I haven’t blogged in nearly three years. It was a deliberate choice. Well, sort of. I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate what was going on in my personal life. In short: I had a terrible breakup with the man I thought was the love of my life. It nearly broke me and while I’m able to see things with a clearer head now, I’m still working through a lot of things I’ve kept buried for the past several years. There are times when I wanted to write, but could not get over that mental hump. Anyway, enough of that. I want to have a chat with y’all.
THEE chat. About our commander-in-chief. Of course, I’m talking about Donald Trump. Let me just say that this man and his cronies are on a deliberate path to troll and destroy this country with racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and conservative policies topped with nationalist pride that has, unsurprisingly, caused his followers to feel empowered with a hate that’s been simmering on low for the last decade.
I’m not going to lie; part of me is a bit taken aback by some of this. I found myself a bit disillusioned during most of 2017, trying to make sense of it all. For the past 20 months, I’ve felt a mixture of sadness, disbelief, overwhelming despair, anger and rage.
I have come across decent people who are actively drinking the Kool-Aid and passing the glass around in an attempt to get others on the Trump Train. There are people in my personal and professional life who actively soak in the garbage from the White House as if it makes perfect sense, as if Trump is doing the right thing for this country. These are the same people who smile to my face and tell me they welcome people with all viewpoints in their lives, but are hostile to anyone who questions the wisdom of a man who clearly has no idea what the hell he is doing. They truly believe we are on a path of making ‘Murica great again.
These are the folks who have family members who date/marry people of other races and genders, but are, at best, indifferent to what is going on right in front of their faces. These are the same people who say we need to treat everyone’s opinions with respect, and we all need to come together and stand behind our president. Even when our president blatantly lies about policies/procedures, is accused of obstruction, boasts about grabbing women by the pussy and trying to bed said women. Even when our president uses dog whistle politics, coded language and in-your-face hostility when speaking about so-called Mexican gangsters who are willing to do anything to wreak havoc on the lives of good, God-fearing Americans. I have no idea how these Trump supporters and those who remain indifferent to the turning tide are able to sleep at night, go about their day-to-day activities or even look themselves in the mirror when we are facing what I call an eroding sense of empathy in our collective souls.
Then, I think. I think about the eight years we spent with Barack Obama serving as our president. About the slowly simmering resentment against people of color, LGBTQ people, etc. white men and women have harbored inside their minds and bodies. About the rage and angst that festered in the white American conscience. I think about the blatant racism hurled at Obama and his supporters, the racist-misogynistic insults afflicted upon First Lady Michelle Obama and the countless verbal and physical assaults people of color were subjected to by white people who felt their way of life was in peril. These were acts that were just a taste of what was to come when 2016 came knocking on our doors.
We knew this was coming. Black women and other people of color who are active in the social/political sphere warned white moderates and liberals not to underestimate the power of white rage and the voting power of white conservatives. White conservative rage, to be exact. You spent eight years listening to your family members rant about Obama and his policies, the Democrats in Congress, Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s private email server. You spent eight years seeing story after story about seemingly good white people getting themselves into trouble with racists social media postings. You spent eight years listening to your neighbor talk about how immigrants are stealing jobs and hustling themselves across the border just to have babies and live off the taxpayer’s dime. You didn’t bat an eye when your friends bitched about how Obamacare was going to ruin the free market as we knew it and was going to send the healthcare/insurance industry into financial ruin. My god, we can’t afford to have adequate healthcare for Americans.
You saw the memes about Obama phones, slut pills, etc. You saw this and may have even filed this information in the back of your mind, but you didn’t connect the dots. You wanted to believe that there are good white people who will see through Donald Trump and his lies and choose Hillary Clinton. Yes, she had her problems, but surely the country would choose an experienced politician over a man who brags about sexually assaulting women.
But they did not and here we are. White men and women sided with Trump, making him the most powerful person on the planet. We told you this would happen. We told you that white women, in general, historically side with the oppressor when they believe their white womanhood is threatened by The Other. We told you that you can not rely on white moderates and independents to come around and be sensible with their political choices. We told you that you cannot push aside the black electorate and cater solely to white women, a group of voters who routinely cut off their noses to spite their faces, to win political office.
There are families who worry about their loved ones being rounded up, detained and question while simply doing their jobs. There are black men and women like myself who can be shot and killed by cops who are emboldened by this renewed push for so-called law and order, a phrase deployed by white moderates and those who were against the Civil Rights movement to turn the silent majority off from the fight for equality. There are people in my life who, while they are able to get married now, still have to worry about job discrimination and whether a business will reject their patronage because they are not cishet. There are indigenous groups who are still fighting against companies destroying their lands in the name of profit. And, unfortunately there are still children and adults alike who do not have access to clean, safe drinking water.
While all of this is happening, y’all remain silent. You saw families being separated at the Mexican border, children herded in cages, crying in despair. You saw the president tell lie after lie, imploring Congress to act to end family separations. You saw the president blame the Democrats, and say he was doing the same thing the Obama administration was doing. You saw the president claim his hands are tied, and that the executive branch was just enforcing a law that was on the books. You listened your president repeatedly lie about this and said nothing. Miraculously, with the stroke of a pen, the president reversed his ridiculous stance and ended a political crisis he created (no doubt as a diversion tactic).
We are at this point because good people like you, the white moderates, did nothing and stayed silent. We are at this point because you chose to ignore the writing on the wall and the essays/tweets from black folks and other marginalized bodies, warning of a growing movement that relies on the fear of and anger towards The Other. “This is not who we are as a country,” you continue to tell yourselves. You would know this is ahistorical bullshit if you listened to the marginalized voices who can share personal accounts about sad, troublesome history of these United States of America. You would know that this is bullshit if you actually looked beyond the fantasy of American Exceptionalism and explored how Manifest Destiny, slavery, genocide, forced migration, colonization, state-sanctioned lynchings, Jim Crow, redlining, etc. were key in propping up the United States as a global force to reckon with.
We told you this would happen and you turned your backs, hoping someone else would pick up the mantle and fight. Your silence/indifference means you’re allied with the oppressor, a man who has an army of foot soldiers that feels empowered to brandish their hate and resentment in the form of violence, intimidation and new laws and policies designed to create a tangled web of 21st century fascism.
What are you going to do about it?