Charlotessville: The Rebirth of a Nation
When the votes were counted and the electoral college favored Trump for the 2016 presidency and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager called it a night, it became horribly clear that Donald Drumpf had won the election, and I was furious. America had elected a dingy sock puppet with orange dryer lint for hair and an insatiable need to tweet his every thought, opinion, and mansplaining that crossed his underdeveloped Cro Magnon brain. But even though the unthinkable became reality and media pundits and talk show hosts alike made jokes and carried on, so did the rest of America.
After that unfortunate night when Trump won the presidency, I went to work early the next morning feeling defeated and ashamed of what had happened last night. As I commuted to work, I looked at people’s faces, searching for some kind of solidarity, some kind of collective sadness, or even sentimental nods of resistance, but there was nothing. These faces donned quaint smiles and said perplexing things like “Good morning” and “Did you see what Kylie Jenner posted on Instagram?” and “You want anything from Starbucks?”
Give Trump a Chance?
And soon enough, I too was asking cheery questions and giving buoyant answers. Trump being president was sad, very sad and no matter how furious I or others were, people didn’t really care because like Dave Chappelle, most were willing to give Trump a chance. I mean, can our country really be brought down to its knees by the carelessness and circular logic of a single man? The answer should be no, but then Trump took office and things seemed to progressively get worse, week after week, tweet after tweet. Likewise, we carried on and continued with our jobs.
Now 200+ days later, Trump and his trusted and truly gifted team of fuck-ups (most of them old white men) have changed the face of the office from prestigious and professional to dishonorable and incompetent. The Trump administration has turned into a real Tijuana donkey show — completely inappropriate but totally acceptable (especially among old white me). Trump did a lot of shitty things these last few but strangely long months while in office, but his most heinous act to date was his response to Charlottesville. I guess you could say that Donald Trump finally decided to be PC, “politically creative,” and blamed many sides for the vehicular slaughter of counter-protesters.
Protesting was the Left’s most prized clapback against the president — the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter marches, Climate Change/Science marches etc. — and in a twisted turn of events akin to an M. Night Shyamalan film, here were neo-nazis and KKK members doing what liberals did best: protesting. “Unite the Right” and aptly named as well, this movement of white supremacists and confederate loyalists had always existed but never so blatant and outspoken. Even during the Obama administration, white racists only existed as lone wolves with a history of antisocial behavior and of course mental problems.
Charlotessville: The Rebirth of a Nation
The First Black Family of the United States might have scared and pissed off white supremacy America but not quite enough to mobilize and be seen for what they truly are. What tipped the scales was the Trump administration and the alt-right rhetoric, fostered by Steven Bannon, consecrated by Donald Trump, and upheld by “Unite the Right” protesters. “This is not America” and “This is not us” will be said and echoed by progressive types and Leftist leaders but sadly, this is America, this is us. Trump tweeted:
“We must remember this truth: No matter our color, creed, religion, or political party, we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST.”
Even in the face of blatant racism, Trump decided that even neo-nazis were American first and neo-nazi second which would have been reassuring if what he had tweeted was true. The real truth is: if you are a woman, a person of color, a queer person, an immigrant, or a person who believes in science, you are not an American. You are a BITCH first, a THUG first, a FAGGOT first, an ILLEGAL first, a GODLESS HEATHEN first, and an American second. To be American, unfortunately, is to be hateful and fearful of people with a little melanin or a vagina.
Charlottesville is not America but racism is, and it started with colonization and slavery, continued with Jim Crow and Separate But Equal policy, carried on with Watts and LA race riots, and keeps on with the School to Prison Pipeline and the prevalence of the senseless and unjust murders of Black Americans across the country. America is not post-racial, and it may never be to be honest. It’s the same old country but with newer technology. Charlottesville is not America, it is American, and this is the rebirth of a nation.