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How Blerdom Helps Me Navigate Trump’s America

How Blerdom Helps Me Navigate Trump’s America

By Kym Smith

When Trump became America’s 45th President, black people across the country felt defeated and lost but with a renewed sense of purpose. I personally went to bed tearful and full of anger. I wondered where do I fit in in an America that already deemed me inferior decades ago because of my skin color, but now has also elected a leader that has made it his mission to make sure black people keep getting used and abused by a system that was already built against us.

Living in South Carolina, I felt as though I was surrounded by Trump’s minions at every turn. From Facebook, to work, I couldn’t escape the Make America Great crowd and I was exhausted. As a freelance writer, even the publishing industry seemed to be flooded with good ole boys who wanted to go back to the days of separate water fountains, and all-white juries at trials. I was more than frustrated, more than mentally drained. I felt defeated, and that’s something I never like feeling. Social media has quickly become the dwelling of trolls, lying in wait for a black person to say one thing expressing their love for themselves or their culture, or rightfully critiquing the Cheetoh in the oval office. They pounce, throwing racial slurs and epitaphs faster than Goku throws hands.

However, one thing has kept me sane throughout all of this and made me happy to take my place in the resistance and fight for social justice for myself and the future generation: my blerdom. Being a blerd was one thing I was a bit ashamed of as a kid; I have always been proud of my blackness and my culture, but opening up and telling some of my peers that I loved anime and medieval history, has always been a double-edged sword.

Yet when Trump became president it seemed like the blerd community banded together and decided that we’re not backing down and we’re not letting anyone else back down either. I can’t explain how good it feels to have a community filled with people who I can geek out over Steven Universe with and discuss systemic racism and the dismantling of white supremacy. We’ve had many twitter discussions and live tweets about positive portrayals of black people in the media and discussed how Orphan Black has changed the game in the biopunk genre.

The importance of a safe space is paramount during the Trump era and sometimes, it’s hard to find one in your town or city, so it’s nice to know that in cyberspace you have people who look like you, who understand your daily struggle of being black in America, and also get what it’s like to just want to rock out to Paramour without being judged or deemed “not black enough”. When it gets tiring fending off trolls, someone in the blerd family always has your back and is ready to clap back when needed. Also, it’s amazing to network and meet up with people who you really don’t feel the need to educate on certain issues; the blerd crew gets it and when conversing with them rather it be online or in real life it takes a certain burden off of your shoulders to be able to just be black and angry about things without explanations, rhymes, nor reason.

While everyone else is confused and feeling helpless during these dark times, we blerds are analyzing episodes of Sailor Moon and reading Silver Surfer comics, while simultaneously leading the resistance to better days. I’m thankful for the blerd community for helping me navigate these tough times and letting me be a total nerdy freak while doing it.

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  • Great article! Side note: paragraph 6 is repeated twice, once on it’s own and once at the end of paragraph 5.

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