feels like something I should ignore, but that I hear everywhere I go.
It feels like my brain is on overdrive hearing the pervasive undertones.
It feels like not being able to be fully me in conversations ever even though I’m incredibly open minded (I don’t take that term lightly - I genuinely WANT to hear you out - I DESPERATELY need you to help me understand you so I don’t scream)
It’s like wearing an orange shirt to a football game when everyone is wearing blue and then for everyone to tell you to CHILL OUT because no one even notices you if you’d just shut up.
It’s feeling like you can’t shut up even when you try because you care.
It’s becoming feminist, animal activist vegan (ish), anti capitalist, anti racism, pro LGBTQ with a touch of anarchy #theresistance haha!
It’s being completely confident in these narratives, but completely terrified to admit them out loud because they are dirty words.
It’s actually wishing sometimes I could just go back to not knowing what I know now.
It’s about others posting what they believe without attack but knowing that you can’t ever share the simplest, most docile posts without being attacked.
It’s being silenced while also feeling like you’re obnoxiously screaming for anyone to actually hear you out.
It’s wanting to have deep intellectual conversations on these topics so that we can understand one another, but no one is actually interested in that, and rather just confirming their previously held belief systems.
I have went from FULL BLOWN (dare I say racist, homophobic) REPUBLICAN to the COMPLETE opposite in the full spectrum of just simply believing that we are all one, nothing above the other, inclusive of animals, and that we all just deserve equality - regardless of whether this is “impractical” or “non American” or anything of that nature. From endless hours on end of research, it comes down to the simplicity of “Just be love and light. To everyone. Always. Without Exceptions. Without borders. Without restraints"