(The Right Side Of) History Doesn’t View Sympathizers With Much . . . Sympathy. Neither Do I.
More shenanigans in my favorite and most frequent forum.
I stumbled across the response screen-capped below, whilst trawling the comments section of an article on Very Smart Brothas (part of Theroot.com), titled:
“So when chuckleheads go around saying anyone who voted for Trump is automatically a racist, you see the problem. And what you risk doing is making that person mad, making them dig in their heels, and vote Trump again, just to spite you.”
NO. Just — no. I mean, except for that third one, these gifs are getting MORE TRUE, but LESS RELEVANT. I think. . . .
Anyway, here’s my response to that comment and mostly that particular quote-clusion from it:
Actually, I don’t see a problem, only the truth. A lot of people I know DON’T think all Trump voters are racist — not actively. Not in a way that requires putting ones ass on the line for one’s ethos. It seems that many Trumpsters care more about their wallets and right-wing politics than they do about MITIGATING AND ENDING RACISM.
Which they can certainly do, since this is a, ahem, free country for some.
Is being apathetically racist as bad as being actively racist? I think it’s worse. Actively racist means actively supporting such a bullshit pathology. It’s a positive claim and an ethos. It’s a system and philosophy they believe in so deeply they’ll stand for it even when it’s costing them money and jobs — and it’s NOT a principle until it costs something dear.
But just allowing racism to slide by because of apathy or because it’s packaged prettily with other stuff that’s cool and feels good is a very . . . human and a very worthless-hypocritical-bitch-thing to do.
If anyone thinks it can’t get lower than Nazi, it can. Apathetic racists are AT LEAST ONE RUNG BELOW PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN THAT BULLSHIT. They aren’t pursuing an ideology they value . . . they’ profiting from misery as their end-goal. That’s all. They’re not twisted Don Quixotes . . . they’re whatever they think will make them most comfortable.
To go full argumentum ad hitlerum . . . the only thing worse than Nazis, historically speaking, is all the sympathizers, the Good Germans, who let evil things happen simply because those things weren’t happening to them and they didn’t care. Or because it wasn’t happening to them AND the bad stuff came with perks and privileges from which they benefited.
Those Good Germans let humans be tortured and worked to death because their comfort was their priority. Or they thought they could appease and bow-under to Nazis and still, somehow, be okay. Their illusions and delusions and comfort had to be protected at all costs. They could ONLY be great again off the suffering of a minority — and that suffering, and dehumanization would solve all their problems forever.
To me, that sounds very familiar. So, fuck Trump voters (ugh, not literally). I see who they are, and human history has been seeing them for longer still. No amount of apologetics and appeasement will erase that knowledge and experience. NOTHING will erase that so many Americans AT BEST, MADE A POINT of putting Orange Julius in office to do all his racist and other-ist shit, but, hey, those perks are nice, too.
Which is still slightly better than THE WORST CASE, in which HUMAN LIVES mean less than tax cuts one won’t even see reflected in paychecks or refunds, greatness that never really existed, and being at the lowest tier of the top of the heap.
THAT is who Trump voters are — whether they voted for Obama either or both times, looking for hope and change. THAT THEY COULD, then vote for Trump is. . . .
They’re worse than racists. They’re complete idiots or bottom-feeding lampreys. They are SYMPATHIZERS who are only out for number one: “Fuck everyone else, I’mma do me.” They HAVE NO final nadir, no line-in-the-sand, if rampant genocide isn’t that line.
And that IS what is being done to Black and brown folk — been done for hundreds of years, now.
After so long of trying to process and accept that there was “economic anxiety” or whatever fancy term is used instead of “racist” to speak of some Trump voters in polite society, these days, I have also learned to say: “Fuck ‘em.”
If other humans want to try and redeem, and wrestle some value out of near-literal stains on an already sullied species, that’s their time and spoons, and good luck with that. Seriously. I don’t envy them this Sisyphean job they’ve created for themselves, while there’s so much REAL WORK that needs doing. But I am, along with many others, done coddling racist slime. It may be “problematic” for others that some of us say, think, and believe that, and live the truth of that, but when is the easy-appease-y road EVER ALSO the righteous road and good road? The JUST road? The BEST road? When, EVER? (No, I’m not asking rhetorically. I literally cannot think of a single time.)
Yet another reason why there’s never been and will never be progress or gain in appeasement. Nor do I want there to be. We don’t need any more of that. We need movement and MOVEMENTS. And those are antithetical to appeasement of any kind.
Appeasement doesn’t work out for either party. Not ever, or not for long. THIS is what appeasement looks like objectively, no matter which side is being viewed by whom:
Shuck and jive all you want, appeasement advocates, Terry Crews, and those of that ilk and mindset. You and I and EVERY brown and Black person will ALWAYS be, to those inclined to Other us — even if subconsciously — a Pennywise-style monster with some entertainment value. Ain’t none of us are “good ones.” We’re all just lazy, promiscuous, violent, irresponsible savages who are doing that dance, keepin’ them Folks entertained . . . and deserving of the small-scale and genocidal wars constantly waged on us. THIS IS HOW WE ARE VIEWED, no matter how nice we coon and how smartly we Steppin’ Fetchit. So —
AND, CONVERSELY: White people, you can learn the Harlem Shuffle, or how to Dougie or Side Glide. You can even smile at us like you mean it and then not call the cops if we don’t immediately smile back. But as long as racism exists and you are benefiting from it or simply NOT LOSING FROM IT the way brown and Black folks are, a cannibal clown is how you will HAVE TO BE SEEN, HOW YOU WILL HAVE TO BE PREJUDGED for OUR survival’s sake. Because unlike y’all, Black and brown folks can’t tell who the REAL RACISTS ARE just by looking (except that, yes-the-fuck-we-can).
Clowning and cooning both need to stop. Appeasement and the perpetuation of privilege over HUMAN RIGHTS needs to stop. GROWN FOLKS need to have a great many conversations and speak truth to power even when it hurts — especially when it hurts.
And the longer it goes on, the more it will hurt EVERYONE. All of us.
THIS EVIL HAS GONE ON FOR TOO LONG AND IT NEEDS TO STOP NOW.
So. When y’all got free for some Real Talk? Mondays and Tuesdays are tight for me but, otherwise, my schedule is flexible.
Print | Digital:
“Yeah, It’s Time to Bury the Cutesy ‘Karen’ Nickname for Dangerous White Women.” Damon Young, Theroot.com. If the COVID-19 crisis hadn’t introduced zeitgeist-crashing terms like “coronavirus” and “social distancing” to our lexicon, “Karen” might have very well been the word of 2020. July 2, 2020. https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/yeah-its-time-to-bury-the-cutesy-karen-nickname-for-da-1844248172
“Diddy dancing on halloween day: Hilarious.” Media top 5, Youtube. [1:00] November 1, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlwkwOPz48o
Google.com for various images and gifs