When Race is a Factor in Your Abuse

When Race is a Factor in Your Abuse | Comic Wisdom

 

Warning: this post discusses abuse.

My second husband was abusive.

I’ve mentioned this before, though usually in passing. He was abusive in most of the ways you can imagine, though thankfully with direct physical violence only once.  We split two years ago this June, and as you might expect, I’m still sorting out the emotional rubble.

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Please Don’t Say You’re Color Blind

Please Don’t Say You’re Color Blind | From Racism 101 for White People: A Guide to Getting Woke by Samantha Clarke | Comic Wisdom

 

Hey folks!  This is a chapter out of the book I’m writing called Racism 101 for White People: A Guide to Getting Woke!  If you like it, check out my Patreon page for exclusive sneak peeks and rewards starting at just $1!  Also every dollar gets me closer to dropping my workload down to three jobs instead of four, so you’d really be helping me out.  🙂  Thank you!!!

 

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Public Announcement: “Racism 101 for White People: A Guide to Getting Woke”

Public Announcement: Racism 101 for White People: A Guide to Getting Woke | by Samantha Clarke | Comic Wisdom

 

Unless you’re a patron on Patreon (meaning you got this announcement several days early, yay you! Sign up at $1 or more for this kind of pre-notice in the future!), this is your FIRST NOTICE about the deets on my upcoming project!

You already know I’m working on a book. But oooooooh, what is it about? I’ve been dropping some hints, do you have a guess?

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Do We Really Need Police?

Do We Need Police? | Comic Wisdom

Most of us, even if we have never had a good relationship with the police, take them for granted.  They’re necessary, right?  Don’t we need police?  Aren’t they a natural part of any civilized society?

I want to delve into the history of the police in the U.S. for a bit here and then we can analyze whether they’re necessary at all, because–stay with me–I’m not so sure they are.

 

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Silence is Complicity: Speak the Fuck Out, My Friends

Silence is Complicity: Speak the Fuck Out, My Friends | Comic Wisdom

Most Germans were completely aware of what was happening during the Holocaust.  They knew Jewish, gypsy/Romani, LGBTQ, disabled, communist, and trade unionist folks, along with dissenters and criminals and more, were systematically imprisoned, tortured, slaughtered, and entirely dehumanized.

Most Germans also allowed themselves to be desensitized to this; allowed it to be normalized; allowed their ingrained biases and hatred of others to be taken advantage of for this to happen.

Most Germans lived relatively normal lives during the war.  They had jobs, families, parties, birthdays, school, homes, and so on.  They could ignore what was happening to their fellow humans, and ignore they did.

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Hold Fast to That Faith: A Farewell to President Barack Obama

Barack Obama & Joe Biden | Comic Wisdom

I’ve been fighting an internal struggle over writing this article.

 

It’s difficult to express the impact Barack Obama has had on my life.  It’s been a massive one, and I expect that anything I uncover in writing this will be only the tip of the iceberg.  I am certain that in years to come I will continue to find new ways his presidency and his leadership have changed me.

 

But he is leaving office on Friday, and it seems to me that he is due my effort to express it before then.

 

So this is my attempt.

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Stop Telling Me My Racial Identity is Wrong

Stop Telling Me I'm Wrong About My Race | Comic Wisdom

 

Listen, I’m not delusional.  I’m half Middle Eastern–my father is from Syria–but despite the olive tone, I got my mother’s European light skin.  You’d be forgiven for thinking I was Spanish or Italian, and for being surprised to find out my distinctive features are due to my heritage in the Middle East.

 

Stop Telling Me I'm Wrong About My Race | Comic Wisdom
Trust me, if it’s a brown or vaguely brown ethnicity, I’ve been asked if I’m it.

 

I’m not trying to pretend my skin is dark, and I’m not complaining that lots of people don’t realize at first that I have non-white roots.  I fully understand I’m what they call “white-passing.”  And I’m also not denying the privilege that comes with that.

My issue is with the people who hear me say “half white” (I do not consider people with roots in the Middle East and North Africa, including Armenians, “white”), question me, and then when I explain that I’m light-skinned but half Middle Eastern tell me that doesn’t count or nice try, you’re white.

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Where Do We Go From Here?

