The Wheel That Grinds You Can’t Turn Without You

Dia Arden
3 min readAug 5, 2019


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Are you the landscaper they employ to give the finger to climate change by keeping their lawns emerald green?

Are you the teacher getting payed pennies to reinforce a history that casts their children as the righteous victors? Not getting paid enough to nurture that inborn sense of entitlement, am I right?

Are you the cook flipping the emotion-support burger they shame eat because their trainer kicked their butt at Cross Fit?

Whoever you are, just know that this machine doesn’t stop unless you decide to stop it. You fuel their American Dream.

I am an angry and disenchanted African American woman. And I could spin some “woe is me” tale about my current misfortune but the only weak things about me, at the moment, are my pockets. As people who know me can tell you, I can summon strong opinions like a mother-f**king sorceress; one for every occasion. My soapbox stays ready. Today, the theme is power.

As in: we are in the center of a political/cultural/economic reckoning and when we- the disenfranchised- decide to come together and get our power back, we’ll be unstoppable. When we band together and use our centuries of justified rage to grind our American Nightmare to a halt, there can be no negotiation.

The way forward isn’t through begging for a seat or two at some metaphorical table that wasn’t built for us in the first place. Progress means deconstructing their lame-a** table and using the reclaimed wood (shout out to HGTV) to build a bigger one for us all.

Photo by Johanna Buguet on Unsplash

I have a lot of time to sit and think of how the world would be if we truly shared each other’s fight.

Like, what if after the Women’s March we gathered en mass at Mauna Kea to stop the careless destruction of native Hawaiian sacred spaces in the name of casting a wider net into space?

Then, afterwards we put our politician’s feet to the fire and demand the same type of strict gun laws that keep people in other countries safe. I would love to see a day when active shooter drills are a footnote in history like “Duck and Cover” drills during the Cold War.

What would happen if we formed Liberal Lefty/Minority Voltron and demanded a unified change to a toxic human culture that allows trans-women of color to be murdered and unavenged? That’s okay with an amoral police force that doesn’t even respect the same code of honor as our military?

What if we demanded a sweeping, nonnegotiable change instead of asking politely? Take a page from their “How To Conquer The World” playbook; only ours would benefit them, too, instead of slaughtering them. Because when you know better, you do better.

What a wonderful world that would be.

Thanks for coming to my imaginary TED Talk.



Dia Arden

Amateur black feminist. Broke “essential” worker. Buy me a chai and I’m your bff for life!