Mr. Potato Head Hate: a re-envisioning of last night’s “don’t really wanna go home tonight” post:

For my original post, un-struck post from last night about the London attacks and hate on Muslims, click here:

Much of this will be repetitive because some other topic I didn’t expect came to the fore on FUX last night about Muslims illegal immigrants …and then the format of this post will make more sense, hence the “corrections.” And where there were no changes, I just cut a bunch out for quicker reading.

I’m in my favorite coffee shop, drinking coffee way too late in the day, but determined to get some serious thinking down before going home…or at least, wait until the place closes and I have no choice but to go home. With everything that goes wrong and is spread across the media, discussing it with my dad is the last thing I want to do.

I’ve noticed a trend whereby social media seems to be quiet about some really bad thing that happened for at least the first 12-24 hours. But the next day all hell breaks loose, and I bet my Facebook feed’s going to blow up the way YouTube has about these London attacks today the 14-year-old Maryland girl who was assaulted by two boys–at least one an illegal immigrant–earlier this week….

I don’t know how to feel about the event outside Parliament, except virtual hugs and best wishes for recovery and strength to all in London right now. So far, the media hasn’t disclosed the assailant’s name or place, purpose, anything. The words “attack” and “terrorist” “immigrant” and “criminal” are being flung around interchangeably. I’m reserving judgment on who this person is and why they did it, but I know the media won’t be so kind as soon as another snippet comes along.

Amazingly, so far, the FUX news site’s being a bit quiet about the matter (I admit I didn’t do a deep search). But I bet the channel will be blaring when I get home, and I don’t want to even say anything about it.

I don’t know why, exactly, but my dad and I are almost poles apart on politics these days. Before this election, we were pretty much on the same page. Now, with Dump in office, we’ll never see eye to eye on anything. So, to preserve the peace, I go in the office and put on my headphones (so partly-deaf-dad can listen to his FUX news at full volume and I don’t) and we don’t talk.

Partly thanks to this chasm, I’m more and more tempted every day to pack up and move to be with my sister-by-choice and her family, even though there’s no way I could afford it. Every political discussion’s becoming an argument unless I cut and run.

But I don’t want to discuss it with anyone I know, because somehow these little snippets of racism and prejudice I’d barely heard when I was a teenager (or younger) are suddenly, nakedly there. I guess parents try to curb their prejudices around little ears but don’t bother when the kids are older. Is it a half-assed way to explain that “the world’s not a pretty place and it’s about time you got the facts (aka, what I consider facts, but are in fact prejudices I kept quiet from you)”?

I’ll get home and I know dad will be listening to FUX news, and will be yelling about Muslim murderers the immigrant menace, as will about half the people I have as Facebook friends come tomorrow morning. Hell, they’re already doing it on the little YouTube snippets of news that have come out. Scrolling down, so much venom and hate.

And we don’t even have the full story yetAnd what story we have is getting a really shitty filter put on it. For one thing, they’re not focusing on the girl (though because of age, I suppose that’s necessary). They’re not focusing on her humiliation and suffering at the hands of these two boys. FUX news is focusing on the illegal immigrant angle–where were they when a girl/woman’s being groped/assaulted/raped/killed by acquaintances, family members, first dates, etc. EVERY DAY?…no, when it’s an illegal immigrant, a criminal because it’s politically convenient, then they’ll report on it.

I have to wonder, is it wrong to not hate? I’m having a hard time standing still and standing alone. I can’t explain my reasoning, which I know will piss off a ton of people, but I can’t hate–even if it’s proven to be a Muslim that did it. I can’t sit there and condemn all Muslims immigrants for the actions of one.

For one thing, I’m tired of hearing things like: “Do you know what Muslims believe immigrants don’t really care about our country?” “Don’t you know that no devout Muslim can really these immigrants can’t obey American laws?” “Don’t you know Muslims are supposed to kill every Christian and Jew they find if they’re to get to heaven immigrants take all the jobs and mooch off the system that good Americans have paid for all their lives?”

It didn’t hit me until I was in bed how interchangeable the hate can be.

It’s like we have a revolving door of hate that we work with. One day, hate the Muslims, the next day, hate feminists, the next day, hate immigrants, the next, hate illegal immigrants, the next day, hate liberals, etc.

It’s very much like Mr. Potato Head–whatever works for the moment, whatever components we have at our disposal to create something out of the same basic framework, and I’m so damned tired.

You know, this is what I figured out was bothering me a few hours ago, and the main reason I don’t want to go home right now.

I am feeling pressured to hate.

am paranoid enough to believe that people who suggest all Muslims need to be wiped off the face of the earth really we really need that wall and we really need “Dump” to keep those criminals out just want me to just spout the same racist, prejudiced, malicious things they keep saying…even if they say it in measured tones instead of Hitler-style shrieks. But I can’t fake an emotion like that–I can’t fake being happy, and I can’t fake being hateful. I’m a terrible liar.

I can’t waste my time hating people because they’re not white or “Christian” white, or born here, like me–is that what these people in my life actually want? I won’t waste my time

I’ve said that “going along” just doesn’t cut it for me anymore–I’d rather not say a word than appease someone else’s ego by agreeing with them. It’s funny, because nobody’s really asked my opinion much recently. They believe–not without reason, I suppose–that I won’t agree with them or fake it, so they don’t bother. I’m “liberal leaning,” but down here it would be construed as “bleeding-heart.”

I don’t want to go home because I don’t have an answer for my feelings, only that I can’t agree that all Muslims are murderers and they will never conform to Western ideals immigrants need to stop coming here, that we need a wall to keep them out, and to hell with the suffering people in the rest of the world, that maybe it’s survival of the fittest and they should just die. I can’t answer for my opinions, because they’re feelings. I can’t find it in me to reach the point–mentally or emotionally–where I believe a certain group of people don’t deserve the right to breathe.

And in the next few weeks, that might just be a dangerous viewpoint.

 

We’re not close anymore, and that’s why I don’t want to go home.

But if being close means I have to mirror what I did with my mom a decade ago, that I have to nod my head with everything said to keep the peace, then it’s just not worth it.

I can’t do that at home, or at work, or anywhere…not anymore. It’s that “burning bridges” thing again, I guess.

(Thankfully, we didn’t have a discussion, but didn’t say a word to each other, either. My jaw ticked when I was doing dishes and hearing FUX news, and that’s when I remembered the little bits about this Maryland case I saw on the website earlier and the words from Bill O’Reilly just pissed me off. I didn’t say anything to dad, just finished fast as I could and tried to sleep with all this going around my head.)

Hugs and prayers to everyone out there today, regardless of religion, ethnicity, migratory status, political belief, etc… Enough of convenient hate, and hugs for the young woman raped by the boys in Maryland, regardless of their legality. Hugs for the Londoners personally harmed and even not harmed alike, because we’re a community of human beings, even as we’re in our own little bubbles.

And hugs to all in the hopes that the media re-engages in using proper context instead of feeding on our insecurities and fears, on our narcissism and exceptionalism, and the damned ratings monster which is never full.

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