Everything is Political

By Jaylin Paschal

The way you substitute apostrophes for G's. The amount of gangsta in your lean. The length of your skirt. The brand of your sneaker.

Everything is political.

I know it's easier to think of this concept in terms of voting booths and boycotts and black boys. All aspects of the current sociopolitical climate seem to point back to election, economy or equity. But politics have seeped into the pores of our being to escape surface-level National Government course curriculum.

What you watch on tv. What you listen to on the radio. Who you do or don't give your seat up to on the train. Whether or not you leave your blinds open. 

All of this sends a political message to The Man. Big Brother. God. Me. You. The Universe. All of this culminates into one long, complex political statement about who you are; about what you've learned and how you've been socialized.

The fabric of our being--of our souls and our socialization--was threaded together by contestable morals. And as Stanley Fish explained in The Chronicle of Higher Education, all of our thoughts, beliefs and their resulting actions are rooted in a "contestable point of origin," and the "realm of the contestable is the realm of politics." It because of this that everything about us from how we treat janitors to what we think is funny falls under politics.

Everything is political. I mean this literally and do not take it lightly. Especially now, when bright red "Make America Great Again" baseball caps feel like a culture war cry and Black Twitter is as close as we'll ever get to a refugee camp. Especially now, when a black man has lead the free world on his back and the world has put lead in the backs of black men. Especially now, when schools begin to feel like prisons and prisons like home. Especially now, when black women are going natural and white women are going black. Especially now, and especially if you are considered "other" in this country. If you place a hyphen just before "American," or have to pass a fingertip-length skirt test, or are familiar and flirty with the poverty line. Minorities, microaggressions and magnifying lenses have been packaged dealed, under the name of someone else's Manifest Destiny.

Everything is political. I mean this literally and do not take it lightly.

You existence alone is political. Your decision to continue is a statement. You are a movement. But towards what?

Jaylin PaschalComment