Monday, February 25, 2019

Everything is Politics

A few weeks ago, I thought whew, I need a break from everything, let me settle in and watch a few episodes of "Chopped".
One chef was on the show because his wife was pregnant and the prize money would cover her unpaid maternity leave. Another chef was there because the medical costs for his special needs grandkids were high. And another chef said, with what read to me like a tight smile, she wanted to put the money back into the restaurant she had started after her town had a hurricane. So really, everything is politics. Sure I could fast forward through this part, ignore the reasons these folks have shown up to compete in a food competition. But it's all there. Baked in, if you will. 
So the conversations we've been having about sports, about books, about knitting, we aren't more divided, these things aren't new. And maybe you've never had to wonder if they will think it's weird you're in a yarn shop, maybe you've never had to wonder will this book argue against the existence of people like me, maybe you've never had to worry that going home from the sporting event you'll be pulled over for being out of place, but that's your privilege. Those worries and concerns have always existed for plenty of folks whether they wanted it to or not. So you asking they pack that away is like asking me to just hide one of my hands at knitting group. I could do it. But it would be asking me to doing something hard for me to make things easier for you.  
We all have things we've never had to think about.  One person I follow on Twitter was saying he carries his ID to walk the dog, as he's been asked to show it to get back into the apartment building where he lives. I have been known to go days without mine.  (Being a pedestrian/public transit leaning person admittedly makes this much easier.)  It's really disheartening when you learn that the things you do to relax can hurt people.  But the problem isn't knowing or hearing that they can hurt people.  So we all need to listen better.