Us VS Them

I’ve been feeling very unsettled lately. Between Covid-19, the protests, new job, aging parents, and the like, things don’t feel settled; rather, they feel uncertain. I said to Ted that I feel like I’m teetering on a point and I could drop down on either side – the positive or the alternative (the place that we shall not mention!).

But, I think a large part contributing to my uneasiness is the great divide we are experiencing in this country. At first, I just thought it was political – you’re either a Democrat or a Republican. No middle ground. But now it feels like it is “black” vs “white” and “mask” or “no mask” and so much more. It feels very “us” vs “them.” If you don’t agree with one side or the other, you’re wrong. There is no room for a middle ground. Back in 2018, I unaffiliated with either political party here in the US (post about why linked here). So, I am neither Democrat nor Republican. So I am in the middle; where do I fit in? I would say I identify far more with the Democratic party, but I do not like the constant push for me to stand behind a candidate simply because he or she is a Democrat. We know I don’t like the current President. He has a track record of treating women inappropriately and mocking those with disabilities, and that bothers me.

There is also a lot of tumult going on regarding race relations in the US. I’m 150% supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement, the removal of historic statues of slave owners, and standing up for those who need my voice. When people argue about statues being part of our history, I can see their perspective, but then I think about how I’d feel if there were statues of Adolf Hitler and Nazis around me. I almost feel like we should put those statues in a museum to show up what our history was like in an effort not to repeat it – place them somewhere with a notation that this is our past – we acknowledge it -but we do not want to see it repeated. We have Holocaust museums for that purpose. We have African American museums that may be receptive to displaying these statues for the purpose of historical documentation – a sort of “never forget” mentality.

I wrote a few weeks back about how I felt a discomfort in posting a black square on my Instagram because I didn’t think it would make an impact. I guess people posted it to show a solidarity but I didn’t see how it would impact much change. It felt like “lip service.” But, it feels like when someone posts a differing opinion on social media these days, there are 20, 30, 100 people there to quickly jump down their throat for thinking differently. I’m not talking about folks who are writing about “all lives matter” and the like, but someone like me who may not see the impact of the black square posting. I just chose not to do it, and instead, wrote about it here. It doesn’t mean I don’t stand in solidarity; it just means I have chosen to make an impact in other ways.

You can see this is something I am clearly struggling with – if I don’t choose one side or the other, then I am fearful I will get attacked for not taking a stand. It’s “us” vs “them” and I refuse to take part in something other than a “grey area.”

I told me executive coach that I haven’t been sleeping well and she said many of us aren’t due to Covid-19 and the unrest in our country. Yes, she’s right. But I find some of the unrest also exciting as it may actually make an impact and force a change to racism in our country. Trump hosted a big rally this weekend and it wasn’t well attended. This gives me hope that we’re making progress in this country. His White House doesn’t demonstrate the change I want to see. The unrest may be helping move the needle in the right direction. I stand with that!

P.S. You may disagree with my thoughts posted and that is totally fine with me. These are just my thoughts and I am open to hearing other perspectives so email me, post comments, and push back as you see fit.

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