The way things are now

This post feels a bit like a cross between recent meditations on living in these COVID times and on calling things by their real names.

Or maybe, I should just call it: I may be a sad sack about my solo Solstice, but I am NOT going to be a selfish, solipsistic, self-destructive shithead.

(That kind of alliteration has to be kind of impressive, right?)

A 1970s era pattern made of titled S'es in orange, hot pink and purple.

Basically, this is me riffing further to expound on a comment from yesterday’s post. Someone’s initial response to my sadness from last night was to go see my family anyhow—cos life is short and nothing is guaranteed, anyways.

And I know that advice is coming from a place of individual compassion for me and my pain. But it is not counsel I can take in good conscience. ‘Cos I only have the tiniest bit of epidemiological understanding, but I know enough to know the importance of public health and to know how important it is to listen to public health and medical experts when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic.

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The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris

Contextual set-up: aside from Shakespeare Project the Second, my 2020 reading has been deeply preoccupied with sociopolitical analysis—both anti-racist texts, and exposes of the Cheeto POTUS’s administration. This book doesn’t fit clearly in either of those sub-categories, but it’s definitely part of the same reading family that has been so front-and-center for me since I emerged from my first bout of “pandemic brain” and started actively reading again.

An screencap from MezzoSherri's Libby shelf, showing the thumbnail for Kamala Harris's book The Truths We Hold.
Thank you, Libby!

It wasn’t till I started writing this post that I realized The Truths We Hold is a campaign book.* But of course it is. Released about a week or two before Harris launched her Presidential campaign in January 2019, and with the flag-waving subtitle An American Journey, it has all the hallmarks of the genre.

And no shame on that. This sort of book has a long and respectable lineage, from JFK’s Profiles in Courage to Obama’s Audacity of Hope to Warren’s This Fight is Our Fight.** Good on Harris for writing her own, and I hope she continues to earn healthy royalty checks throughout the remainder of her long career in public service.

Still, I think I’m glad I read the memoir when I did rather than during the heat of the primaries.

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What if voter suppression impacts voting trends?

The second third one of my series of election post mortems. Still don’t know how long the series will be, but here’s more links:

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[CW: white supremacy, prison-industrial complex, sexual assault]

I’m still wondering my way through the demographic trends among Presidential voters this year. Tonight, it’s the seeming paradox that more black men voted for Cheeto POTUS this year than in 2016—and this is after 4 years of overt white supremacy from the Oval Office.

It’s the kind of data point that I certainly found unexpected, in my bubble of Caucasian naivete. Taking the time to get myself a little more educated, I’ve found out that fewer Black men have been voting for the Democrats in every presidential election since 2008. The downward stair-steps go like this:

  • Obama 1: 95%
  • Obama 2: 87%
  • H. Clinton: 82%
  • Biden: 80%
Looking down a long concrete and cobblestone staircase between two rows of houses.
Down, down, down we go.

And that got me curious.

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Let’s call a thing a thing

This is not the second election post I was planning to write: the post focusing on the “second lens of analysis” I had in mind on Sunday is still in process. However, more current events are demanding attention today.

As the post-election post family is built, I’ll put the cross-links here:

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A friend of mine texted me this morning with a brief question:

Can we call it a coup now?

Yes. Yes we can.

I mean the jury is still out about how successful this coup will be, or even how whole-heartedly Cheeto POTUS is really working towards this goal. Nevertheless, the appropriate language to describe the administration’s obstructionist behavior around the presidential transition is to call it—at bare minimum—an attempted coup.

Close-up of a protest sign reading "Error 404: Democracy not found."
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White women, do better

[CW: gender binary, racism]

Preface: I’m not sure how many posts I’ll make analyzing the 2020 elections through various lenses. I have at least 2 such lenses rattling around my brain, but it may unfold into a longer series. We’ll see. I’ll just keep cross-linking this little family of posts together as it takes shape. So: watch this space for more.

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Here’s my first, unfiltered, thought upon seeing the demographic breakdown of Presidential votes by race and gender:

Good grief. America does not deserve the goodness that Black women do.

A medium shot of approximately 30 people at a protest. In front and in focus are four Black woman in a variety of clothes, hairstyles and skin tones.
Leading the way. Again.
Continue reading “White women, do better”