Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mail Call #10: Trumpocalypse

It's been a weird, depressing week. I can only imagine it's going to get even more weird and depressing going forward into a Trump presidency (ugh, why are you making me write that, America?!). The email responses to my last MJS column - my initial response to the election results - certainly seem to back up that assessment.

Here's a Greatest Hits:
The Constitution won with Trump's election, even though I am not a fan of the man. Liberalism lost because it discriminates against any opposition to their views and agenda. Especially white Christians. You liberals believe white Christians vote on color and racism. If you knew any of us, you would know it is about policy, not skin color. Maybe people of color will finally realize why not try a Republican. Democrats sure talk a good story but have never helped us or respected us. Your young, hopefully you can be more objective in your future!
What do you say, people of color who overwhelmingly voted against Donald Trump? Why not try a Republican/demagogue? Here's another one:
When Barack Obama won two terms for the Presidency there were few, if any, protests from conservatives. Yet now there is hatred and protests across the country against Donald Trump's election. It's been said that liberals don't know how to lose graciously. I love the Packers, but if they don't win another game this season it won't bother me that much, because the real Super Bowl was November 8th and the conservatives won. Long live Democracy and America.
Conservatives didn't protest? Actually, they did. And then they went to town demonizing Obama, accusing him of being a Marxist Kenyan usurper, hanging him in effigy, and blocking him at every turn in Congress, even going so far as refusing to do their basic duty and allow a vote on his final Supreme Court nominee. The list goes on. But tell me again how y'all accepted Obama's presidency with graciousness. And then compare the election of an openly racist demagogue with a fucking Packers game.

This was a nice letter [sic]:
The citizens of this country have finally stood up to slime like you!You lazy bitches who NEVER worked a day in you life are about to be put back in your RAT holes where you belong! You and others like you have turned the democrat party into a cesspool of perverts,degenerates, and illegals! Hopefully you will be relegated to your place in history with the other EXTINCT vermin!
Hey, I like my party of perverts, degenerates, and "illegals" (i.e. human beings from various walks of life who are looking for a better life). And I've held jobs since I was 15, but that's neither here nor there, since I am apparently a lazy rat bitch (rats make good pets, FYI).
Try and get over the results of this election. I understand how Obama won the 1st time, but the 2nd time threw me for a loop because his 1st term was a failure. So is his 2nd term. But we didn't take to the streets and riot.

Americans are starved for leadership since there has been a shortage for the last 8 yrs.What Trump said over a decade ago about women does not diminish his ability to be a leader. I have heard worse in the breakroom of where I work.........from the women.

In fact, I bet you used a similar phrase at some point in your life.
Uh, no, no I have not.
A friend of mine made me aware of a article you wrote called feels like the sky is falling. I will make this short and sweet, get your head out of your ass and write a article about the rioting being done and hate crimes being done by your party the DEMOCRAPS. 1 of the many reasons i don't read the this rag the MILWAUKEE URINAL. Your a typical LIBTARD living in your own blind little world. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN BITCH! GET OVER IT! I think your a woman, sorta hard to tell from your picture. Good day LIB! 4 years from now you will be a conservative, oh i take that back, you will still be in denial!
He seems nice.

I'll end it on this note (though I got plenty of other...entertaining...letters). This one really caught my interest. I think this gets more at the root of the disconnect in how a lot of white voters approached the election. I won't dismiss the author's feelings outright, though I still think they're based in a very privileged/white POV and experience of America. The pain and fear expressed here are real, I've no doubt. But the blame is, I think, utterly misplaced. So how do we go about addressing that in an effective way?
The people who are protesting and rioting in the streets over the election are providing positive proof that we did it right. Or at least as right as was possible.

Sure, Mr. Trump is a shining example of what we don't want in our president. I voted for him because there was no other choice. No good Republicans were left; even Bernie would have been better (a bit screwy, but probably harmless). Vote for the Bride of Satan? Never! I have read that she was kicked off the Watergate legal team in the 1980's for self-serving unethical behavior, and I would say she has gone downhill from that ever since.

The people who have been the backbone of America for generations are desperate. We (factory workers, farmers, etc.), hard workers all our lives, have watched America die for fifty years. If we passed laws they were overturned by liberal judges or simply ignored. Laws to keep out criminals (anyone who crosses the Rio Grande without papers is a criminal) are not enforced. Our jobs were sent to China or given to illegals. We were (are) ignored.

We might not be able to return our country to greatness, as Mr. Trump wants. It is probably too late for that. But maybe we can reverse things for a bit, slow down America's death spiral. Like a cancer patient being offered dangerous surgery that won't cure him but might give him some extra time (four years?).

We simply voted for Trump because we felt we had no other choice. There is a good chance that we will fail quickly, but he is simply the only hope we have left.
I mean, how do you show someone who thinks Trump is "the only hope we have left" that he and his ilk represent a very real and present danger to them? White folks, we have a lot of work to do on our own people. And it's going to take enormous reserves of compassion, and a willingness to get out of our own bubbles to talk to/get to know people from all walks of life. The emotional (and physical) labor of talking about how race and class impact our country and day-to-day lives has too long fallen on the shoulders of people of color / those actively and often violently oppressed by the status quo. We need to step the fuck up.
The Lost Albatross