Doesn’t seem that long ago I would have said without any hesitation that the truth shall set you free. Without reservation or fear, proclaimed with certainty that truth is the path to freedom, lies are the road to your own personal hell, orchestrated by your fear of truth and the consequences.
Today though, like most days of late, there is worse news than the day before, more truths I wish I didn’t know, more lies from his crooked mouth, more hate, more chaos.
Certain truths have repercussions that resound through the web that connects all of us. Truths of a soft racism that has fermented quietly in the dark corners of society, at picnic tables over a couple beers, on front porches over a glass of wine, in the waiting room of some government agency as you look around and for the first time in your life realize YOU are the minority in the room.
I hesitate after I read the news, sip it slowly like I do my morning coffee, eye it warily, and afterwards retire to the stoop for a bit, take pretty pictures of the garden, and wonder what could happen next.
With this deep desire to express this sense of almost sorrow, with wisps of rage, anchored with a pervasive sense of helplessness I have sat here in my writing chair, in writing mode, off and on trying to figure out a way to say it, questioning what I’m saying, thinking, feeling, seeing.
It feels all tangled up inside.
But maybe I will start with this, that when people show you who they are, believe them. Actions speak much louder than words, they are blatant, as words can be misquoted, misunderstood, misread.
The images from that rally in North Carolina a few days ago, took place in the city where I was born. The chanting of those words that have been hurled at minorities and other people of colour in the U.S. for decades, rising up to the rafters in unison, their abject hatred and solidarity within their own hatefulness still chills me to the bone. A rally that will live in infamy, the day the man who wants nothing more than to be a king, paused to glory in the adulation of the crowd, and lied about how in awe he was of the monstrous thing he had created.
Oh, and make no mistake, a mob mentality of hate and bigotry he created knowingly, and not by accident. A monstrous radical right-wing extremest wet dream, chanting in unison, a graven image etched in my brain forever, designed in his own likeness, he is their lord and master, and they adore him.
They agree with him, they embrace his xenophobia, it speaks to a truth they have hidden in the past from public view, but he speaks right to the heart of their fears, their need for an enemy they can fight.
Yes, when they say that he ‘just says it like it is‘, this is exactly what they mean, make no mistake, it is for a lot of them, if not all of them.
These words he spoke to those 4 young progressive congresswoman of colour was not an error, was not just historical ignorance, was not by accident, but by design. Though of course his apologists seem to think that this blatant racism is all well and dandy long as they can win.
Or, its those women who are racist. Which is a reference to Ilhan Omar’s criticism of the ‘Jewish Lobby’, which she did apologize for. Though, to be honest, it is not so much racist as it is just critical of the American governments’ approval of the Israeli actions in the West Bank and the government moving their embassy to Jerusalem (et al). And although she is not the first to have this opinion, pure speculation here, but I would imagine someone took her aside and explained that maybe having a Muslim woman’s comments on this particular issue, within the current climate of hate, may not be helpful.
But, this blatant xeonophobia is a strategy, first you divide them, and then you conquer them.
It almost seems as though Trump is basically isolating his loyal followers so far away from the left, making them into something disgusting and vile, a powerful force fed daily on his madness and mayhem, that they seem untouchable, unreachable. He has systematically isolated them within their hatred and fear, soaking in the glory of tribalism, chanting in unison their mantra, enraptured to the supreme ruler who speaks the words once relegated to dark corners, now out in the open, normalized, mainstream.
Eerie echos of the past.
- Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
- Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
- Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
- Supremacy of the Military
- Rampant Sexism
- Controlled Mass Media
- Obsession with National Security
- Religion and Government are Intertwined
- Corporate Power is Protected
- Labor Power is Suppressed
- Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
- Obsession with Crime and Punishment
- Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
- Fraudulent Elections
This list has been making the rounds on a couple independent YouTube news channels I follow. It was first published back in 2003 by a political scientist, Dr. Lawrence Britt, for an article he wrote in which he had taken a look at fascist regimes around the world through history – from Hitler in Germany to Pinochet in Chile – and came up with these 14 common traits shared by those regimes.
The scariest truth is that a lot of that base of the presidents EMBRACE all of this. They want a leader like this, they want someone who does what they want, when they want, how they want, with immunity. They don’t like the word fascist, per se, but they like these policies, these actions, they like his authoritarianism.
