Nothing New

2-28-17a

This is not new. Thousands of Americans did not, over one November night, decide to be racist, homophobic, trans antagonist, sexist and anti-Semitic . Donald Trump did not create those things in our country. The Republican party did not invent those things. They each took advantage of them. They provided a bullhorn for those who worship at the altar of bigotry, but they in no way built the altar. It has been an integral part of what it means to be American as long as there has been an America. It is written right into the first American document.

From the very beginning the cis het white male in the is land has sat at the head of the table, and though occasionally he allows someone else to sit with him, he never lets you forget who the meal is for, who it has always been for. The Declaration of Independence was sent with a list of grievances against the Crown. One of those grievances was the Crown’s expectation that the colonies abide by their treaties with “savages.” Hate and tyranny was an essential part of our allegedly freedom granting proclamation.

The Constitution defined black folk as less human, or only three-fifths. This is something we actually teach students. We do not even hide that dark chapter of our history. I wonder if that is to drive home to white and black kids just where they each stand. Women had no standing under the law when this nation was founded, and the idea that sexual minorities were anything other than degenerates to be whipped and humiliated was utterly alien.

It took us almost a century to admit maybe owning another human being was bad and when the war was won by those who believed so, they did almost nothing to protect the newly liberated, instead doing everything they could to validate the hurt feelings of those that held those people in bondage. Emboldened by the abandonment of the black man by northerners the organization synonymous with race hate would soon be born. Of course it would, because the state had more important things to do, colonizing more native lands, breaking treaties and waging war on people who merely wished to exist. They kidnapped children and tried to erase their culture. Ultimately they would gun down 300 Lakota while they were praying.

Since we have seen nominal improvement regarding all these problems, with the exception with the treatment of First Nations People. Those that could not vote before could, in theory, do so. Schools are no longer segregated by law. Men who love men, and women who love women, can marry in every state in our union. So it is easy to believe that all that bigotry has gone away, but it has not.

Black people continue to be hounded by institutional and social biases. Women still deal with glass ceilings and courts that refuse to sentence their rapists properly. Trans men and women still face discrimination, perfectly legal, in most states. And the people we took this land from? What of them? They still face economic discrimination and blackmail from states trying to do an end run around treaties and the government trying to build pipelines through their lands so they bare the risk of our addiction to fossil fuels rather than white people.

With our culture and our governments still visiting this upon people why would you believe the bigots had gone away? No, they were just lying low, until it became safe to be honest about who they were again, and some of them never went into hiding. Yes, I have faced more trans antagonism in the months since Trumps election than I did the previous ten years since coming out, but I did fact it then. There have always been those who hated according to whatever deeply felt dogma they held. This country has never challenged the causes for bigotry, indeed as a whole it continues for all the disenfranchised to shore them up. The system needs black bodies to throw in the meat grinder. It needs for men to reinforce their toxic masculinity to make them more satisfied and obedient. It needs to give them scapegoats, in sexual, gender, and religious minorities, to create cover for the system from them.

That system is not Republicanism. It is not Democrat policy. It is capitalism. It is a failed experiment in controlled selfishness that needs to be ended. The bigots are here because those of you that have bought into that system, that experiment, need them to be there if you are going to have your shinier trinkets, bigger houses and cooler toys. They will not go away as long as someone profits from them, and profit from them they do. This is not new. It is not an aberration. It is who we are, and who we have always been. It is not who we have to be.

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