Every where I go people are talking about community. Two years ago it seemed an easier concept- one without too many contradictions and one that as individuals we could rally around. Surely, we were fighting for the same things but then if we were fighting, then didn’t that mean we weren’t living the life of solidarity yet? I wasn’t alone as a person of color, in feeling a thousand leagues of pressure, negativity and a questioning of personhood as I experienced America telling me loud and clear that as a Non-binary person of color I, my family and our views weren’t welcome. I was told it in having articles censured, in the Pulse night club massacre, in not being given access to health care, in not being given the benefit of the doubt the same way as those fitting a dominant narrative.
Familiar, hateful indicators were in almost every situation. The only difference was they were now coming to me in overt, bold ways from everyday people I knew. Business associates, neighbors, external family members, friends. Then Trump announced his run for presidency and nausea blocked out my vision as I knew what was coming. It was not a surprise to me and many other people of color that he was elected. Our community has been here before, several times, watching president after president garner attention without helping to solve the oppression in our daily lives- often times from well meaning people we had thought understood our real battles and hear our requests.
Presidents can’t and don’t solve systemic oppression and discrimination though, that’s for us to do. It requires a kind of compassion that is difficult to quantify with intersection and is all too easy to generalize. Solving relationship problems including the relationship problems of our country takes more than saying, “solidarity” or “Everyone is welcome” because that is an inversion of empathy. It is not real love and unity if we are ignoring the perpetual marginalization of the person we’re in a relationship with or going one step further- asking them to educate us on how they’d like to be treated when we’ve already been told.
Today there is a fight over what should be the dominant narrative in America but I invite you to think outside the box with me and KBOO. Phemenology is the science of focusing on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience. It is seeing that nothing is new but that everything is an evolution. A partnership. At KBOO phemenology is a treasure. We recognize that there are lots of different communities and evolutions. We also recognize that part of evolution, part of learning and growth is to say no to what does not support life. No is one of the most powerful words world wide. It’s typically in the top ten list of words babies learn. No can be empowering. Saying no, for example to hate, to tropes, to a lack of self-care ushers in a new phenomenon of “YES”. The struggle is real. Instead of tug of war, we could be sharing power and experience with those who haven’t had the dominate narrative- We could be listening. Something that KBOO’s mission is all about. I hope you’ll keep listening to KBOO and keep giving your feedback to us in the Evening News and Public Affairs corner. You’re why we’re here after all.