The Formula of Sorrow

So, I keep trying to concentrate and think about something else, but I can’t.  This hate fest from the weekend, and everything that has gone on with it, has got my head spinning, and myself circling down a rabbit hole.  It’s been discovered that trauma is passed down through the genes, and this must be true, because I feel like I am experiencing PTSD from some event or events that I have never really experienced.  I have been carefully sheltered by my parents and when I was 11, I was thankfully transplanted from the USSR to the USA, for a better life, one that would hopefully be free of systematic discrimination.  I had a happy childhood and have never really experienced any explicit hatred towards my person.  I never even felt like a minority!  I went to a largely Jewish high school, and then Brandeis University, for goodness sake.  And I can’t claim that I’m a minority in my profession…  What gives then?  I have seriously been experiencing such panic since this weekend, and especially since I read the transcripts of the statements made by the President – couldn’t bring myself to watch it in real time.  Must be genetic.

I would just like to know, from smart people, people who know about these things, how they think this is going to play out.  Because all I can picture is disasters.  Like, The Handmaid’s Tale.  A classic comparison, at this point.  What if?  From one day to the next, accounts are frozen, the government is taken over, the internet is shut off, and what does one do?  Or worse, people keep saying how this will never get far, and America won’t let another Holocaust happen, but they’ve been saying that all along and look how far we have gotten already!  Who’s to say that these previously marginalized, now emboldened hate groups aren’t organizing some massive move, and that there won’t be a guerilla attack, akin to another Kristallnacht?  How do we know that houses wont be set on fire and people murdered as they try to escape?

There might be a coup, but what kind of coup?  Depends which side tries to take over what, and whom the military will obey, but regardless, it won’t be pleasant for the citizens when martial law in enforced.  And maybe, there will be a civil war, if it gets bad enough.  And where will the civil was be fought? Will it be in Rhode Island?

Or what if, even worse, what if it becomes like the USSR, The Great Purge of 1937?  There was no war.  It was the government versus its own citizens; they would come for people, and people would disappear without a trace, and there was no escape because they would find you anywhere.  Your neighbors or anyone really could just point a finger and off you went, public enemy.  Just like Orwell described, but real.  Not a damn thing to do about it, either.

Or, and here’s a super-fun alternative: in the usual manner things are done lately, there could be a bombing on North Korea as a nice distraction, and then, as I heard someone say, we could all be doing the same things we’re doing now, but with a nice nuclear breeze blowing over us.

And you know, there has been a lot of posting and conversation, which I have been glued to for the past few days, in spite of myself, despite the fact that some good old avoidance might be a perfectly good alternative method for keeping sane right about now.  And certainly, it’s warm and fuzzy that everyone is saying they will “never forget,” and “stand with” everyone else… but what does that mean, exactly? How are we standing? Other than peaceful protests?

“People will care when it lands at their door!” a coworker said to me today.
“Yes, but what if it lands at my door?  Will you hide me in your basement?”
“I have a bunker for you,” answered.

A black friend said, “If it comes to it, I’ll be your underground railroad stop.”
And I answered, “And I’ll be your attic…”

Well, that is nice.  But is it true?  In the end, personal safety usually matters more, so how are we standing together?  I mean, here I am freaking out about no one doing anything, and even I am saying that I should be practicing avoidance!

I guess I hope that the genes for resistance and resilience are also passed down through generations, as corny as that might sound.


2 thoughts on “The Formula of Sorrow

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