So things were aaAmAaaZiInGg for the first 3 months. A couple red flags early on, but it’s easy to brush those under the rug because I’ve been so ENAMORED! Could I be in love? It sure feels like it. And my boo is smart, motivated, a feminist (!!!) and socially conscious so duh those weird comments don’t matter because they are outweighed by the positives.
But the 4 month mark just hit and skies darkened. We are getting down to the nitty gritty “Are our values compatible?/Do I want to spend the next couple years with you?” conversations, and the answers are not always pretty. To add another layer of complexity, my parents are big fans and I trust and love my parents, so that should count for something right? Those red flags from before get brought back up with another huge red flag, and I’m starting to question whether or not this is going to last. I’m questioning whether or not I was right to put all of my eggs in this basket. I’m questioning my relationship with HRC.
This is not meant to be a bash Hillary-fest. This is also not a “I’m feelin’ the Bern!” proclamation. Actually, I have a pretty bad case of epigastritis right now (bad stomach ache), so really the only burn I’m feeling at the moment is the sensation of my irritated stomach lining. I am merely processing some complex emotions and thoughts that have been nagging at me for a while.
I have been an open supporter of Hillary Clinton in the election so far. I strongly believe Hillz is a badass lady and has the most political experience out of all candidates running for president. But right now I’m embarrassed for her, my heart hurts for her, and in some ways I’m ashamed of my support for her.
Read Michelle Alexander’s “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote“. Clinton’s endorsement of damaging early 90s criminal justice legislation make a painful read to say the least. Watch Killer Mike’s speech at Claflin University. The contrast between how HRC and Bernie handled female Black Lives Matter activists is stark and disturbing. Then read these two blog posts by Kirsten West Savali and Jessie Daniel. West Savali puts Hillary’s corporate white feminism on blast and breaks down how no candidate or party line will make real change for poor women of color, including HRC. Daniels provides another dirty laundry list and offers the idea that Clinton has been hiding behind a mask of feminism in order to cover up the political damage she has done to black brown Americans, particularly poor minority populations.
I could go on. The internet is full of articles and blog posts detailing Hillary’s failures as an intersectional feminist, her lack of support for institutional and structural change that will enable true racial justice, and her willingness to maintain economic and social policies that are particularly damaging for poor minority populations. Have I been in denial that my lived experience as a privileged white female makes Hillary more likable to me, largely because I can see myself in her? As much as I hate to admit it, highly likely. Is it ironic that I have already cast my vote for HRC in the Texas primary, and am just now delving into the issues (specifically ones that involve race) that make me feel guilty and uncomfortable? Yes. Have I been stubborn in my staunch support of Hillary because I am tired of hearing men tell me how horrible she is? Absolutely yes.
See that is what brings me to my next item, the Bern himself. Bernie and I agree on a lot of things–reforming health care, increasing minimum wage, overhauling the American criminal justice system, breaking up big banks, making college affordable/more accessible–you name it. But here I also pause. Does the president enact real social change? Does the commander in chief actually start a revolution? I mean duh I know Bernie wants to be the one to do that blah blah blah. And don’t get me wrong, I am someone who is working in a racist, classist system and planning on working in a different broken system long-term because I am committed to achieving social justice as a country, and I think the best way to make change is to work in the trenches. I guess I am just skeptical of politicians (particularly a president) enacting and being solely responsible for revolution-style, grassroots change. So maybe it really is my pragmatism and skepticism that is holding me back from fully embracing the Bern. I mean, I am also a woman of plans and I would like to know what Bernie’s action items are for all these great ideas.
But let’s face it, there are no real problems with Bernie (other than the fact that he has a penis…joking!) If he was the presidential nominee I would vote for him in a heartbeat. The real problem here is that I have fallen in love with the idea of Hillary, but I am just now coming to terms with the fact that my idea of her does not necessarily match her reality. That sad part of a relationship where you realize everything is not awesome (damn you Lego movie); the person you love may not be exactly who you want them to be.
Hillz and I aren’t breaking up. I still love many parts of who she is. We need some time apart to figure things out. I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she is a different person now and that she shouldn’t be defined by Bill’s presidency, etc etc. But I know I wouldn’t be ok with myself if I swept the red flags under the rug again. While defending her amid all of this rampant sexism, I’ve overlooked some important facts. I’m afraid that my infatuation with the prospect of a lady president has clouded my judgement. In short, the honeymoon is over.