Saturday, November 12, 2016

"I Don't Feel Safe"

     That's the catchphrase -- people who think Mr. Trump's election to the Presidency has put them in danger.

     Listen up, kid: you weren't safe on 7 November, either, or 7 October, or, by golly, 12 November.  The laws of the land have not changed and neither has the fact that a very few of your fellow-humans are willing to do you harm.  Nevertheless, it's still illegal to beat people up, unless they hit you first and you win the fight by main force.  The same haters that worry you now were around earlier in the year and they were just as hateful -- and just as much a tiny fraction of your fellow citizens.  Your friends are still there, as are all of the in-between people, from the ones who like you well enough all the way to the ones who can't stand you but won't bestir themselves even so far as to scowl across the bus station at your purple hair or the "I LIKE IKE" sticker on your valise.

     It's the same world and you can still turn to the cops for protection -- no, really, you can; even the most stereotypically-mean officer of the law finds it hard to turn away from a scared person asking for help, and the mean ones are, yes, a tiny percentage of the force.

     This is the reality we live in: most people aren't out to get you.  Don't confuse jerks, fools and the occasional artist spray-painting walls (usually in the dead of night or at least when nobody's looking) with every man's hand being raised against you.

     Most people just don't care that much.  Personally, I take great comfort in that; on the other hand, I'm a tall, vaguely butch-looking* mostly-white† woman, and when I can't blend into the background, I can usually loom and get by with no more than muttered insults and dirty looks.  Not everyone has that luxury and that's got to make for greater worry.

     Sure, elections matter.  Who won matters.  But it doesn't change the laws of the land; it doesn't change the norms of civilized behavior.  On a practical level, the Feds aren't going to change state laws or city ordinances because they can't; and they're unlikely to go after settled Federal law because A) they are not as ambitious as all that, and B) it's a can of worms they dare not open.  You think there are people protesting in the streets now?  Ha!

     And about those "people in the streets:" hell, I'm scared.  Not of folks marching with signs and chanted slogans; yes, do that.  Smash windows and burn cars, throw stuff at people, block freeways?  Don't do that.  It's fraught with danger.  There are plenty of scared kids and scared adults who don't need to be any more scared and your signs show up a lot better when there aren't drifting clouds of tear gas or muddy bootprints in the way.

     If safety-pin "safe person" badges don't get politicized with a crapload of barely-related side-issues in the same manner as the Gadsden Flag, I'll wear one.  I'm not here to make anyone but genuine initiators of force feel afraid and if I can make somebody worry even a mite less, I'd count that as a good thing.  What kind of dreadful person wouldn't?
* Not so butch as all that -- I barely own a flannel shirt and I wouldn't be caught outside the house without lipstick and mascara.  But I wear Carhartt dungarees by choice and carry a Leatherman tool on my belt; nobody sends me to fetch coffee and they're surprised that I sew, at least well enough for mending.  Don't think my somewhat-forbidding "look" cannot be leveraged when needed or that I would refrain from so doing.
† As I may have mentioned before, we're not sure what the remainder might be -- Cherokee and/or "passing" African-American, so long ago that my ancestress is barely a memory and a line on a census tally.  I just hope she had a happy marriage and a fulfilling life.  I hope she felt safe.


fillyjonk said...

I was thinking of the "safe person" badge-thing, and thought, "If the people around me on a regular basis don't already know I will treat them with fairness and civility even though I may deep down disagree with them, I've kind of failed at Human 101"

(I suppose the argument is "but it's for people who AREN'T around you on a regular basis" but honestly, I don't trust people I don't know until I don't know them, so why should I try to inveigle people who don't know me to trust me immediately?)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I wish we lived closer so we could hang out more, Rx.

Except for the flannel thing. I thought Indianapolis was an 8 shirt minimum? What of flannel sheets?! On this I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

Roberta X said...

I love flannel sheets, NJT. I'm just not a huge fan of collared shirts.

Fillyjonk, I dunno. I hope it's an "I will fight lynch mobs" pin.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...


Old NFO said...

I'm beginning to think this is a lot of Munchausen by proxy on the left's part...

Joe in PNG said...

I do wonder if the people manning the Eee-vil government concentration camps get annoyed because 1)the never seem to ever open 2) they have to change up the theme every 8 years or so.
I mean, the poor bastards got the camps all set up for Hillary's inevitable Maoist theme, and then Trump wins! Hopefully they didn't throw out Bush's "Jesus macht frei" stuff. [/sarc]

Roberta X said...

Joe, if Sec. Clinton had been more of a Maoist, she might have won. The "iron rice bowl" would have a certain appeal in the Rust Belt.

[sarc]I'm pretty sure Trumpcamps would just say "TRUMP" over the gold-painted gates. So the guards will have to start over from scratch.[/sarc]

Jerry said...

Call the police? I suppose this would be a thouroughly inopportune time to mention court rulings like Warren v. Districtict of Columbia?

Roberta X said...

Run up to a policeman, Jerry, with a small mob at your heels, and see if he or she cites that one.

Don't be an ass.