“White guys” vs. Guys Who Happen to Be White
Today an able-bodied, straight white guy in his thirties told me DJT scares him, but added, “It’s important not to drown in fear. After all, what can we do?”
He was totally serious.
I politely explained that as a woman with a disability who has many loved ones of color and/or in the LGBTQ community, it’s impossible for me to be apolitical. I detailed the ways in which just having a disability renders my entire existence political.
I explained how my friends and I have been calling our Senators and Congressional Representatives, our Governors, our Attorneys General, our Mayors, our State Legislators, how we’ve been writing them, too, how we’ve been marching for women, for Black Lives Matter, for Seattle Stands with Standing Rock, how I frequently write about disability, how all of us have mobilized, are sharing information, and haven’t stopped.
Most of us have been politically active for years, but some have only recently begun and, like all of us, they’re learning quickly, sharing information, and working their asses off.
He struck me as a genuinely sweet guy, but he’d done none of the above. When he asked me, “After all, what can we do?” he was truly flummoxed.
I’m finding this dynamic among a certain type of white guy, one whose rights are remaining largely untouched–though climate change will kill them, too, but I digress–and it’s as saddening as it is angering.
I live in Seattle, so I encounter very few DJT supporters, but in the four and a half months since the election, I’ve met too many ostensibly liberal or progressive white guys who are sort of shrugging and hoping the midterms go better, but doing nothing in the meantime.
On the flip side, I know plenty of white male loved ones who are fighting smart and hard on behalf of women, and/or the disabled, and/or persons of color, and/or the LGBTQ community.
They genuinely care.
They get it.
As such, I’ve started making a distinction between straight, able-bodied, white guys and guys who happen to be straight, able-bodied, and white.
The former are one of the biggest reasons we’re in this mess.
The latter are helping the rest of us fight our way out.
The more alliances we build, the better.
Nineteen months ‘till the midterms: let’s do this!