Social Closeness, Physical Distancing

Words matter. Language matters.

From the start of Covid, we have been instructed to “socially distance” ourselves. First off, let me be clear: 6′ distancing and masks work, they are the most effective way to mitigate the spreading of Covid-19. Period. This post in no way questions the recommendations for safety in this pandemic. The failure of the US to follow these simple, basic guidelines has led to calamity in this country.

This is all about language, meaning, intent. Keep your distance physically. Socially? Hecks, no. We need to be closer than ever.

I cannot remember a more divisive time in the US, during my 54 years so far on the planet. I’ve read history. I’m not dumb. The country has been divided ever since “All men are created equal” really only meant white, land-owning men. It’s just that in my lived experience and opinion, the divisiveness today is as extreme as it’s been.

Republicans fear monger about black men and “transgendereds,” [sic], basically anyone with the temerity to fight for equal rights.

Democrats, on the other hand, fear-monger about Republicans, often painting conservatives in broad strokes. This election is the most important of your lifetime. It is, but so has literally every election for 30 years. Political triangulation, the Democratic policy for that same time, is the idea that Democrats should move to the right to capture more Republican votes, while the left will have “nowhere else to go.” They use this philosophy to fear-monger about the left. In this time, Democrats have moved to the right of Ronald Reagan, and happily fight policies that they should be championing, such as universal health care.

The politics of fear-mongering, eagerly used by both parties, is dangerous, immoral and manipulative.

Physical distancing, social closeness.

In a time of divisiveness, I have come to believe that the most radical act we can engage in, is deep closeness. Intense eye contact. Conversations where we dig deep, and share bravely. Fearlessly embracing our true, beautiful selves. Social closeness.

I was thinking about this after my 379th zoom meeting for the day. 🙂

Think about the major challenges we face: global climate disruption, income inequality at levels not seen since before the Great Depression, the continual, open murder of black people, trans people, and other dis-empowered individuals by police and others, as well as depths of systemic abuse, a pandemic revealing the need for guaranteed income and universal health care, to name just a few.

These problems are solvable. They are human issues, created by humans, and can be changed by humans. All of it.

Right now, neither party seems ready to attack the systemic nature of it all. Much of it is corporate-driven. We are fighting for the crumbs from the table, instead of sharing the table.

Republicans will NEVER do the right thing for progressives. Democrats might, but only if forced by massive movements.

Social closeness, physical distance.

Each of us alone is but a pawn in this system. The only way for us to gain power, and make change, is if we join together.

Social closeness, physical distance.

Personally, I have hand-made some 40-50 masks that I’ve given away in my community for free. Others have joined the effort, and we have distributed hundreds.

We have organized several anti-racism rallies, all masked and at a distance.

Social closeness, physical distance.

A few of us have been community-building in the LGBTQ community in my area, building closeness where it didn’t exist. Online, for now.

Social closeness, physical distance.

We need unity now, more than ever. We need community now, more than ever.

Me? I will keep my distance, stay home, and wear my mask.

I will also keep working to strengthen my relationships with family, friend, and other SJWs. I will continue respecting myself and lifting up those around me.

I have never felt closer to others as I do this work. It may just be the sense of crisis intensifies everything, but I consider it among the most important work we can do.

Nothing, NOTHING will change unless we work together, and closely. Nothing will work until we center the building and maintaining of these relationships. I especially believe it’s important that we move beyond ‘collumn’ advocacy into a broader, more intersectional approach to everything.

Issues of poverty, racism, patriarchy, homo/transphobia are all linked in a system of hierarchies into which we are born. The work must be dismantling the system, not merely helping one set of victims over another.

We are all in this together. I’ve been seeing more of this, across the board, among a lot of activists. Our fight is all one, and we are more powerful together. Social distancing is the most effective way to kill any movement for change.

Social closeness, physical distancing.

Stay active!

IAMCAM!

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