Carter: The Blame is Mine

November 10, 2016 in inQueery

 

I thought about my reaction long and hard before I sat down to write this. I thought about it a lot as I was going to bed last night and on my way to work. I want someone to blame. And I’ve decided that the blame lands with me.  I am racist and misogynistic and yes I guess even homophobic.  What do I mean by that?  How can that statement be true when I have declared myself to be a champion of social justice?

I am going to explain further.  But, let me share with you that my first thoughts were upon seeing the election results.  My gut reaction is to blame people who voted for third party candidates, or stayed home.  My first thought is also to blame people that were swept up in a trance-like Trump worship and bought the “Crooked Hillary” slogans hook line and sinker.  I want to look to the millennial’s and question whether their apathy at the polls was a bratty response to not getting their way in the primary?  I want to blame anyone but myself.  These are my first thoughts.  And, I can confirm for you that from experience that my first thoughts are ALWAYS wrong.

So, my second thought is that it’s my fault.  It’s my fault because I have shied away from the social discourse about this election for most of the cycle.  I have done this because I have lapsed into a reverse angry white man stance.  I look around me at Queer People of Color and People of Color communities.  I look at women’s groups and I say to myself; “Carter no one wants to hear from another middle aged white man.”  So, despite having things to say about race, gender, sexuality and a myriad of other issues I stay quiet.  I stay quiet as my way of making my way through a maze of social justice as a white man.

But, here is the thing.  While people of color don’t need to hear my preaching about what I think needs to happen, but perhaps other white men do.  I have progressive beliefs about many issues and I believe other white men do as well.  If they do not, I believe at least some can be swayed.  I think by staying quiet and not fighting for progressive issues around race, gender and sexuality I was supporting the kind of populist movement that surged to the polls on Election Day.  I can see now that my fear of being too white and too male was a kind of reverse racism and backward sexism.  No one has told me to stay and or to be quiet, I just assumed that role based on my gender and the color of MY skin.  I also have tendency to assume straight white men don’t want to hear from the gay guy.   These views are just plain wrong.

I believe this disaster of an election was my fault because I choose to keep my voice quiet.  I choose to let others fight for me.  I can see now that this was well intentioned and STUPID.  In the future this middle aged white man is going to lend his voice to issues, causes and movements that might not want me.  I have stayed quiet and it has not worked.  So, whether you want me, or not you will find me shoulder to shoulder with you in the days, months and years ahead.  I love this country.  I love diversity.  I am passionate about social justice.  I am committed to facing the challenges of the next few years head on.

 

 

Carter Serrett is a Guest Contributor at InQueery.