It Was Close
It was close.
Maybe I’m supposed to celebrate. Be happy. Be thrilled even that a bloviating billionaire, callous narcissist, reflexively dishonest idiot will begin his slow rancorous descent from the presidency.
I’m glad he lost. But I’m not happy.
We put our hands on a gun loaded with bullets of constitutional crises, cocked the double standards, pressed the muzzle against our temples amidst an unchecked plague and slowly boiling planet, and didn’t even blink.
We thought, “Why not give this heartless, insulting, geriatric, spray tan some more time to tweet all caps vitriol from the most powerful office in the world?”
It was close. And I thought, “Damn. America is a really racist country.”
Nikki Haley recently said it wasn’t, but come on, Nikki. Come on Republican voters, partygoers, and legislatures of all stripes.
I know America’s racist because a white president can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose a single supporter.
And a black president can’t wear a tan suit without being excoriated by half the electorate.
(To be fair, he didn’t literally shoot anyone. He hosted crowded coronavirus rallies. Face masks optional. MAGA hats mandatory.)
I know America’s racist because a white president can stand on a soldier’s grave and openly question why anyone would serve yet be silent when an adversary puts bounties on our military.
And a black president takes heat for saluting with a cup of coffee in his hand.
The truth is — it’s not the color of the suit you object to, it’s the color of the skin. You’ll never admit this. Maybe you don’t even realize this about yourself. But you take this attitude with you every day into your offices and courtrooms, your schools and churches, and even into the ballot boxes and halls of Congress.
I know a lot of you who voted differently from me think I am exaggerating or being alarmist. I know you don’t wish harm on me or my family. You’re not marching over here and won’t pepper me with racial epithets.
But you are denying, downplaying, and supporting people in power who will do all those things and more. And you’ve shown you will keep standing by those people no matter what justification they drum up for having unmarked vans seizing people on the streets of an American city or separating babies from their parents at the border.
Where is the line? You’ve thrown so much of my humanity away at the altar of your victory.
I woke up with a familiar feeling: Maybe I don’t belong here.
I’ve adopted this country into the marrow of my bones. I see the most ignorant confederate as my brethren. I’ve heard my president allude to nations nearer to my origins as shitholes and continued to wish him well. I love this land. I love it. I love it more than you love your guns, lobbyists, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and millions of other tricks to make it this damn close.
And you know what? This country was made for me. Me and anyone else who knows that the stars and stripes don’t stand for any single doctrine or creed more than they stand for unity, freedom, and justice for all.
My brown skin, foreign tongue, and bizarre religion are more American than your brown-nosing, authority-loving, performative Christianity will ever be.
Fuck you. I’m not going to Canada.