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I'm Still In That Space
Words by Turner Youngblood Smith
Art by Frankeweiler
Editor's Note: The following is a reproduction of an out-of-print zine. The author currently works at a staffing company in Central Virginia. No questions about identity will be answered. The original work did not include this introduction. That part—featured here—is new. You can read the full zine here.
There’s times I resent myself for writing about Charlottesville 08.12.17 and times I resent myself for going but it’s impossible to exist in a space where I didn’t go and there was no way I wouldn’t write about it if I did go. This is where I am. This is the space where I exist.
It’s only been a year and change but it feels like a lifetime where I have lived all my years over and over. There has been a slip and that slip is that the event is not only the past, but the present and future as well. Trauma does this to you. I think I laid out why I went fairly well in the zine so I don’t think that deserves much background. I would like to answer one question and that’s on the matter of using a pseudonym.
While I was there legally protesting, that’s never stopped anybody who has power and doesn’t like somebody. My friends don’t deserve harassment because somebody’s bored and hateful.
But also the pseudonym is a show of solidarity. I am pseudonymous because of the people who can’t show their faces in public without fear of being sized up, eyes darting behind their shoulders. There should be no profit made off of this terrible event, social or otherwise, and I vow to stay under it until we win.
What I saw in Charlottesville can’t be defeated by voting. There was only one political party out there and it wasn’t the Democrats. If you think a Democrat doing the Orange Crush dance defeats fascism, you’re in for a long end.
I’m writing this after the Covington Catholic School incident at the Indigenous People’s March. It doesn’t matter for a single second that the kids were getting yelled at by Black Israelites. If you step out in a Klan hood, don’t get surprised if people aren’t crazy about your sartorial choices. The only thing stopping that smirk from going to Charlottesville was that his school didn’t provide a chaperone.
We’re not even close to winning.
Until then, the mask stays on.
The full zine is available here.
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