Monday Notes: 3 Things I’m Tired of Talking About

Even though I’m not in the States, the way the world is set up, I’m still in tune with the news, and let me tell you … recent events have left me tired of recycling the same conversation over and over.

Domestic Terrorism against Black Lives

The Federal Bureau of Investitgation (FBI) defines domestic terrorism as violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature. 

Therefore, when Payton Gendron not only killed ten people in Buffalo, who were mostly Black, but also left behind some type of white supremacist manifesto, it should’ve been a no-brainer that his acts were the literal definition of *domestic terrorism. What I’ve noticed, though, is that Black people seem to understand domestic terrorism and the consistent role it has played in American history. Other people, not so much. 

There’s always some person who wants to wait until all the evidence comes out, and even when all the evidence comes out, that person wants to take a meticulous look at how each piece of evidence may not really be racist, and even if they somehow agree that this incident is domestic terrorism against Black people, then they’ll only agree that it’s this one incident, not an historical pattern. And I’m tired of talking about it.

School Violence

Speaking of domestic terrorism, I’m also tired of discussing school violence in America. But I suspect conversations centered on the Uvalde incident will not last long. 

Remember Columbine? That was 1999. We were shocked. Though we have made strides in police officer and teacher preparedness, I mostly remember the US arguing about gun control. Remember Sandy Hook? That was 2012. It was a traumatic mess. Schools have done a great job of decreasing bullying, which Ron Avi Astor attributes to a decrease in overall school violence. But even then, we argued about whether it really happened, there were a bunch of lawsuits, and there was no national shift in legislation. Remember Parkland? That was 2018. It, too, was traumatic. Know what happened? There were more lawsuits, and because it’s Florida, a hasty bill was passed allowing teachers to be armed. Luckily, school districts disagreed. Still, there was no US legislation to protect public school students, faculty, or staff.

With this one, I’m tired of talking about school violence as if history hasn’t shown us things will worsen. Why do I have to convince someone there’s a problem, whether it be a mental health one, a gun control one, or a school violence one? In my opinion, the reason school violence hasn’t been resolved is because it is not a priority for elected officials. You know what is a priority? Banning critical race theory, redistricting every ten years, and drumroll please …

Abortion

Though I’ve decided to continue sharing part of my story and other people’s stories as a way to raise awareness, I’m tired of talking about abortion. Abortion has been a topic for half a decade, not reproductive rights and not women’s health, but abortion, specifically. You know why? (Aside from patriarchal ideology), it’s because it has remained a priority for elected officials, who want to advance a conservative ideology, and as the current Florida governor has shown, when elected officials prioritize something, that something gets all the attention in the world, sans what the majority of constituents actually want or need.

For example, even though the majority of US adults agree that abortion should be legal, no matter the circumstance, states continue to push for the opposite. Kind of like school violence, why do I have to convince you that a woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her body, whether you, the Bible, or the church agree? The only thing I have left to say is I hope there’s someone left to revolt when the government comes for something you have the natural right to do.

Thank you for listening to my TED Talk. Is there anything you’re tired of talking about? Let’s put it in the purge pile in the comments, then let us go effect change that will protect all US citizens.

*Officials are considering a terrorism charge for Gendron


59 thoughts on “Monday Notes: 3 Things I’m Tired of Talking About

  1. Thanks for this thoughtful comment. Every word rings true, and I think much of what you said is because people live in a state of fear: fear of the unknown, fear that what they thought they believed (e.g., the fantasy) isn’t what they thought, fear that what is truthful may actually require they do something. Living in the States is hard, primarily because we’re quite indoctrinated to believe that we’re not indoctrinated, and that alone seems to make it challenging to create any type of change.

    Anwyho, thank you again for this. I am still hopeful that what we do as individuals will make an impact.

    Oh! And I love Hidden Brain and had listened to the episode you referenced.

