There’s a sickness of shame that grips our country right now, a cancer with symptoms of xenophobia, racism, and anti-intellectualism. Above all, this sickness expresses itself as a desire to have a strong white man wash that shame away. . .
Someone who looks like us and talks like us but lacks the human element of a conscience.
He can make things better, do what we’re not honest enough or violent enough to do. He speaks what we’re afraid to say, what we used to be able to say before the gatekeepers arrived to muzzle us with their rules. We’re tired of the rules, “their” feelings, the constant nagging feeling of guilt. But he can fix it.
He can put the women, the minorities, the immigrants, and the queers back in the shadows. Wipe away the meritocracy and equality of opportunity that has diminished our importance. How dare they take what’s ours, and with the gall to remind us that we took it by force. How dare they make us feel shame. But he can punish them.
He can restore what was ours. And even better, with malice, with violence, with strength and vulgarity. He can express our resentment for the last 50 years. He is our weapon to restore the order.
And if he loses? There will be more like him. We will fight multiculturalism tooth and nail. We will fight a false “equality” that diminishes us. We will restore Man* to his rightful place, above woman, above nature, above all that he surveys. . . .
Friends, as I slip out of that vile and sad stream of consciousness, I have to tell you that I’m scared.
I know that the arc of the universe bends toward justice, but I’m starting to believe that it will never be easy. That I’ll never see equality of opportunity, that it will get worse before it gets better, that my future daughters will be harassed, or my transgender son will be bullied; that my friends of color will continue to be targeted by the police. I’m afraid that I’ll be on my deathbed and still see Congress filled with people who don’t look like America.
But I’ll tell you what. . .
It won’t change if we don’t strive to change it. We have to fight, because that’s what they’re geared up for. They’re ready for war.
So let’s get to work.
— — — —
*applicable to white, able-bodied, heterosexual men only