we need to question what we assume. our privilege. our mobility. our consumption.
dear persons who have the right to vote in united states elections, took advantage of it, and were displeased with the outcome:
i think that we have to stop reacting to things the way we often do. why did this happen to “us” ? how will it affect ME ? how do i explain this to my children, and then, what are my options for what to do next. can i pack my bags to canada?
we have to question some of the fundamental assumptions we make all the time about our privilege of mobility and consumption and we need to start now.
no, more than before.
if we are angry, we need to be angrier than the angriest tweet we can think of. we even need to be angrier than marching in the streets. we need to really think about what sacrifices we are willing to make of our own personal liberty. and by liberty i mean consumption and mobility.
imagine leaving your house today with only what you can carry on your back. Walking, from the front door of your house, down your street, and walking all the way to the closest border to Canada. Then managing to pay a smuggler to carry you over the border; whatever or however that might be. Perhaps a boat ride across one of the great lakes, one where the smuggler just pushes the boat off and you drive it. Now imagine that when you arrive on the other side and try to apply for political asylum, if they even entertain your case, all of your possessions and assets are immediately taken as “pre-payment” for the social services you will be “sucking” off the government of Canada.
This is what is happening right now to political asylees coming to Europe–if they even make it, their possessions are being confiscated and they are put in internment camps aka temporary housing tents. Many Americans cant fathom that, nor do many Americans really seem to care.
In Europe, this was happening before Trump was elected, the day he was elected, and the day after. It will continue to happen. Syria was being bombed the day before Trump was elected, the day he was elected, and the day after. The world might look darker right now, but for the people immediately affected by hunger and war, by physical journeying, by sleeping rough, it doesn’t look all that different today than it did two days ago.
We play a role in this because of our lack of assistance to political asylees and because of our military involvement/sale of arms in so many war torn countries. Getting to the United States is a pipe dream for most migrants, and yet so many Americans were frightened by the possibility of legally integrating more migrants into its economic system as workers and tax payers. Its disgusting. And it didnt just come from the Right.
We have to question our own privilege. We have to double down our solidarity with migrants. We have to double our solidarity with the black lives matter movement and the LGBTIQ community and workers movements. We need to stand up for nonviolent action. We have to question our privilege and our consumption as a dialogue with each other. Trump is at the top of a business class that runs because of the worlds consumption. Question how our consumption feeds the wealth of the business classes. Question how our consumption does not value laboring bodies. Question how our consumption is unsustainable environmentally for the earth. People who leach their wealth off our need to consume and consume again cannot survive without our consumption.
we need to stop thinking about how to get our kids into the “best schools,” stop spending thousands on new computers or smart phones every year or every other year, stop acting like we don’t understand what it means for labor and the environment that a THING just arrives over night to our home through amazon.com that originated thousands of kilometers away. stop pretending like we don’t understand what it means for laboring bodies and the environment to have a heated pool, to board a plane, to buy so much clothing at such a low cost, to have a hotel bed made for us, a catered meal served to us at a conference where we are talking about “changing the world”. And if we dont understand what it means — we might want to think about finding out, for ourselves, through our very own bodies.
we need to stop tacitly agreeing with a world we say we disagree with.