    Like

  2. Let me preface this with the fact that I am white and so I miss things and need to be corrected (and open to correction) when that happens, but my experience with critical race theory (which is limited to watching Late Night YouTube videos) and abortion/sex education is it is rooted in a similar idea that by not talking about something, worse, suppressing any talk about the thing, you can avoid spreading it, which really misses the whole point of structural problems and thus removes any opportunity to find real, structural solutions. I was raised in a community that didn’t talk about things and it makes me think, actually, of media blackouts and the like. It doesn’t work but people become very attached to the fantasy, like living in your favorite fairy tale (cue Cervantes tilting at windmills and, in my head, The Brothers Karamazov which includes the tragic and in many ways desperately and painfully ridiculous clashing of family members incapable of even attempting to understand each other’s experiences outside of their own personal worldview. Everybody ends up no better and a lot of people are irrevocably destroyed. Dostoevsky was not a romcom writer.) It’s seductive but ultimately destructive yet people often choose it, and that is the tragedy. Protecting the fantasy seems to be easier or safer for them than improving reality (which, maybe, in some tyrannical regimes, seems smart – I have never thankfully lived under a bloody tyrant so I have never really been tested. Remember, I’m white and have only lived in the USA and Western Europe.) There was a nice fivethirtyeight on Americans learning more critical approaches to history (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-happens-when-american-children-learn-about-racism/) suggesting that the data presents just that: learning about problems leads to structural change and new coalitions while because it does that, people attached to their idea of the world actively reject not only learning but even teaching (talking about) these critical issues that exist. They want to preserve the fantasy, despite the damage that it inflicts for whatever reason – it feels safer (to them at least) or allows them to feel more heroic or whatever – it’s about how the story of history makes them feel, not about what they can learn from it. From a public policy or marketing perspective, this need for security and stability is actually really easy to take advantage of, which I think we see daily. The illusion of control and stability via a central narrative, however fantastical and inherently flawed, is a great hook for marshaling public support. Ambiguity (and by extension good science, which must always admit room for error and inherent unseen bias) is far less reassuring and can, when poorly shared make people fearful and send them flocking to the ‘stable narrative’ before you can finish a thought. There was a good Hidden Brain on this: https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/the-benefits-of-mixed-emotions/. I don’t know what to do about this, but at a personal level I am trying to not decide things out of fear (surprisingly challenging in our current times) and to be aware that nothing is a sure thing and that’s not a ‘bad’ thing necessarily.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My two cents, adjusted for inflation. Domestic terrorism. Maybe the FBI ought not to look into concerned parents at PTA meetings, and rather focus on extremism online, which follows with….

    I’m tired of violence. Mass violence, gang violence – all violence. Violence against children, especially by a deranged, gun toting monster is the worst. It’s also as bad when a drive-by gunman kills a young child watching tv with their families. What’s happening in Chicago is truly shocking:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-chicago-homicides-data-tracker-20220426-iedehzuq5jdofbhwt3v2w6cjoy-story.html

    Finally, abortion….

    Moving to the core of the current situation, this is not about abortion, as the case in 1973 wasn’t either. This is a states rights issue, which is what Justice Alito wrote. It should be up to the electorate, through their legislators, to write a law and vote on it. How it was inferred in the 14th amendment is beyond me. Here is the 14th amendment.

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    An opinion on the 1973 decision:

    “Neither a right to abortion, nor a right to privacy, exist in the Constitution. Justices in Griswold v Connecticut who conjured the “right to privacy” on which Roe v Wade is based, likewise could not identify the Constitutional basis for their own finding, and were reduced to waving their hands and mumbling some incantation about “penumbras of emanations”. Both decisions were proclamations of social policy that are nowhere in the Article 3 jurisdiction of SCOTUS. The fact that neither decision could find a legitimate Constitutional basis for what they wanted to do should have been a big clue that they were out of bounds in taking the case in the first place. The 10th Amendment clearly states that any issue not enumerated to be a power of the Federal Government is none of their business, and should be left to the states and to The People to decide. Neither abortion nor contraception are any business of the Federal Government. This binds SCOTUS too, because it is a branch of the Federal Government just like Congress and the Executive Branch. The right answer to both cases should have been for SCOTUS to butt out and to direct all Federal Courts to do the same, remanding the issue to the States and to the People. The moral and ethical decisions of American society are not the purview of nine unelected lawyers in black robes.”

    https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Roe-v-Wade-poorly-written

    The real issue for me is the lack of codified law by our elected officials. Abortion could’ve been codified, but it hasn’t. Why? There have been Democratic super majorities, but no abortion legislation. My opinion is that the left needs this to stir the pot every election cycle to get the base out to vote.. We’ve discussed this about the affiliation of people of color and the democratic party. They will never really help you because you need to be oppressed every 4 years.

