Interdependent Web: Political divides, sexism, and white male fear

Interdependent Web: Political divides, sexism, and white male fear

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


Across political divides

Justin Almeida writes an open letter to friends and family who support Donald Trump.

This now involves people; specifically people like me. This is a deep wound you’ve created and most likely will deny. And I don’t want to believe it either. . . . But you’ve proven to me that you hate me, you hate people who are like me, and that you want us beaten, arrested, deported and dead.

So I’m writing you this letter. Please don’t do this. We loved each other, or at least I thought we did. And I’m willing to keep trying. My hands and heart are open to you. Please turn away from your hate. Please, my friend, my family, my beloved: will you not stand on the side of love with me? (What’s My Age Again, August 10)

The Rev. Erika Hewitt reports her impressions from a Trump rally in Maine.

And here's the thing hardest to admit: I got inside their heads a little. I feel for them. Trump's supporters genuinely believe that the media has it in for Trump, and genuinely believe that the Clintons have conspired to rig the election. They have a point. Am I happy about 40,000 missing emails? Do I think it was a good idea for Bill Clinton to visit Loretta Lynch's plane? (Is Trump's hair real?)

That's why I went inside the rally: to be able to see all of this instead of mock the guy; to try to understand instead of dismissing or vilifying Trump voters as "crazy." If we sit back and throw around insults, aren't we doing the very thing we criticize in them? (Facebook, August 5)

Sexism and white male fear

The Rev. Sam Trumbore begins a post about “white male revaluation” with an honest expression of how he feels, and ends with how he’s come to terms with those feelings.

Speaking personally, as a late-middle-aged white male, I notice my sense of value in steep decline. The message I pick up in the progressive, liberal circles I inhabit, is the world would be better place if I didn’t exist. There isn’t much I have to contribute to the future of civilization since most of the world’s problems were created by white men. And I’m holding employment that could and should go to non-whites. And I’m holding resources that were taken from the oppressed and ought to be returned. . . .

It is time for white males to surrender the urge to dominate the whole and humbly find our way back into loving community. I suspect our renewed sense of value will be discovered in relationship rather than in autonomy, in what we can give rather than what we can take, in what we can learn more than what we think we know. (Rev. Sam Trumbore, August 11)

Doug Muder writes about sexism and Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

[Think] about what you would like to have told those 2012 voters who were convinced that Barack Obama was a Kenyan-born terrorist-sympathizing fake Christian who hates America and wants to undermine our culture and society. Not that those wouldn’t be good reasons to vote against him, but why do you believe them? Could the thinking process that led you to those beliefs have been influenced by the subtle racism that infects almost everything in our society?

Our society is similarly infected with subtle sexism. Those things you believe about Hillary that make her uniquely objectionable, or so repellant that the difference between her and Trump seems too insignificant to take seriously, why do you believe them?

Could sexism have played a role in forming those beliefs? Think it through again. (The Weekly Sift, August 8)

Tina Porter expresses the rage working its way through her.

A scream is
burrowing a hole
not yet through
my chest. . . .
It is the rage
at willful ignorance
at male dominion
at female complicity
at white obfuscation
at the pain
of not being heard
again, and again,
and again (Ugly Pies, August 11)

And more

The Rev. Amy Shaw offers words of reassurance to her friends who measure themselves against the perfection they see in others on social media.

You are enough.

None of us have it all right, and most of us wander through life trying to figure out exactly how we have made it this far without death, dismemberment, or incarceration.

The world would be less without you. Exactly as you are. Sure, you can do better—we all can.

But kiddo, you're ok. (Facebook, August 8)

As she prepares to return to the U.S. from an extended stay in Mexico, the Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern writes that, “The best thing about Mexico is Mexicans.”

Of the ten or so countries I’ve visited or lived in, Mexico’s people are the most generous. Most notably, they are generous with their time. Our experience today was a case in point. We went to Teotitlán del Valle, a town half an hour east of Oaxaca that is known for its weaving. At the final shop we visited, we asked if we could look at the looms. The man who’d woven the rug we were buying, Gerónimo, not only eagerly showed us his loom but invited the munchkin to have a go. She loved it, and he was a natural-born teacher. He didn’t just show her how to run the shuttle back and forth a couple of times; he worked with her on several inches of weaving, patiently showing her every step and letting her do them all. (Sermons in Stone, August 7)

The Rev. David Pyle recommends the science fiction series, Poseidon’s Children.

I have written about how the primary characters are African, how it presents a hopeful vision post climate change, and about how it blends augmented reality into the story lines. What I have not talked about is the ways in which the writer includes multiple characters who are gender non-conforming as key players in the story. These are full characters who just happen to not fit in the gender binary. . . .

It is the first series I have ever read in which the end of the gender binary is taken as a given, and made an integral part of the story. Heartening really. (Facebook, August 10)