So this post has changed.
I tried very hard to keep my tone even in this; I don’t want any enemies, and I don’t want to make things harder for other people.
However, the events of the last few days have been so awful, so violent, so terrible, that I find my attempt at equanimity slipping away.
I still stand by what I said in the original version of the post (which you can read at the end). But you know what? There’s something more I need to say.
A lot of people have died. A lot of people are being killed. I am terrified by the people taking over my government for the next four years.
I can’t be silent anymore.
My blog is not a political one. This isn’t the place to come to be politically informed. But here’s a crazy lesson on the world of a writer: we are people. Authors have opinions. Authors, in fact, can be so frustrated by the world around them that they swing between wanting to cry and wanting to light things on fire.
I don’t need to tell you what’s going on. You probably know, but here’s some of it. I currently live in a country where it’s totally okay to:
- Shoot a twelve-year-old child because he happened to be black.
- Commit egregious attacks on the liberties and lives of Native Americans – including military insistence on a pipeline so dangerous that white neighborhoods wouldn’t allow it.
- Treat sexual molestation as a joke.
- Set a white rapist free after three months so his life isn’t “ruined” while sentencing a brown-skinned rapist to three years.
- Criminalizing the homeless, making it even less likely they will ever be able to climb out of the hole our society threw them down.
- Elect a president who:
- “allegedly” molests women
- (according to numerous articles) bankrupts his investors to gain tax breaks for himself
- is bringing into my government people who certainly seem to be racist, homophobic, sexist, and think it’s “fun to shoot people.”
- Apparently avoids security briefings.
- Somehow has foreign diplomats spending money at his hotel in order to avoid isulting him, whatever that means.(And yes, I phrased that carefully because he seems to be very litigious – so much so that many journalists are evidently afraid to report on him.)
Oh, and did I mention that Russia has been propagating fake news (quoting the article here) to the extent that it basically acted like a super-Pac for Trump?
NONE OF THIS IS OKAY. None of it. And I am angry.
I am also helpless, or at least, I feel helpless right now. That’s real honesty on my part; but I believe if I’m not willing to share the rough parts of my life with you, you will have no reason to believe me if and when I find hope to share with you. Since hope is why I do this, that’s a good enough reason for me.
Rant aside. None of this is okay. Sometimes, you will see me flip out in Twitter, and very rarely, you will see me mention things on my blog. It won’t happen often. However, now you’ve been warned.
I WILL NOT BOW DOWN.
Here is what you need to know, in conclusion.
- I am not going to quit.
- I do still believe there is hope.
- I also believe we’re in for a hell of a fight – and I choose to side with those under attack, which is living out the command to “love my neighbor” (more on that in a moment).
- I believe the little things we do every day help. Speaking up. Donating. Wearing a safety pin.
- I will not give up hope, and as long as I have it, I will offer it to you.
Ready for a little more personal stuff? Here it comes.
Yes, this is largely because of my Christian world-and-life view – NOT American Christianity, which has largely devolved into an absolute cesspool of racism and cultural bullshit. The Christ I follow taught me that loving God and loving my neighbor are EVERYTHING.
In case “neighbor” is too vague, He also said to love my enemy.
So yes: this blog is mostly about writing, and that’s what you’ll get 99% of the time. But sometimes, you won’t. And now you know why.
Feel free to comment. Feel free to question, argue, rant, be shocked, share a billion links showing me I’m “wrong,” whatever. I won’t ever lock anyone out unless they’re threatening me or something.
My door stays open. I will love neighbor and enemy to the best of my ability, period. But like hell am I staying silent anymore.
Like I said before: it’s complicated.
(This tab exists to save space)
Click the next tab to read the original post.
You will very rarely see me make political statements anywhere on this blog.
That’s not its purpose. I’m here to help folks become better writers and to provide entertaining writing along the way. I’m here to build my fake universe, not to expose the real one.
But sometimes, real life leaks through, and that’s when things get awkward.
I Will Only Say This Once (for now)
Right now, I live in a country where this kind of sh*t is happening:
This isn’t “news”. This is recruitment everyone! That’s why they did it in public. Leaked for propaganda purposes. https://t.co/FZ2W9VjbbP
— Mike (@Mike_McDonald7) November 21, 2016
I live in a country where it’s totally okay to shoot a twelve-year-old child because he happened to be black.
I live in a country where Native Americans matter so little that the news barely covers egregious attacks on their liberties and lives – including military insistence on a pipeline so dangerous that white neighborhoods wouldn’t allow it.
I live in a country where sexual molestation is treated as a joke. Where the homeless – who are numerous – are ignored, or simply moved out of the city without help just so “regular” people don’t have to look at them.
I also live in a country that elected a president who “allegedly” molests women, who (according to numerous articles) bankrupts his investors to gain tax breaks for himself, who is bringing into my government people who certainly seem to be racist, homophobic, sexist, and think it’s “fun to shoot people.”
David Duke loves his picks, by the way. Thought you ought to know.
I’m not okay.
I know that for many people, this isn’t really new; it’s just more of the old horror. I also know I’m not the only person who isn’t okay, even though – being white – I know I’m less of a target than many. That makes it even more complicated.
These are all facts as I believe them. You can dismiss them if you want; my own family does, and I don’t hold it against them (nor will I against you). I fully believe that letting things like this create more walls between us is partly why we’re in this mess to begin with.
I am a Christian who really believes when Jesus said “love your neighbor” and “love your enemy,” He meant it. And I try to live that out, though I know my own fear often gets in the way.
I’ll also say this: from a social media and business standpoint, this makes it really hard to know just what to say online.
The long view is I write for the sake of hope. That hope comes through entertainment and plucky stories, through justice being served in some manner eventually, through tales that leave readers a little more ready to tackle the world, through thoughtful pieces that let readers know their voice counts, no matter how small.
This isn’t a political blog; my Twitter isn’t set up to be a voice for Black Lives Matter, or the Dakota Pipeline mess, or women’s rights, or the many other important and meaningful topics now at issue (like the possibility of a Muslim registry, which makes me want to hold Nazi history over my head and scream as loudly as I can). However, since I have opinions about these things, they are going to come up.
I think it’s important to share articles about things I want my readers to know. Why?
Because silence is deadly. Because we cannot write effective worlds and characters unless we know what real-life worlds and characters go through. Because through our stories, we can help future generations see things a little differently. Because even in the middle of all of this, creativity really matters, and is one little way I can try to help future voters and future thinkers shape this world.
None of this is easy. All of it is necessary. And I believe sticking my neck out in this little way is one step toward loving my neighbor.
I won’t talk more about it now. I’m well-aware I’ve probably lost a bunch of followers because of saying these things, but if just recitation of information upsets them that much, I was going to lose them, anyway.
If you stuck around, thank you. If you’re upset, I’m sorry – but I will not take any of these words back.