I know I said I was hoping to wrap up the month with a juicy fiction piece but one didn't come to me. Though don't lose heart, depending on how many words this piece ends up being, and my rants are usually shorter than my stories, there is always tomorrow!
So dictionary.com threw some massive shade this week when it made "complicit" the word of the year. You might remember Ivanka saying she didn't know what complicit meant and trying to define it as being a force for good. Umm, no. Senator Jeff Flake said he was resigning because he could no longer be complicit in what this administration was doing. And numerous stories around the sexual abuse scandals have come out about how many people were complicit in keeping them silent.
So complicit is the word of the year.
When I saw that I gave a smirk smile. Because it sums up what I've been feeling all year. You all know I've had my moments of being tired of screaming in to the void. Of trying to find the right words to say to move people. To bring some sort of understanding of actual facts over tweeted lies to the forefront of discussions. I've dropped people off of my friend list because I was tired of having to take a deep breath before looking to see what idiotic "people are saying" thing they posted. And I've been so sick of it all that I have come up to the brink of just shutting up and deleting all of my social media and my blog page and just going away for the next however many years this nightmare lasts.
But then I don't.
Because someone tells me that what I say has made a difference to them.
Because I see a story that shows me that I'm not the only one out there railing against the wind.
Because I refuse to be complicit.
And silence to me is being complicit.
This morning our illustrious leader tweeted out videos from a right wing extremist group from the UK. Two of the videos were debunked as false and one of them is unknown as to what it's even from. This is old information. I was already familiar with two of the three because they had been posted by assholes and debunked as false. But our president looked at them, knew the source, and retweeted them. Then his press secretary came out and said, "Whether it is a real video, the threat is real... That is what the President is talking about, that is what the President is focused on is dealing with those real threats, and those are real no matter how you look at it."
When Sanders was asked again about the fact (THE FACT) that the videos are fake and the source is horrific she doubled down, "I'm not talking about the nature of the video. I think you're focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real, and that's what the President is talking about."
So the threat is real and we are going to show you fake videos to prove it.
Fake videos from a right wing extremist group.
And can we just talk for a moment about how "right wing extremist" should make conservatives FURIOUS? You should be fighting against these people. Washing them from your ranks. Remember how when Antifa "protested" here in Portland after the election and broke things, and spray painted things and rioted against the police and I posted on my status about how WRONG they were? How they didn't represent the majority of progressives and how disgusting their actions were? THAT is what you need to be doing with people who claim your side as their side. Stop being silent.
Earlier this week the President of the United States stood in front of a portrait of Andrew Indian Killer Jackson and used the slur Pocahontas, to Navajo Code talkers. WWII heroes. Now, I would have given him a pass on the portrait. It's in bad taste but possibly an honest mistake. Possibly. Maybe nobody in the White House right at that moment knew about the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears. It could happen. I guess. I mean I've met adults whose education was so piss poor they didn't know. So maybe...
But then Sanders came out to defend him. It's ridiculous that anyone could think of Pocahontas as being a slur, and really isn't the offensive thing that Warren claimed her heritage as Native American to advance her career? Why weren't they focused on that? Well, let's break it down. NUMEROUS Native American groups have REPEATEDLY stated that they view the President's use of Pocahontas to refer to Senator Warren as offensive. So there's the first part. It's a slur because he is using it as such. He is mocking her by calling her by the name of a famous Native American woman. And secondly, it was reported on. It was investigated. She didn't use it to gain an advantage. Harvard used it to look more racially diverse than it was but she didn't use it to gain any advantage. And the real kicker is, she didn't lie. It's her family lore. Being from New Mexico I know a lot of people who claim Native American heritage but not the benefits or the tribal inclusion. There are a lot of family stories about people passing. Hell, I have two in my family legend. I imagine when I get my DNA testing back that those will be shown to have just been legend, but growing up I was told about them, so I'm not lying when I say, my family thinks this thing.
She's not on the Dawes registry, if the family story is true she's probably a very small percentage of Native American, but it still doesn't mean she's lying. It means that's her family story. So no, I don't find it offensive that she has a family that believes itself to have Native ancestry (even though I laughed at the Cherokee part, everyone who thinks they have Native blood but doesn't have a still intact lineage goes Cherokee).
But even if she did lie. Even if she claimed to have been raised on the reservation, even if she was a giant piece of shit, guess what? That doesn't excuse what he did. And it doesn't excuse where he did it. And it doesn't make him any less of an ignorant fool to have said it and done while he was supposed to honoring those men.
And that is why I continue to rail. Why I continue to shout in to the void. Why I still run at that wall full force. Why I refuse to sit silently. Because there are people out there that want you to ignore what he is doing, what he is saying, how he is behaving, and what the cost of that behavior will be. And as things progress I want to make sure I can stand and say, I was not complicit.