Friday, October 5, 2018
That's my sophomore year school picture. I was fifteen years old and attended The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia. We wore powder blue shirt-dresses in the warmer months that we were allowed to cinch with whatever belt we liked. We wore white or navy knee-socks and some kind of loafer from L.L. Bean or Wallabees from the department store. We were not allowed to wear sneakers or tennis shoes as we called them in the south. My necklace is a gold Catholic medal of the Virgin Mary. I was one of the few Catholics in my class. It was an Episcopal prep school. There were fewer Jews and no Muslims that I know of, but would a Muslim have announced it back in the late 1970s at a conservative prep school in the south? I was thought to be Jewish, probably because I was dark and looked faintly exotic. That's the word people used. My family had moved to the south from the New York area several years before, and while I had a southern grandmother, I never felt southern, never really felt a part of it. Why are you here? one of the blonde popular girls asked me once in front of the P.E. lockers. It was a Jewish holiday. I don't remember what I said even though I remember the question. There were even fewer people of color than Jews. We called people of color different names: black, Indian, Mexican. I remember every African American person's name in my class. I don't remember everyone in my class or their names, but some things stick out. I don't remember whether anyone was Asian. We didn't use the word Asian.
This isn't a post about nostalgia and only a little about memory. It isn't about me. My mood over the last week, since we heard Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's account of her assault at fifteen by probably soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, has been one of outright rage and then simmering rage and then depression and then disbelief and then some more rage and now -- well -- resignation tempered by rage. Dr. Ford's memory has been called into question, at best. At worst, she is thought to be a shameful liar. This is why I'm angry. I'm angry at privilege and male trumping truth and justice. I'm angry about the narrow interests of the Republican party. I'm repulsed, frankly, by those who support the vile human they've elected to be president.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with being angry. We're learning that, now.
Remember that black women have been doing this shit and dealing with shit for even longer. So have all people of color, actually, and all those with disabilities, too. Remember that. We're strong. You're strong. I'm strong. Get out the vote. Remember disenfranchised people, including prisoners who've been released (in Florida, particularly, according to a friend). If you need a rest, take it. Then get up and get a grip.