Schadenfreude

So…there are these headlines today about a man being deported who is the husband of a woman who voted for Trump. She didn’t think it would happen, she only thought it would be “bad people,” she voted because of the economy, whatever.
I see a lot of gleeful responses and while I’m not surprised, it feels wrong. I’m truthfully very vindictive and reactive by nature. I swim against that current daily. I don’t want to be a person who’s glad that some kids don’t have their dad with them now. I’m not glad those kids don’t have their dad with them. This isn’t “Oh, we have to completely understand and empathize with everybody on every decision,” It’s “A bad thing happened to a family made up of individual people, and it’s nothing to celebrate.”
This woman – I don’t know her life. Do I disagree with her? Yes. I think she made a choice that was at best uninformed and probably more along the lines of “MY family won’t be affected, so I don’t care.”
I don’t think that we have to forgive everything or forget everything, but I think we have to allow individual people room to change their minds and accept that it’s an actual thing that can and does happen.
Everyone in my life already knows about my Great and Enduring Love for VP Forever In My Heart, Joe Biden. It’s not just because he’s funny, it’s primarily because he’s a strong advocate for preventing violence against women, and for cancer research. Issues that are close to his heart because of specific things that happened in his personal life.
Sometimes, that is what it takes. I don’t love directing anyone to research Joe Biden’s involvement in the Anita Hill hearings, but–I mean it’s the truth. It happened. It’s bad. He was on the wrong side of history. He failed Anita Hill.
He changed. I believe it’s genuine.
It can happen.
I appreciate that nobody in my life actually pointed out to me that before 2014, I never gave one thought to myriad of problems with health insurance as it is in our country. I didn’t think about it at all before I had cancer. I didn’t think about it until it affected me directly. I wish I was a person who thought about it before and cared about it deeply. But I wasn’t. My change in that area came about for selfish reasons. It became a big deal to me when it was a big deal for me.
All this to say, I already see the pile-on, implying that since this woman didn’t seem to care before it affected her, she doesn’t get to care after. I get it, but that’s not going to help. What if, because awareness was forced on her in one area, awareness comes to her in other areas?

Now, she’s not gotten it YET. She says “I wish I didn’t vote at all.” That’s…not actually it, but I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe she’ll get there.

That’s a really white thing for me to say. I can feel really strongly about the racism element, but it won’t affect me directly, and it never will, so I suppose what I’m hoping is for other white people to give people like this woman time to think about it and to dialogue compassionately. It’s like how men have to help other men not be misogynist, white people need to help other white people realize that racism is not over.
O’Reilly can go ahead and spontaneously combust, though.
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