Today, we’re going to talk about a phenomenon that has never once failed to drive me up the goddamn wall. And I’ll be honest, as I’m typing this introduction, I’m extremely debating if it’s worth the fresh hell I’m inevitably inviting because there’s no way to address this situation without bringing up the Democratic primaries. But f**k it, let’s do this.
So yesterday I wrote about our lovely little nation getting into the business of firing tear gas at refugee women and children who hadn’t even stepped foot on American soil yet. It was yet another brazen act of racism that could be directly tied to Donald Trump’s rhetoric, and for the most part, people recognized that this is a humanitarian crisis that deserves attention. Which it absolutely is.
But then there was another voice. A voice that you can practically hear the drags on a vape pen as its speaker strokes his chin at the wokeness he’s about to drop because it’s always a he.
“Yeah, bro, but like… *vapes*… America has always been racist. People are only getting outraged now because like… *vapes*… Trump is doing it. Where they were during… *vape*… Ferguson?”
And that’s where my mind snaps.
Ever since the 2016 election, you can practically set your watch to this reaction. And to be clear, its central argument is that we should ignore the racism of Donald Trump’s administration out of a presumed lack of concern for prior racist events. In essence, there is a perceived lack of ideological purity that’s based on speculation and/or willful ignorance, and that is some horseshit.
Confronting racism as it unfolds and examining its causes and effects is something we as a nation should constantly be striving for. If one has been so continually concerned with past racism — which most reasonable liberals have been, and to presume otherwise is intellectual wankery — then it makes no sense to criticize discussion of present racism because “That’s just how America is.” People are doing the very thing you wanted them to do by addressing racial violence administered by the government, and instead, your reaction is to challenge their woke credentials and belittle their efforts as “hashtivism” or whatever condescending terms are being thrown around these days to discourage giving a f**k.
Caring about things? That’s not galaxy brain, bruh.
As for where this mindset comes from, I have two theories that might be completely wrong, but I’m writing through this, so let’s see what happens:
1. A continued belief that Hillary Clinton would have been just as bad a president as Donald Trump, if not somehow worse. (Who would’ve been better, you ask? Clearly some old white guy who still doesn’t know what racism is.)
2. Contrarianism for the sake of contrarianism.
Since I don’t have any enlightened remarks for the second part outside of repeated instructions to bone oneself in the face, I’m going to tackle the hornet’s nest in the first part because I hate myself.
Without re-litigating the 2016 primaries, I completely understand the frustration that Bernie supporters felt when he didn’t win the nomination. I even understand the lack of enthusiasm for Hillary going all the way up to Election Day because even though Trump was everything wrong with America dialed to 11, no one honestly thought he was going to win. Including Trump. So despite not agreeing with it now or then, I can at least wrap my head around the fragging of Hillary from the left because, again, the conventional wisdom was that she had shit locked down. What could it possibly hurt?
And then she lost.
Did the attacks on Hillary from the left cause that? I’m not even going to touch that because it’s irrelevant at this point. What is relevant is that from the very first moments after Donald Trump took the oath of office, it became stupidly clear that our government had switched gears from viewing systematic racism as a feature instead of a bug. Was Obama perfect? Literally, no one is saying that. And it’s a strawman argument to equate criticism of Trump with an automatic endorsement of every atrocity committed under Obama’s watch. But there is no denying that America is now in the thralls of an administration whose practitioners and supporters not only have zero concerns about the racist effects of our country’s imperial endeavors, they f**king relish those effects. We’re tear gassing children in diapers, and white people couldn’t be giddier.
Case in point: The left loves to call Obama the Drone President because, well, the guy droned a lot of people. No denying that. What did Trump do the minute he got into office? Ramped that shit up to the point where he’s not even two years into office, and he’s already ordered more drone strikes than Obama ever did. And that’s just one example out of countless dozens.
Basically, everything that the left hates about the United States government, Donald Trump f**king loves and is committing at an unprecedented scale. He is not and has never been the status quo, which is why I can’t get behind writing off his actions as such because of the misguided belief that Hillary would have been just as bad. Would she have maintained a lot of the shit-awful normalcy of America albeit with sporadic lurches of forward progress? Almost definitely. Is that ideal? God no. (Would it have been the same with Bernie? Yup.) But it sure as shit is better than hurtling backward on virtually every progressive front and gleefully flooring the accelerator on institutional racism, which is where we’re at now.
At the end of the day, if you’ve been woke before it was mainstream, you should be welcoming an awareness of the goddamn awful that Trump is committing instead of shitting on allies to do what? Tout your own cynicism? Edgy stuff, bro. And if your argument is that America has always been racist so people shouldn’t be surprised, why would you ever expect anyone to roll over and accept that fate? Because that’s exactly what you’re advocating. Just giving up.
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