If you ask a (white) person how they got where they are today they will probably tell you they worked hard, studied hard, and they have earned their place. They might even be able to point out some good luck, being at the right place at the right time. Generally, though, we recognize that a bit of luck and working our asses off should get us rewards. And those who’ve gotten through the recession as adults also recognize that sometimes hard work isn’t enough. We saw what the recession did, how people – maybe us or maybe friends – had to get through some hard times. We also know some didn’t make it through. Sometimes education and a good work ethic aren’t enough even for white people. Now imagine you aren’t a straight, white male in the United States at a time when jobs are already scarce and when pay and benefits are down?
This whole white “race” thing offends me deeply. It’s not just because there are no separate races; it’s that people are looking for rewards that they have not earned. As soon as anyone tells you to be proud of something you had nothing to do with, your race/gender/sexuality, etc., they’re showing that they are interested in taking credit for achievements they have not accomplished or earned. They want you to recognize that achievement so that they can, too.
So these meritless white people who are proud of the shade of skin they happen to be born with claim that people with another shade of skin are “stupid animals.” They are proud that they are somehow better than the others and that they have a right to do violence to the “lesser” beings. Then when they get called on their shitty attitudes and wrong ideas, or when someone fights back (after the white jerk picked the fight, of course), they also get to be victims. For some reason I can’t begin to fathom this gets them sympathy from their fellow “exceptional” humans.
This shit has seriously been going on to greater or lesser degrees throughout our country (and the world, let’s be honest here) for hundreds of years. We fought a fucking war about it. Part of the United States conspired to commit treason to hold onto their “right” to own other human beings. They lost, but the winning side was too generous to the selfish, racist losers because “they’re part of us.”
It’s time to be done with that. Hundreds of years of making excuses for the racist uncle, the monuments to treason and cruelty, the “heritage” of the south, needs to end. I will feel sympathy for victims, and I will help them in any way I can. I will NOT empathize with those who pick fights and then cry “poor me” to get support; they’ll get no pity or support from me. I don’t just mean the Christopher Cantwells of the United States here; Trump’s “I’m a weak victim and those guys (looks at McConnell) aren’t protecting me” shtick is getting very fucking old. He is no more a victim of the media or Congress or <fill in the blank> than the fox is of the hens. He’s his own worst enemy, and he’s too fucking stupid to recognize just how weak and dumb his victim game makes him look to everyone.
I am way past done with these people who have done nothing helpful or productive but expect recognition and/or awards for having white skin when they fell out of someone else’s uterus. Fuck that, and fuck them.
Instead of patting each other on the back for being born with white skin or blue eyes or whatever, let us instead recognize people who worked their asses off for a college education and then took that education and used it to pay back the loans for the education-sounds sort of stupid when I say it this way. Seriously, though, recognize people who got into and through school and then took that education and made it into a career, something they can enjoy, something that contributes to society. Recognize not the people who have babies, (almost) any fool can make babies, can but instead those who raise their children to be responsible and compassionate adults. Recognize and encourage those who take what they started with and made it more, made themselves more. Those who work hard and work their way up, those who pay their taxes, who help each other move, who bring a casserole or babysit when times get tough. Admire those who don’t make excuses and who recognize that other people don’t have the same opportunities they have. Admire those who make sure everyone gets a shot. Everyone.
In this society we should not (and generally do not) admire people who harm others, including those who harm animals, and we do not build/protect monuments to murderers, traitors, or oppressors. I am not saying that we should commit violence against that racist uncle or those KKK members and nazis. For the racists in my life I have been clear that the love is here if they want it but that I have no interest in their attitudes, that their racism is wrong, and that I will not have it in my life. That metaphorical uncle can come to holiday dinner, but one fucking racist comment/word, one wrong glance, and he’s out. As in my home, I want it to be clear in society that these attitudes are wrong and unacceptable. I will continue to vote for people who know that racism/sexism is wrong in our society at ALL levels.
In this society we should not (and until recently, did not) admire people who lie to try to get people do what they want, believe what they want. Trump is one of those people who wants to take credit for other people’s achievements. He’ll tell you how hard he worked, how much he’s done, when he’d be better off if he just saved the money he inherited. Other than his predatory sexual exploits and his bankruptcies, oh, and his fraud, he’s accomplished basically nothing with what he believes are his “perfect genes.” He was born on third base and still, after 71 years, thinks he hit a home run.
I’m seeing a lot of “condemn the individual but not the group” today. You do you, but I say punishing the murderer and letting the KKK, the nazis, all those other groups off scot-free is a terrible idea. Every time we politely looked away from a shitty, racist comment, thinking that it was an isolated incident, we did this. Our generosity and apathy has brought this hate back out into the light. It’s the mob mentality that gives these individuals strength and motivation. That man who murdered Heather Heyer and who injured 19 others waited until he was there with his hate group. They helped him.
Those who do harm to others should face the legal consequences, but there also needs to be consequences for those who encourage and/or enable deplorable behaviors. Internet providers, employers, dating services, etc. have made it crystal clear they want nothing to do with racists and racist groups. Good. That is a start. These negative consequences need to come from higher, too, and it won’t as long as the hate is literally approved by the highest office in the country. Blame for that is squarely on the GOP. The GOP is letting Trump use hate to divide and conquer because they think it’ll help them.
Do we add the GOP to the list of hate groups? How do we get the Justice Department to investigate hate groups again when it’s run by Sessions? a man who was too racist to get a job with the government in the 80’s?! Every day that goes by, hate gets a stronger hold. Every thing we let the racists of our government do does more damage and sets us back for when we try to fix it. We are failing at damage control.
It’s time to decide where you stand because there aren’t good people on both sides; pick a side. And we do need to stand. Silence is the voice of complicity. Speak up, and stand now. Tell them they are wrong every single time and that their ideas are unacceptable in society. Stand until the racists are OUT of our government. Every. Last. One.
There needs to be consequences for Trump and for the GOP. Don’t just put him in the corner. Take his phone away, and get him out of our house.
Link: “White supremacy isn’t just for old white men” – by Vladimir Enrique Medenica (opinion) at The Hill
Link: “Federal judge strikes down Texas’ voter ID law” – by Max Greenwood at The Hill
Link: “Democrats and Republicans Switched Platforms” – by Thomas DeMichele of Fact Myth. Edited at 1444 on 25 August 2017 to include this link. I am sick of willful ignorance about which party did what to “take credit” for good things other groups did. For instance, it was the liberals with Lincoln under the name of “Republican Party” who freed slaves. The conservatives (at the time the Democratic Party) opposed this.
Link to original tweet from John Fugelsang.
Link to original tweet from Stonekettle.
Cartoon: Make America Hate Again cartoon at the top by Bob Gorrell (13 August 2017).
“First they came …” poem written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). The engraving in the photo on this post is located at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts.