In the face of the US National Security Council being headed by a Klansman, and the creature in the White House being a Russian puppet with ties to White Supremacists, things are pretty bleak in the USA.
Statements like this are why I choose to live not just in California, but in the Silicon Valley:
We at Linden Lab are extremely disappointed in and adamantly opposed to Trump’s recent executive order on immigration. We reject racism, intolerance, and xenophobia.
We are proud to include immigrants among our leadership, colleagues, and customers, as well as our families, friends, and communities. We value diversity, compassion, and understanding, and we are proud that our products enable people to come together and form meaningful connections regardless of differences in their offline lives.
Trump’s order is counter to what we value and antithetical to American ideals. We join the many voices calling on the US government to remove this restriction as quickly as possible and to refrain from imposing additional barriers that threaten opportunities for immigrants, under-represented minorities, and women.
It is only here that I can remind myself that it is not the entire white race that is full of hate. Something my rational mind knows, but which experience anytime I leave this area, works very hard to counter.
Linden Lab’s statement is not just a press release, not just a bandwagon, not just ‘getting in politics’. It is a statement against hate. It is a reminder to me and those like me that we are family, we are friends, we matter, and we will be protected. If not by our own government, then at least by allies among the people.
To the people who say “we don’t want politics here” in Second Life… As a person of color it’s been a lifelong experience that the people who say that will shove racist policy at me all day long, and then use that line when I object…
Conservatives and racist have a basic notion that their politics are just fine, but when somebody doesn’t like it: that suddenly is being too political…
And if you think I’m just some “cartoon cat person who posts a lot of stuff about nudity in SL”, I am a veteran, with one of my degrees in political science in addition to working in technology. I’ve spent my life, as a person of color, keeping a keen eye on hate movements and learning to counter them, as a matter of survival.
It is never wrong to stand up against hate. No matter how small your actions, any action against hate is a worthwhile action to take. Never give up the fight, never step back from the frontlines. The enemy is always waiting to pounce – as we saw in the USA in this last election, the slightest relaxing of the guard and they have shoved the Klan all the way into the White House.
In my personal life ‘outside of online’ I am able to meet and deal with many people who share the mindset Linden Labs expresses above. They provide that hopeful counter message to what I see in the news or encounter in travels and online from those outside this region.
A great comment I heard recently is that the USA is like an empty head with two ears that listen: on the coasts. Everything in-between is a dark incurious mess of ignorance and bigotry. Of course this misses things like what you see in maps like this one:
That Southern Coast is pretty bad. Southern culture as a whole is a toxic thing based on centuries of abuse by a people who have never had to face any justice or recognition of their actions.
The USA never had a Truth and Reconciliation moment, so it has never grappled with the current of hate broiling through it’s culture. We get taught about Southern culture as gentile, refined, graceful. We don’t get taught about lynchings, mass rape of slave women, brutalized families, Jim Crow, plantations, share cropping, beatings, killings, white terrorists like the Klan, and so many other things – evil things, that we must face head on, acknowledge, and work to stamp out, or they will keep coming back, and as we see – even make it into the White House. Trump is a northern Yankee, sure – but his worldview is a product of that legacy.
So when I see people stand up against hate, even in small announcements – every chip put into the armor of hate matters. And when I see it from a place I frequent, it matters even more. I can feel more comfort, less defensiveness, if I know someone has my back.
Of course it is worth noting that the tech industry didn’t have much to say about Trump until he started directly threatening their workforce. His immigrant bans and plans to attack H1B visas have people in tech very scared. Tech didn’t seem to have much to say when it was just racism and sexism. But now he’s woken them up. Whatever it takes though, to get the libertarian tech world to realize social justice matters.
America is supposed to be a place of inclusion and diversity, and in times like these, we need to fight to keep that. And we need to wake more segments of society up, not just the Tech sector. Everybody needs to realize fascism hurts us all; Trump must be stopped.
The source says you can copy, print, give away – but not sell. Respect that. Click the image to go to it’s website, and the sign inworld will also take you there. Also put it up free (as required) on SL Marketplace.
There’s also now a flickr group for ‘Avatars Against Trump’ for those of us in virtual worlds to comment through:
I will leave you something to consider from one of the USA’s political prisoners, released not long before the US put him away:
Take a look at me, tell me what do you see
You don’t have to love me, but I’m not your enemy
And I’m not amused, by your verbal abuse
You think you’re clever, what a sorry excuse
Playing with the minds of people, dangerous games they play
Man if you are not careful they lead you a stray
Protect your soul by any means necessary
Take nothing for granted, you may be sorry, oh
One life you’ve got to live
Come on let’s us live it right
If you’re in bed with the devil
Then you ‘ave made your choice, because
We’ve been battered and bruised (battered and bruised)
We still nursing wounds (aah)
Battered and bruised, yah, still nursing wounds, well
Battered and bruised (battered and bruised)
Still nursing my wounds (aah)
Battered and bruised, yah, still nursing wounds, oh
We face all form of human segregation
Who are used to ask me where I am from
They brought us here in shackles and chain
And throughout the centuries, it’s nothing but pain, Lord