I saw another one of those hate posts about Michelle Obama slide across my Facebook feed today, and realize that we’ve missed the whole point. The post was a picture of Malania Trump and basically said “Finally a classy lady in the Whitehouse… Looking at the monkey made me want to puke.” More disturbing than the post were the comments. There were a few brave souls trying to combat the outright mean racism, and they were pummeled with an ever-escalating series of hate speak. I didn’t comment because I knew that would pass it to my feed, and I didn’t want to subject my friends with that. It was a wake-up call.
I realized we have it all wrong. The whole thing is blindly simple. Today’s climate is caused by only one thing: hate against having a black president. Nothing more, nothing less.
For weeks now, since the election, liberals have been analyzing everything from the Democratic party’s agenda, to not understanding white middle-class economic woes, to the faults of Hillary Clinton. It’s useless. That is just “bla bla bla bla” because it has nothing to do with the phenomenon of Donald Trump.
The thing is that Trump gave people permission to voice their rage. Once they went into it, and opened the floodgate, it was an unstoppable force. It was opening Pandora’s box. All that hate and rage was then poured into Hillary Clinton. That’s why people were willing to believe anything they saw posted about her. That’s why the “final straw” of more emails showing up in the last weeks of the election put a nail in the coffin of us all.
It was one simple thing: hate of a black president.
Suddenly seeing this I can at least understand it. And with understanding perhaps a path can be found to move forward.
Just think about it. Approximately 62,000,000 people in this country have been sitting around for 8 years with a knot in their stomachs every time they see or think about having black people in the Whitehouse. Imagine the rage to see constant pictures of those black faces, black hands, black children. There they are, walking around the beloved Whitehouse, dirtying everything they touch. During this whole time they haven’t heard a single thing that has been said, or noticed a single change. Their rage has been tongue-tied so that they can only mouth sideways, “niggers…” They nod at each other silently. Maybe complain in closed groups, but their ears are shut to details. Facts and figures are meaningless. They are frozen back to the day that Barack Obama was elected. In their minds it is still 2009, they are stuck in their losses of the financial crises. Rage has frozen time. Many have actually transposed their emotions back to 9/11/2001. It’s a deep, gut-wrenching angst, ready to boil over.
And then, suddenly, they were given permission. Not only were they given permission to “speak the truth” but they were given numerous targets on which to unleash their rage. Mexicans, Muslims, gay people, and Jews. That’s why it feels like a regurgitation of hate… because it is.
It’s so hard to see because it is just so blatant. No conscious thinking person would believe that this could be true. We’ve ignored it, and analyzed it to death in every attempt to turn our heads and not really see what’s going on. That deep sense of, “It can’t possibly be true” has colored our thinking.
It’s just like a mystery novel. Usually the culprit is found by following the money. But in this case all we need to do is follow the result. Look at what has happened since the election. There are so many hate crimes happening around the country that the New York Times has started a Hate Watch page. These posts referring to Michelle Obama as a monkey are everywhere. People of color are being yelled at in grocery lines. Just ask any person of color what their lives have been like since the election… I’m sure you’ll hear a story. This is the single, pinpointed, cause.
There is no logic in this at all, so trying to regain our country through “opening up a dialogue” will do no good. Surveys show that Trump voters passionately believe that the economy is worse now than when Obama took office. They believe the stock market has fallen. They believe that “Obama Care” is evil… simply because of the source and the name that has been given to it.
Hillary Clinton took the brunt of it. Bigotry turned to misogyny and was an unstoppable, invisible, force of destruction. On November 8th love didn’t trump hate. It got really, really, close. It would have won without interference, but with the constant barrage of needling against her, hate slipped us into the constitutional nightmare of the Electoral College.
Many people believe that Bernie Sanders would have won if he had gained the Democratic nomination. But I think it would have been just as bad. He was relatively unchallenged at primary time – Hillary was never nasty against him – but Trump would have come up with something. Do you really think we would have elected a Jew after a black? And a socialist at that?? Trump would have named him something like “Commie Bernie” and it would have been all over. No amount of talking about issues would have or could have had the slightest effect on this kind of blind hate.
It’s important to know that it is blind hate. I don’t think that, in the 21st Century, anyone would consciously talk themselves into this amount, or type, of hate. It’s unexamined. It’s a blind repression, deep deep down. It is a serious, deep-gut nag that has been eating away at voters as they sit on their couches and eat potato chips. It was a lethal poison ready to explode.
So what now? What happens now? If you are starting to see that this is as simple as I think it is, then there is actually room for hope.
Trump voters don’t give a twit about Donald Trump. If you listen to any of their arguments for him they have no substance. “He’s a good business man – He didn’t really mean the things he said – He tells the truth.” All that really means nothing more than, “He’s a white man.”
What’s going to happen is that on January 20th they will get to see a white man take the oath of office, and the black family will skulk away. They won!!! Just watching those black faces get into a car and drive off will be the end of it. 62,000,000 people will take a deep breath and turn away. They won’t have to face themselves any longer. They won’t have to grapple with their inner ticking’s. Some of them are really unconscious people and they will go back to drinking beer and scratching their balls. Some of them have better hearts and will start to be available to their communities again. Some of them may even start to notice as the new president does things that they never thought possible to do from the presidency.
After January 20th we may be able to have a conversation about issues again. I hope it’s not too late.