    An excellent and thought provoking post, Kathy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rob, I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said here. In fact, my husband and I have gone back and forth a bit about how, because we have state’s rights, which are supposed to supersede federal law (actually), that maybe each state should be able to say/do whatever they want for some things (can’t think of a specific example, right now), as opposed to major things (i.e., abortion, education, civil rights).

      Maybe the answer is in this conversation. If we could focus on what we (US AMERICANS) all agree with, then fight for that, then we’d actually be unified in something. What it seems like has happened is we’ve focused on the fractures, the things that divide us, and as a result, lobbyist have come in and taken over within those divides.

      Thanks also for the compliment. Because I kind of know where you are in your thinking, that means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Maybe the answer is in this conversation. If we could focus on what we (US AMERICANS)” This. When you listen/view news outlets, it’s all about division. That’s their business model today. THE MOST important thing we can do as a society, a country, is focus on what unites us and not what divides us. We have a lot of work to do, and we need leaders who embrace this. Glad to be part of your blogosphere, Kathy.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Is there a place left in this world that is not slowly heating up towards a boiling point? When the social cohesion was peachy during the post-war years, because humanity was exhausted, and was willingly accepting the illusionary liberal slogans that the prosperity and equality for all had finally arrived.
    The illusion lasted, as long as we could ignore the price for our prosperity was paid by others less fortunate nations, and so we even refused to read the signs of the obvious disintegration of liberal democracies, the environment and social cohesion all over the world.
    The worst is still to come, what is left for us is to prepare, to wake up emotionally, spiritually, and foremost to get political active!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Noooo…don’t tell me “the worst is still to come!!!” I mean, I agree, but like many, I want to have some semblance of willful ignorance.

      Waking up emotionally, spiritually, and getting politically active is the last thing MOST people want to do MC…it’s so much easier to stick our heads in the sand and…something I’ve noticed, hope the next generation is brave enough to fix everything for us!

      Like

  5. I’m tired that we have to keep talking about these issues because they’re not going away. Our country has become so polarized that the people who’ve allowed themselves to be brainwashed by fox news, QAnon, and other sources that push lies and incite violence don’t want to hear facts. I shared the media bias chart with someone showing how some sources are reliable and factual while others are propaganda. Consuming propaganda is the equivalent of ingesting poison.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed, Laura. It’s almost like someone doesn’t want them to go away. Don’t even get me going on QAnon! We’re living in some very interesting times.

      And with regards to media bias…YES! My area is media literacy, and for a while, I was going around talking about and trying to get people to see how important it is to be able to clearly read what you see in all types of formats. Good for you for sharing that chart.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s really that bad… After the last 6 years, I’m wondering if it’s even worth it to live here in America. If you aren’t rich, and live in reality, It’s a nightmare. I don’t know what to do anymore. It feels like the system is so broken and unfixable because wealthy right wingers want it this way, that it feels impossible to change.

    Even though I’m a regular, privileged white man, in a strong democratic state that works on moving forward, what can we do when half the country is deadset on dragging everything to rock bottom… Just so they can live in their denial of reality and disassociate when shown the truth? You can’t negotiate with that…

    It’s like the entire country is being held hostage. I’m turning to Viktor Frankl way too often. ☹️

    Well, thanks for talking about these issues. It’s nice to not be alone in this madness.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Same. We tried to figure out a way to leave in 2020, which is how we came up with living abroad for a couple months. I realize the privilege in this, but it has been helpful to take a break, even if it’s to see what other people are doing in another part of the world. I do flip-flop between US is terrible to maybe it’s not so bad, though. I mean, no country is perfect. I think the issue I’m beginning to have is that we’re not even trying to fix it…we’re just figuring out ways to cope in a shitty situation.

      That second paragraph…YES!

      You’re definitely not alone. We’re all trying to figure out what to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes. All of what you said. Yes. I get so cynical about it and just break it down very bluntly. There are assholes and non-assholes. And most people running the country are assholes. So, how do you make an asshole not be an asshole? I don’t know it it’s possible and it makes me feel powerless. In addition to all of your perfect points I’m also a bit tired of talking about how we as women are disempowered daily by even those closest to us who are still ignorant of the insidiousness of misogyny. I’m tired of having to continue to point things out to myself and to others. But alas, I think we must just keep doing it right? What’s the alternative? 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t think we can make an a-hole NOT be an a-hole lol, but we sure can reconstruct a new government with a new vision. I know that sounds like a revolution, but I think that’s where we’re headed.

