In the story of Oliver Twist, he dares to stand up and ask for more food after having eaten what was in his bowl. Oliver was hungry, and the only one brave enough to stand up, hold out his bowl and ask for more food.
It’s a sad tale of starvation, neglect and abuse but it resonated with me and here’s why:
I was happy that Trump did not win the term in office. I would, however, be lying if I said that I was jumping for joy. I would have gotten blind drunk, (I’m not a drinker) if I had noticed a change in the way white people in America voted. I never saw a change, a desire to ease poor peoples’ lives, to change the racist systems, to have a better society in which all people thrive and to put an end to the wars. The list is long but, hopefully, you get the gist of it.
What traumatized me was watching how many people not only believe in Trump but will openly support the racist, sexist, toxic ideology he stands for. As they voted they proudly stood there with their little chests out greedily anticipating more of the white terror that has been blatantly displayed the past four years. I saw no shame, no embarrassment and no remorse for their choices. Instead, I saw a people only wanting to punish Trump for being a “naughty boy,” and not listening to them, specifically with regards to Covid19.
I saw as I did in South Africa when white people marched against Zuma, a clear case of interest convergence.
They were moved by something only when it directly affected them (people who died of Covid19), and so they jumped and got off their comfortable couches and decided to teach him a lesson. The result was the Biden/Harris victory; Not taking away the fact that the African American people voted for them too.
With all this tension and dramatics of the past few days, I feel like Oliver. Can I or dare I stand up and ask for more from a Biden/Harris presidency or will my hunger for humanity remain unchanged?
There is no clear winner in this because it feels as if we’re being tasked to choose between the devil and, the deep blue sea. Either one will harm you, just the degree of harm that varies.
Do I think that Biden/Harris will change things so that every American regardless of the colour of their skin, etc. will finally have liberty? No, I’m not naive enough to think that but what I hope for is fewer stories of black people being murdered by a racist system, support for Palestine, no more wars, support for the LGBTQI community, support for the homeless and so on.
That is the America I dreamed of visiting as a little girl; The America that truly is a land of the free and a home of the brave. Biden/Harris can start by releasing the traumatized children in those cages. That would be a good start, and maybe then I won’t feel Oliver daring to stand up and ask for more.
Humanity must come first.
“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”