Dear Trevor Noah, Nuance ain’t For Folks Like Us.
I want to believe Trevor Noah when he writes about the necessity of nuance, as an avenue through which we can bridge the great divide. From his analysis of the socio-political climate of the U.S., he says “ America, I’ve found, doesn’t like nuance”.
I wanted so badly to agree with Noah, to side with him in this adamant need to reach across party and ideology lines to try and understand each other. But the problem is that in his article, Trevor divides the labor equally across ideology lines, as if this misunderstanding is merely about whether or not we need a tax hike, and not about whether certain lives are more valuable than others.
This nuance he speaks of, is a luxury that marginalized people have rarely been granted.
There was no nuance for the Countless black men and women who died via police execution. Whenever people said “we don’t know the whole story”, what they really meant is, let’s wait to find a reason why the cop should be exonerated. There was no “whole story” for the black men who were already depicted as violent no-good thugs.
There was no Nuance for the Native Americans fighting to protect water. The nuance we were looking for, was really for a reason to depict them as nuisances getting in the way of progress.
There was no nuance for Black Lives Matter, everyone already decided that they were too angry, leaderless, and just a big whiny inconvenience. Nuance was for the critics who wanted to be allowed to oppose the movement without being called racist.
Nuance is for Trump voters, for whom we’ve been told to have compassion because they are just really tired of not being heard so they decided to vote for a man who would doom us all. Nuance is for neo-nazis who get to choose how they want to be called.
Nuance is for Trump himself, who one side is beloved because he speaks his mind and says what many are thinking, but should also not be taken seriously about his comments on rapist Mexicans and pussy-grabbing hobbies.
Nuance is for Tomi Lahren who despite her denial of the existence of racism, gets to hang out with Trevor and Charlamagne who say they want to talk it out with her, as if racism is a negotiable thing. Where is the nuance is whether or not a group of people deserve to live?
Nuance is a luxury that a cop can afford, in which he walks free despite shooting a black man in the back.
What does nuance looks like when your life has always been one-dimensional and depicted as worthless? What is nuance for many of us?
Where they do that at?