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A personal note.
*This is a corrected version.
Some of my commentary may have come off as elitist or condescending to the experiences of people less politically literate. I often wondered how people could consciously vote against their interest and simultaneously complain about the state of their small town or larger community. In my own life, I have internalized being a person of color that was put in scenarios where I was overlooked or ignored despite what I know I can bring to the table. I have developed a sense of disdain for the debasement of our intellectual and civic life, and I often make connections to how rampant white supremacy kills our national and personal standards. It makes me look down on Fox viewers, Republican voters, MAGA, and right-wing America altogether. It also makes me judgmental of people who ignore politics even if we are in a time calling for a national awakening and awareness that we may not have needed in more stable eras.
I have to be honest with myself. Despite living in an old hollowed-out industrial city with a lot of people of color (Baltimore), I have had many father and mother figures (grandfathers/four godfathers), vacations to Martha's Vineyard every year, and a private school education my entire life outside of undergrad. However, I went to a private college for my graduate degree. These are things that are not shared by many (no matter the race or background) and it filters my angst towards “low information” voters and also my political commentary throughout the Trump presidency into today. But we are no better than our fellow citizens, no matter the blind spots.
I'm always in a state of self-discovery and working on my own blind spots. I guess I underestimated the state of America through the lens of economic desperation, educational deserts, as well as the base motivations for voting for Trump, or Republicans in general. I grew up in extremely competitive environments that forced me to idolize opulent people (I was in this really bougie club called Jack and Jill, look it up) as well as outdoing others in educational achievements and career achievements.
I had a scholarship in college (Emma Bowen Foundation) that filtered me in with other high achieving minorities interested in the media business and we met executives and recruiters at a Grand Hyatt in Midtown Manhattan every summer.
The older I get and the more I travel (not that I never traveled before), I realize this isn't the norm and that was my blind spot in how other people lived, set expectations, and just accepted what life gave them and what was out of their control (or out of their reach). I grew up with a father with a security clearance and who I watched Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews with every night. I grew up with a grandfather who read National Geographic with me and regaled me with tales from the “good war” and the turbulent struggle for civil rights. I never had a teacher tell me I wouldn’t go places.
I say all this to open myself up to vulnerability after years of charged opinions, judgement, and raw anti-Republican political commentary. It helps. Have a nice day and love yourself. It was hard for me to do that for a while. But it's a major key.
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