“Just move” oh damn wow look at mickey millionaire over here with the ability to move entire jobs and support networks, incredible

here’s the “places you want to move to” triangle. if you’re LUCKY, you can only pick 2. if you’re unlucky, you can’t pick ANY:

like, okay, I currently live in a city that is a tiny blue dot in the middle of a DEEPLY red ocean. My city is incredibly progressive politically! It’s got a thriving queer community, a lot of people of color live here, we are generally as much as you can ask from any southern city. BUT. We are beholden to the state laws. That deeply red ocean does not care how much of the state’s population is concentrated in this one blue dot, because that’s how gerrymandering and electoral college representation work!

Ok, so why don’t I move? Well…. Let’s look at my options.
City A, located in Arkansas: Smaller city with lower cost of living; I have loved ones there, and I could currently afford housing there at my pay rate. HOWEVER: they’re in the exact same boat we are. Progressive city in a regressive state, beholden to state laws and other miserable things that stack the deck against a blue dot in a red state.

City B, located in : One of the BIG “progressive” cities that everyone thinks of as a hub of queer and socially aware people, on the other side of the country. Guaranteed to have laws protecting queer people, reproductive rights, etc. I have family members living there, so I’d have a good starting point to settle in. However…. Unbelievably, absurdly, ridiculously, UNETHICALLY expensive to live in. My family members living there are an attorney and a programmer and live in a one bedroom apartment. Is literally known for how there are an abundance of well-paying tech jobs… that still don’t pay enough to cover rent in the city proper.

And for extra bonus, City C, located in Texas: Known as the hub of queer and creative people in the state, I have friends and family there, seems like a rich and vivid culture- but has neither a better political situation nor affordable housing so I would BOTH be unable to pay rent AND stuck in a city struggling their hardest against state laws built for discrimination and oppression.

It isn’t by any means AT ALL that there aren’t places in the South that are hubs of progress, culture and diversity; in fact, those places form because we carve out little niches of culture and use our votes and our voices to control things on a city level to protect ourselves. But anything above the city level is stacked above our ability to control. I vote! I vote in local, state, AND federal elections! We elect democratic mayors and judges and school board representatives! But once you leave the immediate radius of my city, we do not have the power to do much more than that. And going elsewhere does not solve these problems, if it’s even an option at all. Half of the housing crises in my city are caused by people moving from elsewhere in the state because their rent is too expensive and they are fleeing to somewhere cheaper. It’s driving rent up here. It’s part of gentrification. It’s driving people out of this city and into others, which is only going to perpetuate the same problem.

I want to wrap this up neatly and nicely, but I’m, tired, and angry, and I hate seeing people continually insist that everyone should just miraculously leave the south and just…. go pay for one of their $3,500/month Silicon Valley studio apartments or whatever.

There are bad people, good people, and people that need help everywhere, and people shouldn’t be condemned to suffer because you drew an arbitrary line on a map to reinforce your prejudice. That’s what the GOP does.