I keep hearing some say that this is not America, this is not their America, that this is not what they stand for. Well, they are wrong, because for some it is EXACTLY what they believe made America great. This is EXACTLY what they desire their country to be again, segregated and white.
White supremacy never went away, it just changed its language and its wardrobe and hid in the shadows, using different words and different tools to gerrymander the boundaries of who gets what, why and how.
Racism in America is generational, where whole swaths of the landscape drip with it, neighbourhoods, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, segregated still into the haves and have-nots, along colour lines, along streets and sidewalks, all across the country. To this day. Still.
Still, this president has taken it to a whole new level, one not seen quite this way before on those shores. He is using bigotry as a weapon, a sword, to slice a divide so wide through the heart of the nation, to incite a chanting mob, to wrap them up more tightly in his web of lies, and stand back and smile.
And not just a weapon, but a cloak of invisibility, to veil the dirty deeds going on behind the scenes, as he and his administration break the law, obstruct justice, and say and do things that any HR department anywhere else would have you fired for.
Yeah, well, with the Trump admin it’s not racism that will get you walked out the door, but truth.
“This is the brain drain we all feared, possibly a destruction of the agencies”THE WASHINGTON POST | Many USDA workers to quit as research agencies move to Kansas City | By Ben Guarino, July 18 2019
Yet, while Trump is busy distracting us, the government he administers is busy draining the various agencies of climate scientists, economists, researchers working on environmental concerns, such as bees and pollination, water supply health, air quality, and replacing them with those who will toe the line.
The damage being done right now to institutions all across the country is systematic, and is by design, and represents another rather scary truth.
It’s coming from the feelLeonard Cohen | Democracy Is Coming To The U.S.A.
That this ain’t exactly real
Or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there
From the wars against disorder
From the sirens night and day
From the fires of the homeless
From the ashes of the gay
This president has not ONCE made any attempt to unite his country, not once. At every turn, tweet after tweet, with every crony appointment, with every rich donor appointment to this department or that, with every agency being gutted, with every migrant and immigrant at the door who is the wrong colour being locked up in cages, with children ripped from their parents arms, with every cruelty, with every racist taunt, with every speech, with every rally, with every lie, he divides, he conquers.
It’s coming from the sorrow in the streetibid
The holy places where the races meet
From the homicidal bitchin’
That goes down in every kitchen
To determine who will serve and who will eat
From the wells of disappointment
Where the women kneel to pray
For the grace of God in the desert here
And the desert far away:
Yet, maybe the thing to remember is that even freedom can be hard, truth is hard. The freedom comes from the beast that was once hidden being exposed to light of day, and with that exposure comes illumination, we are better equipped to handle the truth, but first we have to know what the truth is.
Just making laws and HR policies are all well and good, but if people do not believe them, if they do lip service to them, they change nothing.
Race in America is their Achilles heel, and has gone untreated, covered in band aid laws, and political correctness, but not discussed, not exposed. America’s enemies know about this, and use it, through memes, and maybe viral apps using face recognition software, they infiltrate the psyche, they divide through fear.
And this president knows about making people fear him, and thinks that this race card is just the issue to get him re-elected.
Personally, I think he’s wrong, hope he’s wrong.
I believe that in the end the thing is that this man really doesn’t know a thing about the people he is supposed to serve. He thinks he knows, because his gut told him so, but isolated for so long in his black tower in Manhattan, playing all his losing money games with other peoples capital, with his rich handouts from his daddy, I believe that he is going to be in for a rude awakening.
This has become a good versus evil fight, as American’s are often so attracted to. Like some Hollywood movie, the white hats against the evil black hats, good guys against the tyrant, fed on these sorts of themes from childhood, I believe the American spirit, the strength of character that wins them Olympic medals when they are behind, the knight in shining armour they are coming to realize they already have inside them.
I think we’ve seen nothing yet, but it’s going to get uglier before it gets better.
I’m sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can’t stand the scene
And I’m neither left or right
I’m just staying home tonight
Getting lost in that hopeless little screen
But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags
That Time cannot decay
I’m junk but I’m still holding up
This little wild bouquet
Democracy is coming to the USALeonard Cohen