Tuesday, June 2, 2020

America: The Broken, 2020 Edition

Who could have predicted, except for hundreds and thousands of commentators, many of them women and/or POC.

Here's me, writing 3 years ago, at Shakesville, for instance:
"Donald Trump is the inevitable Republican politician for a rotten-to-the-core Republican Party that has condoned the use of any means necessary to win. To enact their regressive, cruel agenda, they have enabled a man to become President who is not only temperamentally-unsuited and unqualified for the office he holds, but whose very presence there is a daily, stark reminder of their contempt for both democracy and the people of this nation.

America: we are broken."
The George B. Bush years were bad. Very bad. The Trump years are exponentially worse.

If you'd have asked me the day after the 2016 election if in a few years it would feel like we would be living through some of the worst moments of the 1930s, 40s, and 60s, but also with Twitter, Facebook, a pandemic, and a fascist president who was brought to us by the reality TV-ification of US politics, I'd say, "Yep, Sure. Sounds about right."

Every time I think we've hit rock bottom, things somehow get worse.

And, if anything, the COVID pandemic should be telling everyone in the US, even the most privileged, how drastically our lives can change, pretty much overnight, and not in a good way. I think many white people mean well when they post the memes about their #whiteprivilege and how "safe" they are relative to Black people, and that is true to an extent, but white people also would do well to stop acting like they/we are entirely objective observers of history, rather than people who can also be killed, uprooted, and oppressed by the Trump regime. Especially now.

I wish I could find it now, but when I was perusing the Twitter recently, someone noted that one of the condescending errors of the post-2016-election "safety pin" thing, where white people would wear safety pins to surreptitiously signal to people of color that they/we are "allies," was the simple-minded assumption that we would be entirely untouched, ourselves, by the horrors of the Trump regime. 

I also understand that people need hope, and I refuse to give up hope. Still.

But, a lot of people seem to think that the current protests around the country mean we're on the cusp of the leftist, socialist, utopian revolution, rather than on the cusp of a violent, authoritarian dictatorship fully backed by one of our two major political parties, roughly half of US voters, about 2/3rds branches of the US government, and a federal military force commanded by the political right.

The 2016 election was, perhaps even more than 2000, the most pivotal election of most of our lifetimes, and what's done is done.

The US government has never acted with the consent of the majority of those within its borders. The majority of voters, by millions, can and did reject a man like Trump and that still, still was not enough to keep him from power. 

The protests we are seeing from city to city in response to the police killing of George Floyd are, first and foremost the result of police violence inflicted upon Black people, and more generally seem to be a release valve for the unrest that results from the reality that the United States was designed to be an unjust, oppressive state that privileges the rights, safety, and well-being of a subset of citizens, and that this fact has been self-evident to millions of oppressed people throughout the history of this nation despite mass efforts to gaslight us into thinking otherwise.

Many people now seem to be making catastrophic miscalculations about the current state of affairs, miscalculations akin to the wishful thinking that Comey or Mueller or Fauci or whoever-the-fuck-white-male-savior would somehow swoop in and save us from the madman.

Please stay safe friends and longtime readers, however you can. I know that's not super useful advice, but the only advice I can muster now is that the time for thinking about politics in soundbite is over so try not to let the memes be your guide.

Oh, and happy fuckin' pride month.

No comments: