What We Lost

Studly Doright was out of town much of last week. My days were busy, but my nights were long and empty without my favorite guy here to make sure the tv was set either on American Pickers or Sports Center. I find that I’m not nearly as fluent in the art of Remote Control Manipulation as Studly.

On Wednesday evening I took myself to see Hidden Figures, a film about the importance of a group of African American women as human computers at NASA in the early 1960’s, and the obstacles they faced while simply trying to do their jobs. 

Because they were Black, these women weren’t allowed to use any restrooms other than the one in their wing of the building, often necessitating long, frantic walks to take care of basic needs. Because they were Black, they couldn’t get coffee from the communal pot in their office. Because they were Black and female they weren’t allowed to sit in on critical meetings, even when their presence might have resulted in quicker solutions.

This is a good film, and it made me furious. It should make all of us furious. When I think of all we have lost as a nation because we refused to recognize the abilities, the talents, the intelligence of all people regardless of race or gender I want to scream. 

Who knows what diseases might have been cured, what inventions developed, if society hadn’t been so intent on excluding women in general and women of color in particular from full participation in society?

And what groups of people are we excluding now? What groups do we try to keep in their place? Oh, maybe there aren’t separate restrooms anymore, but our new commander-in-chief would love to discriminate against Mexican Americans and Muslim Americans. He treats women as chattel to be grabbed as needed. 

My rant is over, but this argument isn’t. Get pissed off. Don’t allow trump to segregate or alienate or exclude any group of people because of his fears, his insecurities. 

Now I’m going to master that damned remote control. If a group of women could figure out how to put men in space and safely bring them back to earth, I can surely figure out how to efficiently switch between multiple channels in order to avoid commercial interruptions.

Peace, people.