The world around me feels loud. It’s voluminous and lathered with election minutiae along with alternate facts followed by protests and marches by women whose roar and righteousness was recently heard worldwide. I’m down. I would have marched. I would have joined the masses and pieced together an eighth-grade poster board sign that spoke to the immeasurable value of my uterus or my 1st Amendment right to be in the midst of mayhem. But, I didn’t. Instead, I was on Jeckyll Island, Florida cheering on my granddaughter Journey who is a proud member of the “Dynamic Xplosion” cheer squad.
Yes, she is four-years-old with zero aspirations to ever become a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, but this level of cheerleading (at her young age) teaches Journey to be pro-girl; it’s discipline-centered and respect-driven; it’s fun and it’s community. This was the march of me and my girls on Saturday while the rest of our gender flooded hi-ways and bridges and mid-town arteries.
Between cheering and marching and protests pumping “Pro,” too much of the world feels loud. My (private) writing life feels threatened during an era that welcomes widespread clap-back. I can’t even hear my own agency, my social construct, my guiding framework that has steered me clear from all things divisive. In my Marvin Gaye alto-croon, “What’s Going On?”
Am I a racist (now)? Am I a sell-out if I am NOT a racist (now)? Am I supposed to be mean and spew hatred via social media to prove my ethnic loyalty and post-civil rights sensibility? I conclude that I am just supposed to be me, and for 53-years, that has served me well.
So, why am I feeling nervous and jittery about the blonde man who spoofed the nation (the world). I voted. You voted (didn’t you)? We all publicly act as though we voted but apparently, we weren’t all on one accord regarding WHO we were supposed to vote for.
Our strongest voice of reason instructed us well, “Don’t Boo, Vote!”
He then upped the ante on his instructions over the weekend and said, “Don’t be mad that it’s over, be glad that it happened!”
Gosh he was smart and timely; stately and dignified; presidential (and fine).
But, the 44 is long gone. He’s a political ship sailed in a wind called yesterday, and now all the masses can do is be loud? Racist AND loud? What bothers me more often than not are those voices of volume who are so perfectly-inaccurate. I call them, “The screeching mouths of the wrong.” Dare I opine about any of it, and yes, I do have something to say, but mine is not an every hour quip or sideline seconds to advance pithy wit.
I agree that America is on the precipice of change, but how much will be our own creation? I’m not out of touch (either). Nothing about me is delusional or thinking “Can’t we all just get along?” We’ve never ALL gotten along, and racism has never served as a utility for unity. Never. I feel many emotions at this juncture of ….this juncture of…I don’t even know what to call it. This juncture of “pissed-off-peopleness.” That works.
My objectivity as a journalist is separate from my aerial view as a human being, a woman, a mother, a grandmother. In general, I am a loud woman, but this time and space we’re in right now requires significant thinking before we speak; I am firm on that. Loose tongues and fiery hearts have never resulted in anything productive towards change.
I am resigned to be cautious in matters of speech and some would cry foul citing voices like mine are needed in this derogatory climate of “Now.”
I am observant; I am closely listening to the “whispers”and “the loud” knowing neither are a finite solution. In all fairness, I don’t know what is. I just know the world feels loud.