Saturday, November 24, 2012

Highs and Lows (or why a 16-year old made me cry)

Election Day was supposed to be happy...a "high", if you will. The man I voted for and hoped would be President for a second term", in fact, was voted in by both the Electoral College and the popular vote. I planned not to watch any of the Election Night poll returns because I knew I could not handle the anxiety of the 'back and forth' of the returns or the constant commentary of the punditry. So I was prepared to watch the Nuggets and reruns of 'Criminal Minds' (you can never see Shemar Moore too many times) until something was decided and just let my friends on Facebook keep me relatively informed. Facebook wall was covered in such hateful, misleading, negative, and downright racist rhetoric that I spent over an hour deleting the posts, I defriended 2 people who were just "over the top", and restricted the posts of 2 others. But that wasn't the "low"...

My niece (the 16-year-old mentioned above) posted some things that made me pause. One she attributed to her father, essentially stating "Those who vote for Romney are wagon-pullers, those who vote for Obama are wagon-riders." So, am I to believe that the country is being supported by only 47.8% of the people? Or closer to home, I don't work as hard (or harder) than you? But I digress... The other thing was also a repost of one of her friends - a hate-filled, racist diatribe against his own family members that voted for Obama that ended with him telling those people that they were "un-American", could lick his balls, and "fuck off", among other things. My niece reposted it with the tag "Love this...." I could not stand by and let this one go, so I asked, "You don't really believe this, do you?" to which she replied that she loved and respected me, but she could not talk to me about this because our political views were different. Then, before I could tell her that there was a difference between political differences and racism, she defriended me.

I told my hubby about it and he gave me a lame apology. My co-worker showed me some sympathy...she seemed to understand the gravity of what I was feeling...1) my niece was agreeing with hurtful and racist ideology, knowing who was in her family, and 2) it seemed as though she was getting some of the "Fox News" idea of what a Liberal/Democrat is from her dad and/or mom. The hurtful thing about this is that I have known both of them for almost 20 years and count them as my friends and family. However, they still say/teach their daughter these things, knowing that they have family members who "lean" that way AND are people of color? I know that we try to teach our children our liberal point of view, but we certainly don't condemn our conservative family members for their point of view.

Now, I have to figure out how to go through the holidays and look all of them in the face, wondering how they truly see me.