In the aftermath of the election and for those of us who are in genuine fear of a Trump presidency, the people who are pissing me off the worst in Facebookland are the ones who just want those of us who are grieving—and daring to express it on Facebook—to STFU about it already.
So I’m going to put this in a way that maybe my dog-loving friends can actually understand, since some of them seem to be lacking the gene that allows us to grieve for anything but animals.
Yesterday our dogs were shot, and now they are all dead. By a neighbor who we always knew hated us, and we had already feared, but officials would do nothing to stop him from stalking our dogs. So he took out his power, and he shot them, dead. They are gone. Never to be there for us again.
There’s nothing we can do about it.
We’re deeply, deeply saddened by the loss of our dogs. Our dogs meant many things to us, but mainly our dogs symbolized equality. The ability to love who you want without fear of retribution, at least not in our neighborhood. The ability to live in a community where skin color didn’t matter. Where you wouldn’t be thrown out simply for being born who you were.
Because our dogs loved everyone equally. After all, that’s one of the best things about dogs, isn’t it? They love everyone.
We’re hurt, we’re angry, and we feel betrayed. But above it all, we are afraid. Afraid of a world where it’s ok to shoot our dogs at any time, and have no consequences for it. Hell, it’s even celebrated.
That’s a world we don’t want to live in, but we are trapped here too. A world where fear rules, where power and might take over, and the little guys—and their dogs—are shot.
If we were truly grieving the loss of our dogs by a violent and angry man, would you give us more than a day to grieve? To express our fears, our anger, our betrayal, and our pain?
Or would you tell us to STFU if our grief were about dogs too?
No, you wouldn’t. Telling us to sit down and shut up as we make sometimes pitiful attempts to express our true pain and fear is just expanding the abuse. You are taking away our right to feel, our right to express our feelings, and our rights to have our friends support us in those very real feelings.
If you want to remain our friends, but don’t like to see our pain, then unfollow us.
But telling us to sweep our pain under the rug instead of allowing us to grieve? That is not something any genuine friend would do.