wherein your erstwhile narrator looks back on the year that was.

I have experienced the gauntlet that was 2020 and escaped relatively unscathed. I would venture to say, that I may actually have come out a little better for it. I am in a better place mentally today than I was at the beginning of the year. I am healthy, I’m still employed, I’ve appreciated working at home, I like my family enough as people to enjoy being stuck indoors with them for months.

On a larger scale, 2020 was about maintaining the status quo. I know there have been protests and awareness has been raised but seriously look at this year and tell me that there has been any significant change around white supremacy and misogyny. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

State sanctioned violence against black and brown bodies continues unabated while white people are nearly always given the benefit of the doubt. One needs to look no further than the reporting around the Nashville suicide bomber (yes, that’s what he was). Or the rich white celebrity that served two months in prison for bribing their children’s way in a school system, while there are still black mothers serving multiple years for leaving their child unaccompanied, within sight, while on a job interview.
BTW pro tip, if you want to get your under-qualified child into an educational institution, create an endowment or donate bigly, and no matter how unsuited they are, a place will be made.

This would also be a good time to talk about the US elections. There is a fundamental reason so many people (Republicans in particular) believe the election was stolen – they have systematically made it more and more difficult for people to vote. The quote that best sums up the Republican attitude to votes is from US Senator Rand Paul.

I’m very, very concerned that if you solicit votes from typically non-voters, that you will affect and change the outcome.

Rand Paul, December 17, 2020

It is easy to believe you were robbed when you’ve been rigging the game in your favor for so long. This year in its own strange way offered a way to tip the scales, however briefly. The ability to vote by mail in more places, easier voter registration, these things worked and you know they worked because you will see how hard the GOP is going to work to get it shutdown by the midterms. As for who ran, it’s not that black and brown people have an overwhelming love for yet another old, mediocre, white man. It’s just that this one isn’t actively trying to kill us or support people that want to kill us, at the moment.

I have no real faith that anything on a truly fundamental and meaningful level is going to change when the calendar rolls over at midnight. As a friend of mine pointed out in April, “the system isn’t broken, it’s functioning exactly as it’s supposed to.” The political system like everything else in a capitalistic society is run on money. To get elected takes money, anywhere from thousands to billions depending on the office. It’s not about the best qualified or even best intentioned, the winner in most cases becomes who is best financed and in that scenario, even the most well intentioned are fundamentally compromised because at the end of the day, you will owe someone.

 

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