I made my first blog post in years today, and I tried to keep it concise. I didn’t succeed like I’d wanted, so I’d like to try again, but this time with an object lesson. (The other one is here.)
Here it goes:
Trump won because white people don’t want to hear what people of color have to say. Like at all. And they voted for the guy who they thought would tell any complaining brown person to shut the fuck up. And they got the right guy.
Trump voters have been expecting silence from minority communities over the last several years. And they haven’t gotten it. Now that they have their man, they’re demanding it. And they’re doing so rather transparently.
This is best exemplified by the reaction of many Trump supporters to what the cast of Hamilton decided to say to Mike Pence. Before we get to just how unhinged and deranged the reaction is, let’s examine the text of the statement:
Vice-president elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us at Hamilton: An American Musical. We really do.
We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir.
But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf all of us. All of us.
We truly thank you for sharing this show—this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men, women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.
It should be noted that just before this statement was read, the person reading it quieted the crowd and stopped them from booing Pence. The person was genuinely reaching out to Pence. Then, after reading it, I can come to no other conclusion other than that this statement is the most respectful statement anyone has made this entire campaign.
Thanks for coming, Mr. Pence!
We hope our performance made you less likely to hurt us.
Thanks again for coming!
You cannot more respectfully make a point than that. It is torturously respectful. It goes out of its way to show respect.
And Trump supporters are calling it disrespectful and demanding apologies.
(I’m going to ignore for a moment that people who voted for and support Donald Trump think someone should be respectful to someone else. That is, in a phrase, bat-shit fucking insane, and it should make you question your ability to form opinions. About anything. And I mean anything. Like including your favorite color. Or shape. Or even flavor of ice cream. If you vote for Trump and then complain about a lack of respect, seriously, go fuck yourself with a branding iron.)
A person of color cannot stand on a stage and express fear without being shouted at and told to shut up. That’s what’s happening right now.
Trump supporters: YOU’RE PROVING THE MAN’S POINT FOR HIM.
Why on earth would brown people and minorities feel like Trump won’t protect them? Because a brown person cannot say, “I feel afraid,” without being yelled at and told to shut up.* That’s why they feel like Trump won’t protect them. And that’s why overwhelming numbers of white voters elected him: to send a message of “get fucked” to people who are already feeling under attack.
And if you think Trump is going to heal that? No no. He’s not even interested in healing it. If there’s a problem, it’s not the problems articulated by brown people. Those aren’t problems. The problem is that brown people are articulating their feelings. Still. Even after the election. THAT is what needs to stop, in the mind of a Trump supporter.
It’s going to get worse. A lot worse. This is a beginning of something terrible.
Make sure you’re on the right side of it.
(And if you’re not sure what side you’re on, the right side or the wrong side, the right side is ALWAYS the side defending the powerless against the powerful. Always.)
*What’s interesting to me is how the conversations I’ve been having regarding this have gone. First, it’s “disrespectful.” Then, when confronted with how it is clearly actually respectful, they pivot to some other point about not wanting to hear it for some asinine reason.
The reason they don’t want to hear it is simple: they have no respect for the person who is saying it. This isn’t hard, people. It’s only hard to listen if you don’t fucking want to. And that’s the point. They don’t want to hear it. At all.