It’s rare that I find myself at a loss of words. But for the past week, I have been frozen. Silent on social media. Silent here with you. Loud in my own personal circles, but frozen inside.
After I dropped my daughter off at school this week, I laid on the floor and just felt numb. I felt nothing. The next day I cried. Then a feeling of needing to throw up followed me for days.
It’s not gone away.
I was really hoping to write you with something up-lifting. I’ve drafted 17 versions of this email each trying way too hard to give you something I don’t have. Meaning. Sense. A path forward. Hope. Conviction.
I thought my fight sense would kick in and this would be a call to action. Give. Help. Do. ACT! I’ve screamed this at family and friends. I’ve done it myself, in my small circles but then I freeze. I clam up. And all I can think about is how the fucking fuck we’re still here.
I am angry. I am not angry at Palestinians or Israelis. I am angry at us. I am angry at how long I have been screaming into a void for the better part of a decade begging for self-reflection, accountability, independent thought, good faith arguments, psychological and intellectual honesty, and integrity, to fight ignorance, bigotry, hate, lying, manipulation, and dehumanization.
If we cannot see the ways in which we dehumanize each other, if we cannot see the connection between what’s happening there and what’s happening here – we’re lost. We’re toast. We are done for.
It’s Halloween time here in the States and decorations are going up. My daughter has this new habit of screaming at the top of her lungs while I’m driving when she sees something scary in someone’s front yard. A wolf with red eyes. Mass graves. skeletons and zombies. People thrill in these decorations that scare the shit out of children, but we spend our time as a country flipping out over two men kissing??
Wolves and Zombies in your front yard are ok, but we cannot be honest about the white mobs who celebrated the lynching of Black people and took parts of their bodies home as souvenirs??
Do you not see the connection?
We ban books. We tell people how to dress. We tell them how to act how to behave what it is to be a man or a woman. What it is to a family. We ignore cries for help. We blame people for their own problems in a system that is beating them to death. We defend rapists. We cry to be rescued and don’t help ourselves. We lie. We cheat. We vote for asshats on all sides. We manipulate the system. We gerrymander. We pretend we don’t do the things we are guilty of. Both sides. We bury our own history.
We are complicit.
I am angry at us.
We cannot sit here and criticize or even weigh in on what’s happening in Israel until we look at ourselves.
Let me make one thing clear for my friends on the left, of which I consider myself a card-carrying member of: dehumanization is dehumanization. I don’t care how much you hate Republicans or trump or any human for that matter. Celebrating violence, believing it’s called for, and believing ANYone deserves to be raped, assaulted, mauled, killed, tortured, beheaded, stabbed, gassed, or murdered is fucking insane.
You will be responsible for the uprising of what you hate.
Meanwhile, the right has lost its freaking mind in anger and resentment and an ironic entitlement that it claims the left has, but it has itself. The amount of you who think what’s happening in Israel justifies your need for assault rifles is indefensible. Guns would not have saved you in the Holocaust. Passports would.
Everyone is losing their damn minds.
There is a false moral equivalence happening here. And an intellectual dishonesty that troubles me greatly.
It’s ok to incite violence if it’s for your team?
We are fighting a battle of ideas. And some ideas are objectively better than others. Some beliefs are objectively better.
This shouldn’t have to be said.
If you believe it’s ok to celebrate when people die, no matter who they are – you are the problem. If you believe it’s ok to lie about history or reality – you are the problem. If you can’t see multiple things can be true at the same time and hold multiple points of view in your mind at the same time – you are the problem. If you think putting a penis inside of a vagina on top of dead bodies is acceptable EVER – you are the problem.
Extremism of every form is a problem. I’ve fought with my own family about the fanatical orthodox Jewish culture in America and Israel that distorts religion, dehumanizes women, and promotes antiquated ideas (not to be confused with traditional orthodoxy which is restrictive, but do not hate). The fantatics in Israel do not represent Israel and their ideas have become a massive problem that millions of citizens have come out to protest (along with protesting Netanyahu who is indisputably corrupt and a problem) over the last year.
Meanwhile, it is indisputable that Hamas uses its own people as human shields and has diverted much-needed funds for food, education, and hospitals to weapons. A majority of the videos they put out are doctored lies. Which is ironic because they do not hide their genocidal intentions. It’s in their charter from 1987 which is absolutely batshit and you should read it.
They want dead Jews. And democrats here in America – read your history. When they come for the Jews, everyone else is next.
And yes of course terrorists are not representative of all Muslims and Arabs, especially those who fight for peace.
We have to learn to hold many truths in our minds at once. We have to call out false moral equivalents. We cannot keep propagating bad stupid ideas that are going to get us all killed.
Hate is real. Evil exists. And the antidote is not to fan the flames of it with more hate or the denial of reality.
Hamas is a propaganda machine. Terrorism is never ok. Rape is never ok. War crimes have been committed by Israel. War crimes are not the same as massacres.
I am so freaking tired of screaming into a vacuum.
This is going to escalate. It will hit America.
Stay safe. Keep your loved ones close. Hug them tight.
And fight with every part of your GD soul to keep your heart.
I cannot lose more people I love to the war of bad ideas.
Read books and get off social media.
PS: I mean it about social media. For one, there’s video game footage going around claiming to be real and coming out of Gaza. It’s A.I. and doctored bullshit. Two, Hamas has said it’s going to broadcast some scary shit this weekend and Israel has sent notifications to keep your kids off social media if you don’t want them to see it.
I’m not sure I have the cheshek to respond to vitriol or debate with anyone this week. What I will say is if you emailed me, DM’d me, or @’d me something kind, I saw it. I appreciate it more than you can possibly know.
I hope to have something to say more conclusively soon. I need to go into a cocoon and think about wtf to do here.
All I know is that it helps no one if we lie. To ourselves or anyone else. About what is happening here.
Please excuse typos, redundancies, or omissions. I’ve barely slept and I’m still processing all the death and horror. I don’t know if you should share this or not considering there is a very real chance I’ll be targeted to die. I can’t even believe I just wrote that sentence. But that is a real sentence. My family was murdered in this same fight. And they’re still being murdered. Yours will be next. No more people need to die. Here’s the link.