Where Do We Go From Here? | Comic Wisdom

Wow.  Right?  I think it’s fair to say that all of us who didn’t support Trump have been reeling the last couple days.  Some of us, in varying degrees, have been dealing with anger, sadness, and fear.  Some of us have been protesting, some of us have been endlessly scrolling through Twitter and the news and anything else we can pick through to find answers–anything to try to sort out what the fuck happened, and what the fuck we’re going to do.  And some of us have been quiet, not sure yet what to do or say or think or feel.

I still can’t say I know, for sure.  Partly because we haven’t seen yet how this is going to go–we don’t know how many of his promises Trump is going to keep, how much (if at all) other Republican officials are going to stand up to him, or how dangerous it’s going to be for some of our most vulnerable citizens.  We all know we’re going to have to fight to keep the rights we’ve already achieved–and I think a lot of us know, deep down, that any progress from the point we were at will probably be put on hold as we struggle to even maintain what we have.

But we don’t know yet where those fights will have to be the strongest.  And a lot of us aren’t even sure what to do with the emotions we’re feeling.  Like…where do we direct our anger?  Is it productive and/or fair to direct it toward those who voted for Trump?  How about toward those who voted third party?  How about the nearly half of the population that didn’t vote at all?

How do we continue to stand up for ourselves, not allow Trump’s hateful, dangerous rhetoric to be normalized, but still proceed in a way that makes actual change–because we know, as much as this hurts, that to change people’s minds you have to listen, to understand, to meet them where they are, to hear what their frustrations are and answer their questions and treat them with dignity.  We know, as good as it feels because they hurt us, that making fun of and dismissing everyone who supported Trump is only pushing them further away.

I’m hearing so many reactions floating around, and most of them are valid, if biased.  Lots of people who supported Clinton, especially white men and women, are talking about patience, calm, understanding, and empathy.  They’re reminding us that a lot of people who supported Trump are not the white nationalists or the Pepe-wielding redditors you see depicted in the media.  They’re asking us to keep an open mind.  And they’re right, to an extent.  On the other side of the spectrum, people of color, religious minorities, LGBTQIA folks, people with disabilities, women and others are saying that it doesn’t matter–that anyone who supports Trump is approving of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and a whole bunch of other nastiness by voting for him.  They’re saying it is our right to protest, and that it’s easy to be calm if you don’t have to be afraid.  We are afraid, and rightfully so.  And those people are right too.

But I think the answer lies somewhere in between, because both sides are right.  I think the way forward is for those of us who’ve already been fighting–exhausted as we may be, and discouraged as we may be–to keep fighting.  And I think the key is for those who didn’t fight before–those who are able–to join us.  And I also think that the fight will be fought on a variety of levels.  Some of us, especially those with the kinds of privilege that makes Trump supporters more likely to listen to them (like straight white men), will work to change the hearts and minds of the people around them, gently and compassionately.  Others will work with nonprofit groups, government programs and powerful individuals to push for the preservation of our legal protections and rights. Others will write songs, books, movies, poems, blogs, articles, podcasts and so on that both reach out to the undecided or quiet folks out there, and that encourage those fighting.  This is to name only a few of the ways we can all be a part of a force for good.

There’s a place for us all in this, and don’t let anyone tell you what you have to be or what you have to do.  I don’t encourage violence and I don’t think it helps us, but that is the only thing I will actively discourage right now.  Feel what you want to; say what you think is important; do what you can.  Take some time to grieve, if you need it.  Some of us will need more than others.  If you feel deeply unsafe, do what you need to do to protect yourself (including moving away–don’t let people try to shame you out of it if you feel threatened or unwelcome).  If you think more people need to be sympathetic with the people who voted for Trump, then get out there and be the outreach you see a need for.  There is no one right path.  We are a nation of diversely talented people, and we can use that diversity to push for good in a time that seems so bleak; so dangerous.

I’m going to put links in my sidebar to some organizations that will probably need donations, volunteers, votes and support in the years to come.  I also encourage registering to vote if you are able to and have not yet, because like many have pointed out, there is a major midterm election in 2018 as well as whole bunch of local things to get involved in.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, need to talk about something, want to know how you can help, have suggestions for me, if you want to write for me, if you want me to write for you, if you want me to plug your organization or project–I’m open, and I try to answer everyone.

And please feel free to engage in civil discourse in my comments section!

 

 

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