I went on a Facebook “holiday” about a week ago, just for a few days, to give my brain a break. For months I’ve been watching the crazy get crazier, my social feeds filling up with rants, ire and vitriol, as people whom I have considered dear friends for years (decades in some cases) melt down and say unspeakable things about people who hold my dearly-held beliefs.
The election of President Trump in the U.S. has been a major catalyst for the temper-storm, but it started long before then, with intellectual posturing and declarations of received wisdom, finally melting down into name calling and handbags-at-twenty-paces girl fights.
What on earth happened?
It seems as though the one side, no longer able to sustain their cognitive dissonance in the face of policy and social failure, has retreated to their echo chamber and cranked up the volume.
Meanwhile, those of us on the other side, tired unto the death of being told to sit down, to shut up, to “check your privilege”, finally decided to stand up and speak out. Loud, proud and angry, silent no more.
I’ve been reading a lot lately about how our society is getting more “tribal”. Seeing it too. People are less willing to hear each other out, more inclined to “stick to their own kind”.
But what happens when your own kind, isn’t?
I’m mixed-race. Not bi-racial[i], but truly mixed. A one-woman melting pot. My parents came from one of those places where waves of colonization, slavery, indentured servitude and migration resulted in a deeply blended population.
That said, the dominant culture, before – and even after – Independence, was British. My parents moved to Canada to start their life together, back during the wave of “professional-class” migration, before the subsequent mass immigration during the cultural-mosaic and family-reunification years. Unlike many of their compatriots, they chose to live in a host-culture neighbourhood instead of a home-culture enclave. They made a point of steeping us in Canadian life and Canadian values, just as they’d been steeped in English culture, values and traditions during their childhood.
I grew up in a typical, comfortable suburb, surrounded by other families just like ours, except for our skin colour – which no one seemed to notice anyway. We all did the same things: tennis, curling, skating at the arena and cheering on “our” hockey team, going bowling, hanging out at the mall, the usual. We listened to the same music, read the same books and newspapers, went to the same parties, shared the same values. In short, I was just another kid in the neighbourhood – no different than any of my friends. I wasn’t really aware of race as a concept growing up. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me until I was about sixteen that I fell vaguely into the category of “black people”, because it just never came up.
And I have followed in my parents’ footsteps, expanding on the
ir theme of full assimilation. The man I fell in love with and married is an Englishman, as Anglo-Saxon as they come. My children, well, they are…indeterminate, a delightful combination of my side’s extreme blending and my husband’s strong, unambiguous ancestry. Pale-eyed, caramel skinned, beautiful. For many years we lived in a comfortable suburb much like the one I grew up in, a bastion of old WASP families, until the encroaching chaos of the city threatened to overwhelm even that long established neighbourhood. So, when I contemplate my Tribe, I think about comfortable, conservative, suburban white people, just like me. But…
Black race agitators[ii], feminists in their vagina-hats, Antifa-fascists, and all the other crazed regressives who have lost their collective mind are trying to tell me (and the rest of the world) that as a Black Woman ™, I must side with them. On the other side, the Alt-Right, whose stance and beliefs make so much more sense to me, and who seem like the only path to a sane future, not to mention the salvation of Western Civilization, seem to be telling me that I can’t side with them.
Is my Tribe the people with whom I feel most comfortable and have the most in common? Or is it those people who look like me? Because they’re not the same people.
I know where I fit.
But with the psychic meltdown on one side, and the Anglo-Saxon uprising on the other, among those tired of being pushed around – and now spoiling for a fight, I’m not sure whether I’ll be permitted to stay.
It hasn’t become a problem. Yet. But I watch. And I wait.
[i] I loathe that word, with it’s loaded, sanctimonious and smug progressivism. I even prefer the White Nationalist term “mystery meat”, which at least has the benefit of being funny.
[ii] How DARE they proclaim that Black Lives Matter ™ when all they promote is violence, degeneracy and death.