in Laoch Onórach

On Wings of Fire and Broken Glass We Still Need to Rise: On the Inauguration and Disappointment

Picture from an ad from Amazon for Biden's "Made America Great Already" hats, fittingly showing a person covering their eyes preventing them from seeing reality.

Picture from an ad from Amazon for Biden’s “Made America Great Already” hats, fittingly showing a person covering their eyes preventing them from seeing reality.

“Protest songs
In response to military aggression
Protest songs
Try to stop the soldier’s gun
But the battle raged on”

White People for Peace, Against Me

4 years ago, I wrote On wings of fire and broken glass we shall rise: #DisruptJ20, a war call saying that we’d rise and destroy this system, going against Trump.

2 years ago, I wrote On Wings of Fire and Broken Glass We MUST Rise: #DisruptJ20 2 years later, in which I was…incredibly jaded because things weren’t happening, we weren’t rising against this system and we needed to.

Now we are on the first day of Biden’s winning and…I’m already disappointed with people.

Y’all.

I’ve spent the last few weeks dreading today for two reasons: one, I thought that Trump supporters were going to bring violence today because they lost their President, which thankfully didn’t happen; second, because I realized that all the revolutionary fervor, which thankfully there was last year (because white people were actually affected by the pandemic and couldn’t ignore it like all the other injustice), is going to be lost because the injustice level is going to be tolerable.

This country is fucked up, and Biden isn’t going to make that go away, because why would he want to tear down the system of oppression that makes rich straight white men like him privileged? I’m glad that Trump is gone, don’t get me wrong, but all the fascists that supported him are still here and still emboldened.

The issues of marginalized people that existed before Trump that festered until they made it so Trump could rise are still going to be there under Biden, but…that’s ok, right?

The issue that large swaths of America had with Trump wasn’t that he was oppressive. It’s that he made people see it. His ideology was not new or creative, it’s written into the fabric of this country. He was pure fascism, actually saying the things that large amounts of Americans actually believe, which is why he got more votes this election, to the point where it was so close that it’s obvious that the only reason we didn’t have another 4 years of him was the pandemic. Many marginalized people were completely unsurprised that he won because all he was was an evolution of the policies and ideologies that have been keeping us down forever.

He’s gone, even being impeached (…which is honestly the most bitter of victories because he’s done so much horrible stuff, but again, the Capitol was something that white people couldn’t ignore), and people are buying hats like in the picture to claim that voting Trump out made America great and now we have nothing to worry about, largely because they don’t have anything to worry about. Biden won, and now oppression will go back to its baseline that the country can accept.

I remember one person saying that they voted for Biden because they were sick of the division. Paraphrasing my point in You’re Not As Important As You Think: on “Being Divisive”, there is no new division. Bigots didn’t crop up with Trump. These divisions have always been there, the oppressor and oppressed have always been separate, the oppressors were showing themselves to be who they actually are. They might end up slinking back into the shadows, but they are still the same horrible people and you should still be holding them accountable even if they aren’t as vocal, and also should be fighting against all the constant microaggressions that they will still use against us. There will always be division and, if you aren’t forced to see that every day because you have to constantly deal with people oppressing and having power over you, force yourself to open your eyes and see what we constantly deal with and help us fight because it is so tiring to constantly have our fights ignored until some dude comes into power and makes it so people are more inclined to hurt us to the point where y’all can’t pretend they aren’t doing it.

I am so much more tired and jaded than I was four years ago, so this is what I expect. I chose this song quote because the song is about (white, as the title says) people singing songs, going to a protest, and then considering their job done when they haven’t done anything to actually make any lasting change. The battle will rage on whether you keep caring about oppression or not now that Biden is in charge. Don’t claim that you care about marginalized people if you aren’t going to keep fighting against systemic oppression.

Change will take work, and the change we really need is never going to be found in the voting booth, but in united action against the system that keeps us down. Keep fighting, don’t lose the revolutionary spirit that grew in you when you were forced to confront oppression by Trump now that he’s no longer in power.

Or have socially distanced brunch now that you’re lucky enough to be able to ignore how the American system ruins lives again, the last 4 years…hells, the last two months have taught me that’s what I should expect.

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