• Paige Thimmesch

Witchery Set in Motion

I’m writing this for a possible future, for a possibility of loss tomorrow. For a fear I and many people have right now, for a near guarantee of violence.

Large businesses increased security and boarded up windows in various cities, Walmart released a statement saying their stores will stop selling guns and then reversed it, and cities are setting curfews, closing streets, and increasing police presence. Global conflict tracker organization International Crisis Group said “[Americans] have not in living memory faced the realistic prospect that the incumbent may reject the outcome or that armed violence may result.”

It’s universally, unequivocally, objectively wrong to see these options are a possibility after tomorrow. They seem unreal, impossible, dystopian. This is something more than just fascism, a strongman who wants total unilateral control of the government, society, and the people. This is something, as Leslie Marmon Silko’ poem in Ceremony says, of witchery. Witchery is the evil in the world, the thing that connects racism, environmental destruction, imperialism, wealth inequality, and all the other ideologies that oppress the people. Witchery is seen when you take your focus from the individual tree and look at the entire forest. It is the force of evil.

Witchery doesn’t just appear, but has always been here. It was here when Europeans stepped foot onto the shores of the Americas, exploiting and murdering Indigenous people. It was here when Europeans stepped foot onto the shores of Western Africa, shackling and murdering Black people. It has inflicted pain upon generations of marginalized people, but unseen by the white and wealthy because witchery has kept them in absolute power. It’s what’s happening now in America: the rise of fascism, the prevailing of witchery.

This poison has been bubbling for centuries, becoming a more potent evil as it seeps further into the American system. The foundations of capitalism, imperialism, and egoism that are the American system are evil, and everything built off that evil makes it harder for the foundations to undergo reformation. The people who established America succumbed to witchery and became evil, seeing everything in their life as expendable, exploitable, a nuisance if not beneficial for egoistic gain. That includes the people who have been subjected by the system for generations; the Black and Indigenous people whose histories aren’t histories but recent memories currently being erased. The realization of the evil within the American system is only a new concept for those who haven’t suffered at its hands until now: their luxury stores boarded up, their streets protected by police, their voices rendered less powerful than they once were. The rise of fascism in this country is a wake-up call to witchery. Witchery has brewed for generations, and now is the time the fascists release it to the masses.

Graphic by J. Faith Malicdem, Cartoons by Mike Luckovich, Lisa (Washington Post), Karsten Schley, and Marshall Ramsey

There’s not much to say, not much to call to action. I, like many people right now, am watching hope slip away, knowing too well that the American system is too intertwined with witchery to reform to something that resembles justice. But, that doesn’t mean hope is gone, even if there is little remaining. Hope comes in the form of education, our last resort for empathy and equality. Educate yourself on those who have fallen at the hands of witchery, those who experienced it and are experiencing it. Listen to those whose family and who themselves have survived it, and keep fighting for justice, equality, and wellbeing for all. Evil isn’t new, nor are the fascist traits one candidate exhibits unabashedly. All there’s left to do is keep fighting the witchery that keeps the people down.

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