The things you most dislike in other people are often the things you are denying in yourself.
Needing to denigrate others is clearly based on your own insecurities and inadequacies.
The actions you take out of fear and hate are always about the things you’ve done or thought of doing yourself.
I am a white woman who grew up in a lower middle class family. My mantra as a teenager was, “You’d let me do that if I was a boy!” I vowed not to be manipulated by anyone and especially anyone using my emotions to do it. I was afraid of loosing control. I strove to excel, valuing the praise over the competition.
Over time, I came to value fairness and social justice. I value the rights of the group over the rights of the individual. If asked to describe myself in societal terms: feminist intellectual focused on social justice and civil liberty. If asked to “just” describe myself: lover of ideas, technology, and self-expression through writing and art.
I strongly believe that the social contract and the common good is at the heart of society. I believe personal responsibility and freedom of expression is at the heart of democracy. Maintaining those things require engaged citizens. Being engaged means voting … no matter what. Gaining the right to vote and access to the ballot box for all citizens of whatever race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation is the core achievement of the civil rights and social justice movement. Giving that up to protest the quality of candidates is not okay. Accepting restrictions that devalue or limit that right is hypocritical. Under Trump and most Republicans, this means blocking voting access and participation for everyone who isn’t white. They are doing this every day using disinformation and propaganda, class and race (racism), false morality and false science, militarization of the police and military intervention worldwide.
I am not ashamed of my personal behavior (although I could do more). I am not ashamed of living in the United States. I am ashamed of Donald Trump and everyone who voted for him and his cronies. I am ashamed of my country in relation to world affairs. I am ashamed of everyone who thinks the failure to vote or otherwise “support” the system is enough of a response.
I am proud of all the cities and states that kept the social contract and continued with progressive policies. I am proud of everyone fighting the ongoing corruption through free speech, protest, energy and time. I am proud of the individuals and communities, past and present, running for office and refusing to be silenced. I am especially proud of every individual who says something when they see something … every time … it doesn’t matter how small or how big. Silence is the enemy. Speak up. Act out. Vote.