Thursday, November 10, 2016

Letter to My Sons

Dear Adam and Jake:
     Two days ago, we went to the polls and made yet another horrible mistake. We're Americans. It's what we do.
     As usual, we collectively made a horrible error in judgment in order to avoid another horrible error in judgment. Again, this is what we do. We say we want filet mignon. Yet, when it's offered to us, we shy away from it at the last minute and pick either the Whopper or the Big Mac. Again, we're Americans. This is what we do.
     Yet, to me, the choice we made on Tuesday hits closer to home. Hillary Clinton represented a more abstract threat to our way of life. She would've gone gunning for our Social Security, sent all of our kids to war against Russia or Iran or whoever threatens the Clinton Foundation's way of life, outsourced whatever few jobs we have worth keeping. But Donald Trump is something else entirely.
     Donald Trump represents a threat to people of color everywhere. It is that simple. We saw that at his rallies, we'd had that confirmed in the KKK, white nationalists and assorted racist right wing evolutionary dropouts who'd supported him and whose support Trump accepted with alacrity and was too craven to disavow. Trump is also a threat to women and last month his misogynist supporters actually tried to float the idea of repealing the 19th amendment when Nate Silver discovered that if only men voted, Trump would win. The 19th Amendment, if you don't know, is the one that gave women the right to vote in 1920.
     And regardless of the loathing the establishment GOP feels for him, Donald Trump is like any and every other Republican in that he threatens to catapult us back to the 19th century. He wants to return us to the days when men could sexually harass and abuse women with impunity, to when there were no unions and people worked long hours in dirty, dangerous conditions for low pay, no benefits and no power to strike or collectively bargain.
     A time when white people could openly lynch African Americans and burn crosses on their lawns, again, with impunity.
     It is these vile specters that Donald Trump resurrected with a vengeance through a white America that was never white that sees a threat to its Aryan way of life. They are ghosts that some of us had assumed were a thing of the past with the election of a black president, 20 females in the Senate and three appointed to the Supreme Court. But as with the three ghosts of Christmas and Jacob Marley, ghosts exist to haunt us for our past evils and transgressions.
     And a President Donald Trump and a Republican-dominated Congress may force our young women and people of color to do battle to regain the same rights our grandparents, great grandparents and great great grandparents fought to secure for the unborn generations, rights going all the way back the 13th Amendment in 1865 that ended slavery.
     Jake, last July you went to Georgia with your grandmother to see the site of the plantation on which a genealogist discovered your ancestors had toiled as slaves. You went to Stone Mountain, the site of an annual racist rally, and you told me on your return someone advised you, "Don't go on the other side of that mountain."
     Past and present reminders that as a nation, we have not come as far as we choose to think we have. We are not a post racial nation, never have been, never will be. As proof of this, when the Supreme Court gutted Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that mandated certain states (mostly south of Mason Dixon) check in with Uncle Sam before fiddle fucking with their electoral laws, Chief Justice John Roberts in his majority ruling stated that this was OK to do because we've moved beyond racism.
     Nanoseconds later, those very same states muzzled by Section 5 of the VRA began drafting and ratifying voter suppression laws aimed at people of color which Republican governors such as Pat McCrory broke their necks to sign into law as soon as possible.
     Jim Crow has returned with a vengeance.
     And you, my sons, are about to inherit a United States that Trump's supporters think is not great but can be made so again through the magical elixir of voter suppression, racism and misogyny. This is the United States I and my generation have left for you to live in and I am so sorry. Trump was right. America is not a great country anymore but the bitter irony is that Trump and his supporters have made that so.
     For reasons we all know, I was not there for you for much of your childhood and this was a choice I did not have the luxury to make. Your mother died when you were so young, you essentially grew up without parents yet still you both turned out, for the most part, to be fine young men. But now that I'm back in your lives and have been for several years now, and since I'm not planning on going anywhere, I feel it incumbent on me to pass this sputtering torch to you with words of what middling wisdom I've accrued.
     If you see a woman anywhere being wronged, abused, harassed, you stick up for her. If you see a cop harassing a person of color, especially if it is you, know your rights, stick up for them, stand your ground, advise them of those rights, starting with whatever's left of the Constitution. Do your part to stamp out racial bias and prejudice because real change doesn't start in the glistening, gilded marble halls of legislators but on the grubby streets where real people in the real world live and die.
     As I've just said, you have both turned into fine young men with great compassion and keen, discriminating intellects. But I feel this needs to be stated, overstated, if you will- That no right was ever given to anyone without great battles being fought over it. If nothing else, human history (and we Americans are not exempt) is a running, oft-told tale of one privileged section of humanity trying to deny their rights to another. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright was absolutely correct in 2008 when he said America was founded on racism and slavery.
     And we have proved this, again, by ignoring the plight of Native Americans trying to prevent the theft of land we had given to them 150 years ago that was theirs to begin with. We had proved this when peaceful protests to prevent the needless killings of unarmed African Americans in Baltimore, Ferguson and St. Louis were all met with violent resistance by those who visit that violence. And we proved it five years ago during an Occupy movement that saw the same opposition. And we ignore them. But when white rednecks like the Bundys and their militia supporters attempt to steal land that belongs to we the people, we grace them with news coverage in an endlessly sympathetic 24/7 news cycle.
     Our selective, Caucasian-centric day and age aside, history and posterity does not care to recall the names of those who whispered for compromise or incremental change. The great newsman Edward R. Murrow once wrote, "We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men." And he should know- He toppled a tyrant named Senator Joe McCarthy when newsmen were still worth trusting and listening to. We do not remember the names of conciliatory abolitionists. We do, however, remember John Brown. I wrote a novel about him.
     Despite his conciliatory and carefully humble acceptance speech early Wednesday morning, Donald Trump does not respect people that aren't like him. If he has his way, women will again be reduced to mere sex objects that can be toyed with by rich powerful men such as him. Black people and all people of color will again be shoved to the margins of society, to the muddy wayside of the road to progress. And if his running mate Mike Pence has anything to say about it, he will usher in an age we long thought was even further in the distant past-
     Religious primacy, loyalty oaths, the rule of law based on the Bible and not secular law itself.
     Last Tuesday, we had taken a giant leap backward into a horrid past in order to avoid a horrid Brave New World of the future. This is the world I and my generation have handed down to your generation and I am so sorry I did not play my part better.
     Yet just as our ancestors had fought and secured the rights we tend to take for granted, so I have every confidence that that progressive spirit will again save the day just as we peer into the abyss to which Republicans and bigoted misogynists such as Donald Trump will surely push us.
     And your generation will again save the day and lead us to that Promised Land to which evolution inexorably nudges us.


At November 10, 2016 at 10:12 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Yes, yes and... yes.

At November 11, 2016 at 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anton said...

Eloquence as usual, JP. We are all ashamed today, but remember: true patriots always attempt to protect their countries from their governments.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Things Donald Trump Said to President Obama
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger