Suicidal Ideations Of A Social Justice Warrior
It starts in the morning. Before you get out of bed. The alarm is annoying but you don’t turn it off because… what’s the point? The shrill buzzing of forces beyond your control is the background noise to life anyway. You can rip the clock out of the wall and smash it into your headboard, but what does that accomplish? That’s just living in a bubble. Time marches on whether you acknowledge it or not.
Eventually, you get out of bed because you have to. You know you can’t call into work with “depression.” You know if you do some other person at work will say “I’m depressed too, but I showed up on time,” because most people don’t distinguish between depression and reluctance. And hey, if you can get up, you probably aren’t really depressed anyway.
Just hungover. You’re definitely hungover, as you’ve been pretty much every day since the election. You run through your shower and your morning routine kind of wishing you had some, like, “official disease” that would justify totally receding from the outside world. Then you feel bad because you know people who are/have been really sick and who would trade whatever you’re feeling for your generally good health.
By the time you get to work you feel like a depressed, hungover, asshole. And the day is just getting started.
Maybe you are lucky enough to have a job where you can do something about the Trumpkins. Maybe you are a lawyer and allowed to use those skills to protect what you love? You try to throw yourself into those good works.
Maybe you are lucky enough to have a job that is completely detached from Trump’s America. Maybe you are a lawyer and paid handsomely to use those skills for the financial gain of others? You try to throw yourself into that professionalism.
But either way, you are constantly fighting feelings of uselessness. Are you doing enough? Could you be doing more? What is the point of “doing” at all? You need the money and whatever fleeting feelings of accomplishment work gives you. You don’t think about the mountains you’re trying to climb, you keep your head down and focus on putting one foot in front of the other foot.
Your private life is a wreck. You’re basically living inside the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Every day, every goddamn day, some person you previously thought was an upright and upstanding person reveals themselves to be part of the problem. You’ve long since stopped associating with actual Trump voters, you’re maybe not even on speaking terms with certain parts of your family. But people can’t take losing. The whole human race evolved from, essentially, front-runners. Bending to the prevailing winds is natural, making peace with the overdogs is a survival instinct. And so every day, some person you know makes some kind of overt capitulation to Trump:
“It’s not really a Muslim ban, it’s really just inconveniencing a few people from a few countries,” says the secretary-cum-Constitutional textualist.
“I might not agree with everything he does, but Neil Gorsuch will make a fine Justice,” says the senior manager who will never need an abortion.
“It’s not politics, it’s just a football game,” screams the colleague who had to shout over the sound of F-14 fighter jets while George H.W. Bush was rolled out to flip a coin.
And that’s the kind of stuff you hear in real life. You don’t even want to look at your social media feeds. Twitter is an endless scroll of misinformation and stupidity. It used to be “fun,” in the way watching a snake charmer f**k with a cobra is “fun.” Now… the charmer is dead and you are running low on antidote.
You lose people. Your island gets smaller. Suddenly, you’re the one building walls. All the Trump people know how to do is hurt. They have no idea how to heal. They’re not holding out an olive branch, just a stick to beat you with. But hey, look, there’s another “friend” telling — warning you if it’s a white friend — you that if you don’t let them hit you with their sticks, you’ll never understand why they’re beating you.
By the end of the work day, you’re not just tired, you’re drained. You’re like a phone with an old battery, you can never really get it charged up to full power, and so there’s never enough power to really last the full day.
But you’re still not done because now you have to go home where the best you can hope for is to find something to distract you from the real world. But you have kids and so nothing can really make you forget about the awful society you foolishly decided to bring them into. The world that the Trumpkins are screwing up is the one they will be forced to inherit. What will it be like for them? Will it be underwater? Will your kids be prevented from fulfilling their dreams because they’re not white? You think back through your day. Yes, almost every asshole who said something pro-Trump to you today was a white man. Of course. NEVER forget what color “jersey” these people are really wearing.
Is there a white man left that you really trust? Is it “paranoid” to ask yourself that question? Should you teach your kids that they can trust white people, even if you no longer believe that yourself? You don’t know, but you’re definitely not reading the white man’s literature to your kids, not tonight anyway. We can read about the white man in the yellow hat and his monkey slave some other night.
Instead of seeking out “distraction,” when the kids go to bed, you have your first nightcap, and do more work. Unpaid, unheralded work. You’re not doing it altruistically, hell no, you’re doing free labor for selfish reasons. You need to be able to sleep at night. You need to be able to look at yourself in the mirror. You need to be doing everything you can think of.
Except it’s not really everything you can think of, is it? You can think of some pretty dark s**t. You’re devoted to your kids, but are you willing to give the last full measure of devotion? Are you prepared for that?
And if so, how should you do it? Where should you do it? What way would have the most impact? Should you take anybody down with you, or is single shot martyrdom the best way to go? Will you kids understand? No, of course not. But maybe if you do… something… they won’t have to. They can’t have to. You are their parent and it’s your job to stop these people for them. Your life means nothing, their life means everything. And you’re just going to sit here and let them be relegated to second-class status because white people don’t have the guts to stand up to a dictator and his friends?
No, you’ll turn into Super Fly T.N.T before that happens, of that you can best believe.
You should probably put down the bottle now. No good idea ever came out of it, and you didn’t even mean to drink that much. These thoughts aren’t constructive anyway. It can’t literally go on like this forever, can it? This isn’t actual hell, is it?
Maybe tomorrow will better.
Elie Mystal is an editor of Above the Law and the Legal Editor for More Perfect. He can be reached @ElieNYC on Twitter, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will resist.
Published at Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:45:45 +0000
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