This past weekend, I’ve been preparing for night shift. Quite simply, it means staying up until about 5am and then going to sleep and waking up somewhere around noon. Upon being awake, I usually check Twitter first (and then PokemonGO, to see if the servers have fixed themselves). And it was the same yesterday – except I woke up to a whole bunch of reactions to *something* Sonia Kruger had said or done. I’m going to assume we all know what she said so I’m not going to rehash it here. If you don’t, go and read or watch or listen to the news.
It’s gotten to the point where I simply don’t know what else I can say to people who share those values. They are very obviously not open to any sort of salient or constructive discussion, content to sit on their high horses and to judge (and not to be judged in return). I’ve learned that it’s not worth my energy, words, or mental health to engage these trolls. For example – I got called a “pussy” and a “bitch” this morning for retweeting a tweet defending Islam. For those of you who know me, you know that would have made me pretty darn angry, and that I would have had any number of retorts with which to respond to this guy. But I also know that if I had used any of these, instead of the block button, it would have quickly degenerated into a grotesque puddle of gendered insults. I would rather use this time to have a proper discussion with someone who is willing to listen to my thoughts, or to go and find some more Pokemon for my imaginary posse (which is what I ended up doing).
My parents lived through the previous Pauline Hanson era – and my father still harbours some very strong feelings against her (for good reason). I’m almost certain that if they were less studious, they (or their friends) may even have suffered physical harm. I honestly never thought that I would have to see something similar happen in my lifetime. Surely we should have learned from the past? And yet here we are, watching history repeat itself, conquering and pillaging along the way.
I haven’t watched this week’s Q&A, but I can probably take a good guess at the kind of conversation that will be bandied around. Ignorance is bliss, so they say – but it seems that some of our politicians take a grotesque sort of pride in perpetuating such ignorance. The RNC also starts this week, and I’m already steeling myself for the xenophobic rhetoric that will inevitably filter its way into our news streams.
I don’t have an all encompassing solution. No one does. I do what I can, and I can’t help but think that it’s not enough. But I know that we can’t keep on keeping on. We can’t keep on breeding hate – I just don’t know how we are going to survive otherwise.