Over the past two months, there has been so much damn talking. In the past two weeks, so much damn freaking out. This is where normalization begins: fear is exhausting.
There are some among the subscribers to this blog who I suspect find my fear of Trump’s administration ridiculous and over-dramatic. For those people, consider how concerned you were about Hillary’s candidacy and then keep in mind that she never said she wanted to upend your second amendment rights. Trump has out and out stated that he wants to revisit the first amendment because it goes too far.
I fear for marginalized groups. My grandfather, Nazi resistance fighter in Holland during World War II, said “Well, you’ve elected another Hitler. But you’ll be fine. You’re white. Just keep your job.” He’s probably right, save the fact that a solid 50% of the people I love aren’t white. I fear for increasingly militarized police with a Justice Department headed by someone who doesn’t give a shit about a citizen’s rights, so long as that citizen is brown. Not all Trump voters are racists and bigots, but all Trump voters elected someone who is openly tolerant of racism and bigotry. I have family members among that group, which is difficult to accept.
But we are here, and there are things I want to talk about. But first, the single most helpful voice in all of this has been Mark Blyth. It helps that he has a Scottish accent, as most things are improved by a Scottish accent. But he also provides a global and historical perspective. This talk at Brown University from the day after the election has been particularly helpful in shifting my perspective… We aren’t looking at the beginning of Hitler, we are looking a reincarnation of the French Revolution. For now, the rage has been directed at brown people–a useful distraction if you happen to be of the 1%–but the pitchforks will eventually point in the direction of Wall Street and those who have implemented and fought for wealth redistribution in the direction of the already wealthy.
Which isn’t to say that I’m not alarmed for minorities, those who are marginalized, and the vulnerable. I’ve donated to the ACLU and will continue to do so. I’ve subscribed to support journalism. I’m committed to the first rule, which is don’t be an asshole. I’ve written to my Senators and I now have a list of all the people who represent me across all levels of government. I’m prepared to do what I can in my sphere to speak up against cruelty.
Meanwhile, there is a bigger play here, which is a perspective I had lost.