      To your fourth point, I also think we have to stop trying to convince people that misogyny exists and create spaces where those of us who know it is a thing can thrive.

      We have to do more than talk, like really.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not really lol I just know it’s reaaallly hard to make people care about something they don’t wanna care about lol

        It’s much easier to get a group of supportive goddesses together to raise up baby goddesses 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I definitely agree!! Although I have expressed my views on these issues to family and on social media and voted in every election, I have decided I need to do more. I will be stepping up my game. Right now I am in planning mode on how to address gun violence and which organizations to support. That is where I am starting.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I agree, KE. I’m tired of talking the same old issues to death, all to no avail. I keep thinking if enough people get hurt or killed, it will change the hearts and minds of racists or gun proponents or right-wing Christians, but I think I’m fooling myself. Over a million Americans have died from COVID and there are still people who say it’s a hoax, refuse to mask up or get vaccinated. It’s not a matter of what’s real or proven, it’s a matter of stubbornness, clinging to beliefs that have no basis in reality, because… I don’t know why. To avoid giving in, being wrong, losing face? I’m tired of wasting my breath trying to change closed minds.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I think you/we are fooling ourselves. I’ve thought the same, especially about the shootings, but isn’t that an awful thought, the idea that there’s a number we can reach to make masses of people care? I mean, one school should’ve pushed us all into action.

      Anywho, yes. I’m not arguing with people about these things anymore. I think you’re right that it’s a matter of stubbornness and not fully thinking about one’s beliefs and how they align/or don’t align with what’s going on.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Thank you, Katherin, for putting words to my own personal anguish. It just keeps coming and it overwhelms me. You said it so well. I feel so angry, frustrated, and heartbroken for our country – and for those people whose lives are forever ruined.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You’re welcome ❤ It's like part of us live in a bubble or something, and it feels kind of like when people try and gaslight you, as if you're misinterpreting what's happening. Nothing's wrong with us or our interpretation. We just have to use all our resources to move forward, I think.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re absolutely right, Katherin. Fighting back, moving forward, trying to make sense of it – it’s exhausting. It is so profoundly devastating; the suffering is beyond measure. I remember when Sandy Hook happened and I still cry for those families. 😢😢😢

        Liked by 3 people

  11. I’m tired of all the same things—weary actually. Yesterday, I was visiting with one of my close girlfriends, and we started researching which countries were the best for expats. That’s how sick of it all I am.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. That’s how my husband and I started traveling for extended periods of time. We were looking for the same. Turns out it’s not as easy as we thought to simply leave the country (and live in another). You can live in another country for up to 90 days, though, and keep moving around.

      Portugal and Spain are two I know of. I think Costa Rica is one. You also want to think about countries that the US has no ties to…that may be important.

      Liked by 5 people

  12. I agree with every word you said, Kathy. I want to be informed, but I also want to stop listening because it’s too easy for me to get angry and give up hope that the majority of us with common sense and seeking justice will ever be fully represented in our federal government. As a Christian myself, I find it baffling what some Christian lawmakers deem biblical when Jesus himself never worked to write government laws or tell his disciples to change the laws of government. To many ‘Christian Pharisees’ in my opinion. Still, I’ll keep praying AND voting for this country to do better. Take care ❤️

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s insane, right? Not only did Jesus never work to write government laws, the forefathers actually didn’t write to include specific Christian morals, either.

      Thanks for adding this, Deb!

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Agreed . Society needs to evaluate why we tolerate this level of violence. Its severely depressing hearing about it every week and how as a society we accepted it. I believe there could be more to study shooters , and try to bring awareness to how white supremacy hurts everyone .

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I’m despairing over the very same and more, Kathy. They sure aren’t kidding when they say that mankind is a work in progress. And much of this happening by people who tout themselves as “Christian”. Hypocrisy and cruelty know no bounds, it appears.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s the most kind way to describe all of us…”a work in progress.” Hypocrisy is at the root of all of this. I don’t say this in malice, but it seems like everyone won’t get, unless everyone is affected in some way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree. You should take a look at the humor I posted along with similar concerns today; it’s the only antidote I can currently think of as I weep for the world.

        Liked by 3 people

Comments are welcomed

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s