Day 285: Interesting times
My Co-PI lived through the fall of the USSR. I told him that must have been an interesting time to be alive. He responded by telling me that they actually have a curse for others that goes something along the lines of, “I hope you are cursed to live through interesting times.” We are living through interesting times now and I can see why that would be used as a curse.
I’m sad. Not because of the protests or because things are being destroyed in the process. I’m sad because the racist system in place is in its death throes and people with power to affect real change are trying to keep that system in place. I’m sad that even with the outpour of support of people all across the US, our over-militarized police force will use violent and underhanded tactics to quell any sort of real change.
I’m sad that I lack any real power to make things better. I’m sad that there is a wave of people telling us to vote. To fight back by putting people in power that can affect the change we want without realizing that we’ve been doing that for years to no avail. Like the people we vote for aren’t super wealthy. Like the people we vote for aren’t shielded from the lives of the people they are supposed to be serving. Like we have a choice in how we are treated.
The system doesn’t give us the choice, it’s an illusion of choice. We don’t vote for a president, we vote for a person who then votes for the president via an electoral college. Let me be clear, this doesn’t stop me from voting. Apathy kills and voting is one of the most powerful tools we the people are afforded, but that doesn’t mean that it is a tool that can affect the change we need. Yet, we know it’s a powerful tool because we fight gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics for a reason. However, look at the people who are making the laws and tell me they are doing so fairly or justly.
In the end we are cursed to live through interesting times. We have a COVID-19 pandemic going on along side the pandemic of racism and police brutality. We have an invasive hornet species, mass unemployment, and a government that cannot govern under the weight of the decadence it has decided it is entitled to. We are living through interesting times and I sincerely hope that what emerges when this is all over is something better.
I am cautiously optimistic, but I am also scared that the balance will swing in the other direction. Racism is a powerful force and has been systematically shaping our government, our laws, our military, long before you, I or our parents parents, were ever born. I don’t know what will come next. I can only hope it is better than what came before.
Vote, but remember that there are a lot of days between the ballot boxes that you can use to help bring the change we need. There are more of us who want justice than there are who want racism. Don’t let them convince you otherwise, no matter how loudly they want to scream it.