After the events of this past weekend, I am almost at a loss for words. Not because as others have said “this is not our America” because in fact it is our America. This is the America I have always known. As a black man of almost 40 years I have seen this before. I have felt this all my life. I have known that the undercurrent of this country is and always has been racist. I have felt it, seen it, and experienced it firsthand. I was born and raised in the south, lived in the North, the West and the Mid-West. I have seen this country inside and out. Not as a tourist but as a resident. What I have learned is that it’s not all wine and roses. What happened in Charlottesville Virginia this weekend came as no surprise to me. Watching the news, I felt like Chris Rock and Dave Chapelle during their Saturday Night Live sketch after the election. This was to be expected after the election of the first openly White Supremacist President in 40 years. And yes, I mean 40 years. Everyone knew Nixon was a racist (he started the war on drugs after all).
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve wanted to speak out on the Trump administration often, but every day it seems like there is something new. Before I can even edit the words that I write another shit-storm is brewing, a new controversy is born. I began to believe this was a purposeful mission: keep enough controversy that nothing comes through as truth. It’s brilliant if you look at it from the outside; the problem is I’m not on the outside. I’m in it! I live here I work here, I must die here if all this comes to a head! There seems to be no end to the absolute madness that this administration brings. As an adherent of Chaos, I see that there is an order here, a mission. This isn’t random, this isn’t unplanned, there is a deliberate cause and effect of someone who knows what they are doing and always has. Perhaps I see that because I want to see that. Perhaps I hope that there is a master plan. I have been disappointed by that before. I have believed in conspiracies only to find that there were none. I have grown to realize that sometimes people are just idiots. Yet, you don’t ascend to the highest office in the land by being an idiot. George Bush was just acting like a fool, he knew what he was doing the whole time as evident in his post-presidency
So, what do we make of this? Of the confusion in the White House, of the confusion in the streets. As liberal white people, outraged that a liberal white girl was killed scream “Not in MY America”, people of color are like where were you while we’ve been screaming that for the last few years? and by few, I mean 400+? This is nothing new. I know it seems like we’ve only been screaming for the last few years, but to be honest we’ve been screaming for the last couple of centuries! I’ve always said it would take a white girl dying for our side to change things. White people won’t care until it really hits home. Now you have candle light vigils in Bakersfield where people are chanting “I am Heather and She is me”. When it was Trayvon, Sandra, or Philando it was our problem. Black lives mattered but we shouldn’t be blocking streets or stopping traffic. Now it’s a problem. Now we have a situation we must deal with. The truth is we have always had a problem and it has been needing to be dealt with. America has always had racist bigots. It was in fact founded by racist bigots. Native Americans are still referred to as Indians when in fact they never were Indians.
The truth of the matter is there has never been any “good old days”, and we can never go back. The white supremacist/nationalist/alt-right (whatever you want to call the Nazis) have always been a part of this nation since it’s inception. It’s called the American experiment for a reason. The history of this country is written in blood. Yet we progress. We are all progressives, because you can’t stop progress. Repressiveness is not an option. Time marches on and change happens. That’s the blessing and curse of time. Which is the prison we are all trapped in. Time is the enemy of the regressive. And friend to the progressive, but in the end, we become both. Eventually time will pass us all on. At 40 I find myself confronted with both the past, present, and the future. In 2017, we are at a crossroads as a country, but progress cannot be stopped. The genie is out of the bottle. Pandora’s box has been opened. There are those who will try to deny the truth and fight back against the tide, but the waves crash down anyway.
Look around you. Look inside you. The universe is inside you. It moves with you. We are all but specks of dirt. Scrubs. I do not pray. I have my own set of beliefs, that dictate my actions. I do believe in the common collective. I do believe that we move as one organism. Perhaps that’s from my years of doing LSD and listening to Punk Rock. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. So, we’re just one thin looking back on itself. It’s a theory, but it’s kept me alive and able to deal with all this hate. Hatred is born out of fear. In this case, fear of change, fear of the unknown. These are primal fears that have motivate humans since the dawn of mankind. Yet we’ve managed to overcome these fears each, and every time, in order to get us where we are today. So, am I surprised at the response of Donald Trump?