Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I'm not with her, but I voted for her.

I'm not with her, I'm with the Central American children (children!) she wished to send back to their very possible deaths so we/she could send a message to desperate families who had no other choice. But I voted for her because fighting against a neoliberal's immigration policies (who is our Deporter In Chief after all?) is different than those of a Klan-endorsed and colluding white supremacist who wishes to ban all Muslims.

I'm not with her, I'm with Berta Cáceres and the other indigenous peoples whose lives she put in harm’s way. But I voted for her because Chiapas indigenous activists schooled me that a Trump presidency would mean dealing with the repercussions of a global warming- and science-denying world dominating country in addition to continuing to fight against bloody U.S.-backed regimes and corporations.

I'm not with her, I'm with the campesinos/peasants (my family included) whose livelihood and homelands were poisoned and decimated by a trade deal (NAFTA) she championed. But I voted for her because fighting to dismantle trade deals that prey on the poor in the Global South and in the U.S. is different than the prospect of fighting against new trade deals that come from the mind of a man who boasts of his business schemes and frauds.

I'm not with her, I'm with my uncle Tony who is serving life in prison because of a crime bill she championed. But I voted for her because we need a Democrat in the White House if we are to push Congress toward criminal justice reform.

I’m not with her, because white feminism cannibalizes women of color instead of saving them. But I voted for her because the work of women of color to push white feminists toward dismantling white feminism is necessary, possible, and vastly different than the work of fighting an irrational white supremacist rapist president.

I’m not with her, I’m with the Native Water Protectors whose bodies and ancestors’ bodies have been on the line for over five centuries. But I voted for her, because, although I’m outraged at her refusal to take a stand on behalf of the rights of our peoples and our right to water and sacred sites, pressuring her as president would be drastically different than pressuring a vile white supremacist rapist president. 

I’m not with her, I’m with the Black children who she called super predators who should be brought to heel. But I voted for her because those Black children are now adults, still under threat of state violence, and leading the way toward dismantling the machine she helped build—something that would be insurmountably harder to do under a fascist white supremacist rapist president.

I’m not with her, I’m with the organizers on the ground, the freedom fighters, the Black Lives Matter activists shutting down freeways, the Water Protectors of North Dakota, the immigrant justice activists, the sexual and reproductive justice activists, the Amazon guardians of South America, the agroecology peasants of the Global South. But I voted for her because I am convinced that change happens from the bottom up and bringing about change under a status quo presidency is one fight, whereas bringing about change under a presidency that will set us back by decades will be an entirely different battle.

I'm not with her, I'm with the Undesirables, Unrespectables, and the Uncivil, the Queers/Dykes/Faggots/Trans kin who held it down for bodies like mine because death was the alternative. I'm with the heroes who were for me before it was politically strategic. But I voted for her because of that One Supreme Court Justice seat and the two to three more that may come in the next four to eight years.

So, no, I am not with her. I am with my people. But I voted for her because within the confines of this democracy, I had to choose between the neoliberal who is slightly less committed to white supremacy over the fascist incarnation and byproduct of this country’s white supremacist foundations.

I believe my vote counts and I voted. I didn’t have to be with her to vote for her and neither do you. I do hope you vote. Go, please, vote.

[Image description: Lorenzo stands against a white wall facing the camera. To his right is a white square-shaped art piece with a three-dimensional heart, above it the image captures a part of a circular handwoven banana leaf basket that is brown with light yellow and orange interwoven. Lorenzo has short hair, wears dark blue glasses, has a beard, and tattoos on his right arm and forearm. He wears a black tshirt with white lettering that read "The work: To make revolution irresistible," which is a quote by Toni Cade Bambara.]

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