In response to the staggering election results in which many members of marginalized communities experienced how disconnected they were from their fellow citizens as the country elected bigotry and hatred; Black Nerd Problems put out the call to hear how people were coping. Here is a collection of short essays on what we’re doing, just to get by.
Lorenzo Simpson / Twitter: The Joanin’ Jonin @MeistermahnIV
Black nerd whose goals in life include uplifting his skinfolk through humor, ridding the world of toxic masculinity, and whipping the perfect Hollandaise sauce.
I woke up the morning after the election, rolled over on my side, rubbed my eyes with my left and checked Twitter with my right. One of the first stories I saw come rolling up my timeline was that of KKK members parading the streets of North Carolina in honor of their new president. How fortunate they must be to finally have someone in office that will listen to the plight of the bigoted old white man. I kept scrolling, seeing more images of that tangerine mug assaulting my vision. For a minute, I convinced myself that this was just an alternate universe that The Flash had created trying to save his parents for the umpteenth time, and the world would be back to normal once he did another lap around the space-time continuum. But alas, I was stuck with the reality that America will soon be run by the human manifestation of Doctor Doom.
I yelled. I screamed. I cursed…on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I truly underestimated the amount of hate that existed in this country. I was mad at them for trivializing my existence and mad at myself for being shocked that they would do so. I imagined this phenomena as a meteor shower, or an alien invasion. You know, the scene during a season finale or a blockbuster film signifying that ish just got real and the human race is about to get bodied. For the past week, all my emotions have been fighting each other for the driver’s seat, and I really didn’t know how I was gonna keep going, until something clicked: bruh, just do what you’ve been doing your whole life, your ultimate coping mechanism. I swung open the doors of all my fandoms and let my bleek flag fly.
I searched Black Panther on Tumblr and gawked at all the mind-blowing fan art. I spent a half hour watching Digivolutions from seasons 3-5. Oh yeah, and I watched the new season of Digimon (Right!? It is a thing!). I also got caught up on my CW-DC shows, realizing how 10-year-old me would have killed to have a week filled with people in tights dropkicking badguys. And the more I immersed myself into the source of my joy, the more my anger faded. My fists unclenched, my jaw relaxed…my tears dried up. Now, I know my frustration is valid, but I can’t stay in that place too often before it destroys me…
…or has me out here looking crazy.
I had to find a place where my self-defining hobbies could shield me from the antiblackness of the world long enough for me to heal, and face that world even stronger, more confident in my dark skin and my nappy ass hair. I had to find my Wakanda. Now that I have, I hope all of my fellow blerds do so as well. Consume what you need to heal your spirit, because this community needs each and every one of you.