First, let me get this said. What happened Tuesday—I can’t even bring myself to write the words—is about race, y’all. Let’s not even try to be all NPR about it.
Just be honest. A certain segment of white America really got off on choosing Trump in that voting booth. It was a proud middle finger to Obama and Black Lives Matter and all the woo woo liberals who supported them.
There’s a lot more they didn’t like, of course. They’re pining for the days when ”colored” folks knew their “place,” women were silent, gays were locked in closets and children were seen but not heard. So in their eyes, the “browning” of America is just a visible symptom of all the things that scared them.
But the fact that a Black man got all the way to the White House was the proverbial last straw. And after eight years of biting their tongues, they gave us a hearty “F--- you” yesterday.
And took “their” country back.
A lot of fault lies with the mainstream media, which stood there like deer in the headlights, totally ignoring and thereby aiding and abetting the madness in the name of “fairness” or...something like that. And I have a message for all the talking heads who sat there fiddling while America burned:
Get rid of the panels and polls, dorks. America is ‘way bigger than “samples” and the two coasts you cater to. Get to know it better, so it doesn’t sneak up and slap you upside the head again four years from now. And so that it will trust you more, too.
You need a whole new way of dealing with politics from this day forward. But here’s a clue. It’s not about the man, it’s about what he stands for. His supporters didn’t abandon him no matter what he did for precisely that reason. He was a symbol, not a person. He was the flag bearer—the “signal” they’d been waiting for.
All he had to say the magic words and make it okay for them to say them, too. So guess what? He doesn’t even have to do any of the things he promised. He won. So they won. He can take the rest of his term off for all they care. He got the job done.
But he’ll be able to do whatever he damned well wants, because Congress is still Republican and just as stymied as the media was. How will the Old Guard make amends with the man they lambasted? How will they deal with the opportunistic ”yes” men—and women—he brings along with him? God knows. But it’s going to be entertaining watching them try.
I have nothing to say to the Democrats except, “Duck and cover.” You’re out of it, guys. For the foreseeable future, anyway. I know there are some fine minds out there somewhere, and I hope they’re watching and learning. But it’s going to be a long time before you get any play in this country again. You’ve got some critical thinking to do, once the shock wears off. All that “hipper than thou” couldn’t save you this time.
What to do, what to do?
BTW, this isn’t just an American trend. A friend in London offered me “asylum” today, with the caveat: “It’s not much better over here, though.” And he’s right. The whole world is goose stepping to the Right. It’s that “equal and opposite” reaction that Newton’s Law promises. The pendulum swinging back to the 50s, after walking on the wild side from the 60s to now.
Hillary was gracious in defeat. I can’t be. But I’m not moving to London or Canada. I am a descendant of generations of Black folks whose hard work and courage earned me the right to stay right here where I am.
So I’m bloodied, but not bowed. And the pendulum will swing again. I hope I live to see it. If I don’t, my daughter sure as hell will, and millions like her as well. She’s one those mixed-race kids that scared some Trumpsters so much. Native and African American. Double trouble. And they’re the future whether we like it or not, kids like her.
This election was the last hurrah for the white folks who definitely don’t like it.
Y’all enjoy it while you can.
Photo credit: James Vaughn, Flickr, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), cropped