Tuesday, December 20, 2016

You're the Worst at Hyperbole

Trump is going to be President of the United States of America. The electoral votes were cast on Monday, 19th December. I damn sure didn’t vote for him, and I wager that if you are reading this, you damn sure didn’t vote for him either. Maybe you signed one of the many petitions to call for a re-vote after the revelations about Russian interference. You may have donated to Jill Stein’s efforts to initiate recounts in several of the swing states that Hillary Clinton lost electorally. Did you sign the Change.org petition that called for immediate destruction of the Electoral College? Maybe you just voiced your opinion in the streets of your city, purely mad at the results, and needing to vent. I feel you. I really do. I did some of these things, but I had a feeling that none of them would help the situation. We’re going to be stuck with Trump for the next four years at a minimum. I’ll give you a hug, if you need it, I know I need one. Do anything you need to do in order to not drown in despair. But please, please, PLEASE do me one solid.
Don’t tell me that Trump’s election to the Presidency is “the worst thing to happen to America”.
WARNING: Extreme Side-Eye Ahead. (Image from the new "Roots")
I’ll give you one freebie that will still be met with extreme side-eye, but after that, expect to be read. Specifically, I'll read off most or all of the horrible things that happened in America that did NOT involve Donald Trump, so I hope you have a few days.
Let’s start with genocide. How many Native Americans do you know? If you answered one or two, that is because we killed a good amount of them in the name of expanding the nation from coast to coast under notions like Manifest Destiny, which was a doctrine born during the Polk administration. Even before Polk, Andrew Jackson did his due diligence to murder or displace as many indigenous peoples as he could. That doesn't even count his treatment of his hundreds of slaves. Thousands were displaced, and thousands died because of Jackson. If you said that all you know are Native Americans, then you likely live on a reservation of land set aside for you, BECAUSE YOU ARE NATIVE AMERICAN. If that is the case, then you know that American treaties with Native Americans don’t mean a damn thing, and the US will do whatever they want. Do you think the Standing Rock pipeline is an anomaly? Standing Rock is the norm. Trump had nothing to do with that. And before you say, “well that was just Jackson and Polk. They were jerks”, what about the 6 presidents before Jackson and the 3 between him and Polk who either did nothing to stop or actively sought the forced movement or eradication of indigenous peoples?
Let’s continue with genocide and rape. Though only 450,000 of the 10.7 million Africans were sent to the United States via the Middle Passage, Slaves multiplied exponentially through forced “breeding”. You can concoct the fantasy that slaves “enjoyed” nuclear families that we no longer have thanks to black people being irresponsible, and I can in turn resist the urge to kick your balls so hard that you cum through your mouth, and instead point out that any action executed at the behest of a master is forced, not consent and therefore RAPE. Families were regularly torn apart for punishment or profit. Let’s not forget the practice of baiting alligators with black infants. Brutalizing slaves was a normal practice, as well.  Also, the masters’ penchant for schtupping their attractive slaves was a thing. Besides my non-black father, my light skin is not the result of a recessive gene from Angola. Romanticize Sally Hemming’s relationship with a president all you like. Thomas Jefferson was a rapist. Black lives did not matter at the inception of the American Revolution, and then we only 3/5 mattered during the ratification of the Constitution. This is something the FOUNDING FATHERS DID. No black person’s safety was guaranteed. So as much lip service as the first 16 presidents may have spouted about equality and freedom, Dred Scott vs. Sandford and the Fugitive Slave Acts were things.
Let’s continue with genocide and rape and forced medical experimentation. Black people and Native Americans weren’t the only people who suffered injustices under presidents who were not Trump. While Natives were being moved and slaughtered and black people were being beaten and raped and slaughtered, women were being raped and beaten and slaughtered. Much like with Jim Crow laws, state by state, women’s rights as human beings varied. They couldn’t vote from the start, and they were often beaten or arrested if they tried. Denying sex to their husband could have garnered beatings and often spousal rape. Women were not allowed to hold office in some places. They couldn’t hold land deeds. They couldn’t go out of the house unaccompanied. Let’s talk about the “wild west”, too. It was call wild for a reason. Laws were hard to enforce, so the safety of women was never guaranteed, especially in a country where the laws didn’t really protect women in the first place. Beside the spousal rape, beside the lack of land and voting rights, and the risk of harm in the “good ol’ days”, there was the risk of medicine. Women who may have spoken up for themselves were put into mental institutions. They were forcibly sterilized. They were lobotomized to turn them into flesh and blood robots. And you know that they were sexually assaulted in those institutions, and often when they got home. Let’s face it: women were sometimes less than the 3/5ers, unless, of course a town wanted to lynch a 3/5er or burn a city to the ground, in which case, women were suddenly precious pearls that needed protecting from the nasty Negroes…unless of course the women had melanin. I honestly wonder how black women have not Hulked out by now. I just assume y’all are like the "Mark Ruffalo" Bruce Banner, and at any minute a Hummer is going to go flying into the air. Trump had no hand in any of this. Every president, from Washington to Lincoln, from Andrew Johnson to Wilson, either had a hand in deterring women’s rights, or they just didn’t give a damn about women enough to care.
I’m 1,000 words into this, and I still haven’t touched on mistreatment of the disabled, the gratuitous mistreatment of military veterans going all the way back to the War of 1812 (that I’m sure you’ll still blame on Obama), the harboring of Nazi scientists, the Chinatown lynchings in California, the Japanese internment, the Tuskegee Experiment, the willful ignoring of lynching of people of color from 1866 to NOW, the lack of punishment of rapists (unless the assailant is brown and the victim is white), the sanctioned ghettoizing and redlining, the use of unwitting people of color for medical experimentation and sterilization, child labor…I could go on, but I do not wish to write a term paper.
The point is that Trump was not president during all of these things done under our nation’s banner. He may be a product of it, but you cannot pin all this on him. So unless he does worse than all of US history, then you will get read for saying that he’s “the worst thing to happen to America”. Given his Ku Klux Kabinet, he can do some serious damage to the Republic, but if he tries to do something like round up Muslims, and we don’t fight it tooth and nail, then that is on us. If you are one of the 47% of people who didn’t vote, this is your time for redemption. If you DID vote, then you need to take the next steps to resist any of the bullshittery that Trump may try to do. We can’t rest on the idea that he “doesn’t REALLY want to be President” and hope he’ll quit. That type of thought train is what got him the electoral votes in the first place. Keep in mind that nearly 3 million more people voted for Clinton than for Trump, that doesn’t include votes for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. In total, 7 million more people who cared enough voted against Trump than voted for him. That means that there should be 7 million people voicing their opposition to any of the unconstitutional tripe that Trump tries to enact. If trump is the “worst to happen to America”, then it’s on us.  I highly doubt he’ll reenact slavery again, though. After all, we still have a tilted prison system.

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