You Get One Win and You Expect to Always Win, You Weak-Ass Punk Bitch Bastards

I spent the weeks before the election reading about the Warsaw Ghetto and in retrospect it was the best thing I could have done. Starving, desperate, dying, armed with homemade bombs and sharpened knives, people who had seen their entire families die or disappear held off the might of Nazi Germany for more than 30 days. They were overrun, of course, captured and deported or killed.

By all means, lie down and despair, today.

Throughout our history people have lined up to fight and die for a country that has never recognized their full humanity.

They lived their entire lives in secret because of who they were, or who they loved, and fought every single day to change that which until recently looked unchangeable.

People voted in this election who were born on plantations, who were born before women could vote.

But by all means, tell us all there’s nothing more to be done. Tell that guy. Tell it to his face.

I’m asking you this morning, everybody talking about what a shitass racist country this is, what a miserable place, and how the system is irretrievably broken and nothing will ever change, do you regret a single thing you fought for? Do you regret a single dollar?

I’d rather lose every election from now until the end of time than have been on the other side of this for even a second.

You keep shoveling dirt over yourselves. You keep telling us there’s no chance. We’ll be out here in the rain, not moving for a second:

I think a lot of people my age, including, let’s be honest, me, thought Obama won and that somehow changed things. I was in Grant Park the night they declared for the first black president in this nation’s history and it was what people tell me heroin’s like, I’ve been high as a kite on that victory ever since and I want to feel like that all the time, I GET IT, GUYS. Jam that shit in our veins.

But that’s not our history. Our history is sixty tents full of dysentery death and desertion and the reason we even have unlikely victories over insurmountable odds is that the victories are unlikely. The odds are insurmountable.

This country’s oldest songs were written in bondage. We sing them loud and expect to be heard the first time, and when we’re not we think, what, that the problem is with the songs? Do you listen to yourselves?

By all means, lie down and despair today. By all means pretend that we’re somehow in this for peace, that there’s any way out of this but dead, that we have the right to see the end of anything, that we get to know the answers for anything other than what we did in the here and now. The people who changed us knew that. Harriet, leading her people to freedom. Harvey, demanding dignity in a world determined to give him none. John, on the bridge, facing down the fire hoses and the dogs. Ruth, resplendent in argument, and Ingrid astride her white horse.

None of them saw the end of their work. None of us should expect to, either. Every victory notwithstanding. Every loss, too.

A.

One thought on “You Get One Win and You Expect to Always Win, You Weak-Ass Punk Bitch Bastards

  1. I also thought the election of Obama represented a sea change in America, but I was naive.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: