Stream of consciousness ahead!
I hope that all my readers can benefit from this post, but it is primarily geared towards conservatives and Trump supporters. Let’s open our eyes and be honest here.
The left has its fair share of extremists, clowns, bigots, and violent and destructive folks. But I’m focusing on conservatives here because they are the latest people to piss on my Facebook. And they have been pissing furiously.
The conservative Republican platform, even in its mainstream form, enables and panders to bigotry. The hard right Tea Party form even more so. Get real. And please don’t tell me you don’t see it (how could you not?) Or that you’re not like that. Whether you yourself are like that or not…you tolerate it.
I’m an immigration reformist and supporter of English as the official language of the US. I bring this up because these issues were motivators for a lot of Trump voters to show up at the polls. Once upon a time, I would have been one of them.
So what’s the big deal? I only want economic security, rule of law, and for everyone to be able to talk to each other. I want to control our budget and defend against security threats. What’s so bad about that?
Nothing. And that’s exactly the problem.
Over the years, I’ve become a big believer in the idea that, if the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, give it back to the sender and be done with it. I’ve been accused of generalizing and not realizing that “not all xyzs are like that.” I’ve told people that “we’re not all like that.” It’s a discussion that goes exactly nowhere. Because it’s not about people and never was. It’s about groups, ideas, culture, and power. More importantly, it’s about how these forces are used and abused to maintain a status quo that benefits the few. The ideas and culture themselves are neutral but how they are marshalled in politics and relations is what is destructive. Yet we use the face value neutrality to avoid facing the consequences of our ideas.
I’ve learned that if I’m really “not one of those people,” I should prove it in my conduct, instead of whining about it when I’m called on it. Anyone who knows me knows what I’m about and I don’t fear people’s accusations. Most people don’t seem to agree. When they show their prejudice in public and someone calls them on it…they complain that they’re not like that and to stop generalizing.
Yet what do we spend 99.99% of our time doing? Promoting our ideas without critical examinaion, believing whatever news sources cater to our beliefs, and painting outrselves as victims of “the other.” When we are held to account, we cry “Not all of us! We’re individual!” When we perceive that we are victimized, it’s a huge cultural force that must be resisted by us brave warriors. I’m sick of it.
How can we deny racism in our ranks when, in the 1920s, the KKK had a membership of 4 million over the issue of…immigration? When white supremacist groups use immigration as a recruiting tool to this day? When people have no problem leaving comments in public, mainstream online forums referring to Muslims as goat fuckers and relishing the graphic torture and murder of Muslims? When people commit hate crimes as a result of reading conservative nationalistic rhetoric? When even seemingly mainstream conservatives are openly supported by radicalists such as David Duke and no one says anything? When people criticize their opponents not with facts, logic, or common courtesy, but with the most vile, racialized, sexist, prejudiced invective imaginable, with a few references to key issues such as abortion or taxation as an afterthought? When people boast publicly about how great it would be to beat up protestors, shoot Communists, put sodomites in jail, deport legal American citizens, or prevent them from voting, if they don’t share conservative views? Don’t tell me they are joking either, because these comments are constant. It’s not an addendum to mainstream commentary…it IS mainstream commentary. And nothing about the context or the way these comments are written is remotely suggestive of a joke.
How can you not see that? How can you not see how people find that threatening? More importantly, how can you claim that you’re not prejudiced and yet dismiss the very real implications and consequences of your ideas, blame the victims, accuse them of faking, or minimize the jumbo kracken in the room by saying that it’s just a few extremists?
Here’s a hint: A man, a known con man and overall depraved dirt bag in just about every way imaginable, won the highest office in the most powerful country on Earth campaigning on these very sentiments and pandering to these very “extremists.” When you reach that milestone…you’re not extremist. You’re mainstream. A man like Trump could never get this far if his ideas and followers were truly as extremist as you say.
But please, don’t say anything about that unless you’re called on it. You totally ignore this message unless someone accuses you of being a bigot…then it’s damage control. We’re not all like that. You’re attacking me. I thought liberals were tolerant? Look at all the Black Lives Matter people beating up Trump supporters! Yeah, a few dozen, maybe a few hundred, hate crimes were inspired by my candidate but two or three were revealed to be fakes so…so there!
I didn’t SAY that I hated Jews. I just don’t believe those Jews who say Trump supporters burned a swastika on their lawn. I didn’t SAY I hated Muslims. I just support someone that hates Muslims, wants them banned from the US. I don’t hate the poor or blame them for their situation …I just don’t care enough about them to give them fair wages or job protections…and if they hate it, they need to take responsibility and go to school. But I’m not blaming them, okay?
I’m sick of it. And I’m not letting you get away with it. I can’t make you see reason, I can’t make you have empathy, I can’t make you do or be anything…but I can make myself accountable for fighting lies with truth. I can make it a point to challenge prejudice and cowardice and apathy when I see it. And mark my words that as long as I am alive and you have contact with me, I will show you what kind of person you are every day for the rest of your life.