Friday 11 November 2016

Inevitable politics

On Wednesday morning I was having a vivid nightmare. In my nightmare, I woke up and heard that Clinton had won the election, and I dreamt that I was pleased with this outcome and went back to sleep. This made it slightly more shocking when I ACTUALLY woke up to the news, although I was not really that surprised, which meant I was not really that upset - and anyway, I reasoned, it's not our leader that has just been elected.

The story was different at school. I got a lot of shade thrown at me by my right-on tutees for not allowing them to write, "Trump is on trial for rape tomorrow" (that case having been dropped, I pointed out that it was inaccurate and invited them to go away and find me something negative and true, on the basis that this would not be too difficult. Still waiting.)
One of my tutees was actually hysterical - tears, screaming, the works. There's a good percentage of Muslim students who feel this will personally affect them, of which she is one. Who can say? Nobody can say.

Anyway, I know I don't normally talk about my political point of view on here but the whole thing reminded me of this article I read after the 2015 election; I went back and dug it out again in the face of the upsetting reports of the predictable rise in racist incidents in America since Wednesday, mirroring what happened after Brexit. Talking to some of my students yesterday I was really sad to hear that some of them have been told to go back to where they came from, in spite of being British born. "What, Southmead hospital?" responded one: loving the sass but it is awful that at 15 she is already so used to this shit that she has a prepared response.

I liked this quote from the end of the article the best:

Finally, through all of this -  be kind. Be so, so kind. Be kind to your comrades, who'll get as tired and as angry as you. If you can, be kind to those you argue with, because compassion changes more minds than anger, even though it's harder to muster. Be kind to the poor. The disabled. To immigrants. To workers. To anyone who's a bit different. The government won't be you see.

One friend on Facebook commented about the hysteria of people who don't support Trump and asked when we forgot to lose gracefully. I'd argue that it was probably at the same time we forgot to win gracefully. No election should result in an upsurge in racism and bigotry: that is never OK. Be kind. Be kind, be kind, be kind. To everyone, regardless of how you feel about them or how they feel about you. At the moment it feels like that's all that's left.

The regular service of knitting, lists and pictures of blue things will resume tomorrow.

No comments: