Echo Chambers

pelican

It’s been a week since the US Elections. I have run the gamut of emotions and settled on a combination of resigned and accepted. I still haunt the groups I was part of, I follow twitter handles that resonate with me politically. Most mornings I consume news that rises up from the swamp that is main stream media and trickles into my echo chambers. I gasp in horror at the new transition team, I feel suspended in disbelief like they say how dystopia works.

“How can the others not see this?” I wonder. I share opinion pieces, videos and articles that I think should be amplified. Out of curiosity, I look back at the pieces I have shared and see the same people reacting and engaging with the content.

I scroll through my friends list and wonder how many have unfriended, muted or unfollowed me. It dawns on me that most people do not care. They will not care unless they are impacted directly by what is happening. It has been true world over from time immemorial. Unless it is them that is screamed at on a regular morning commute, unless it is their place of worship that is vandalized, unless it is their children who are targeted, people simply are apathetic. I wonder if this is what being part of a minority feels like, then I remember Sandy Hook and the ensuing reactions and the fact that nothing changed.

All that noise and activism did nothing to change gun laws. All it did was to make sure my children knew what to do in the event their school was targeted by a shooter. I walked in to the restroom one morning to see my daughter perched on the toilet.

“What are you doing?” I ask and she says, “Practicing for when there is a shooter.”

The sense of hopelessness I feel is pervasive. At a baby shower over the weekend with folks like me, I hear and feel a sense of resignation and curiously optimism that things may still turn out to be OK. That despite all the hateful things that have been said, all the extreme right views that are now being represented at the highest levels of government, that things will be OK. That it may impact others but *I* will be OK.

In a moment of despondency I reach out to my spouse and he responds with “What can we do?” implying there is nothing to be done. What indeed can we do other than prepare for eventualities?

I turn back to the place where I feel heard. I close myself in my echo chambers and hunker down for the long haul.

13 comments

  1. I can only imagine what it must feel like. I mean, we’re miles away from all of this, and yet I still can’t believe that people can’t see what the rest of us can.
    In fact, on some levels, I even want to give them the benefit of doubt, but it’s just …ah, I don’t know.

  2. Laksh! I think it is more of it will be ok. Not I will be ok. Don’t live there and know only news that I see, read or follow but I think I can relate to those who say it will be ok. I as you said debates are still on about gun laws. All you can do is be prepared. I have no clue if I am making sense. Apologies if I said anything wrong or insensitive ( not the intent for sure)

    • Apar, I would have felt that way up until recently. Have been reading up on Steve Bannon, Frank Gaffney and others in his list. Bannon supports white supremacy theories, he is thick with the KKK. Gaffney is a known islamophobe and there are already news about creating a muslim registruy of sorts and travel bans on people traveling from muslim nations and other terror prone nations (use your imagination) All this is happening now for real.

  3. I understand this post so much. I am trying to take some comfort in the fact that so many people are mobilized now. The ACLU, environment charities, splc, are all reporting their highest donations ever. People are protesting, signing petitions, fine tuning their media outlets and ready to strike. We will be the standard bearers for the next four years. A united front. We have no choice. If another candidate would have won, we would be complacent. Well, I would be, at least. Love to you and your family.

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