Arguing with anyone from the newly formed Give Trump a Chance crew is pointless for a lot of reasons, but in great part because they’re going to blame you for everything wrong that goes whether you do anything or not. Whether or not you engage them, whether or not you talk to them, whether or not you work with them…it won’t matter. In the minds of Trump supporters all problems will continue to stem from the same source they railed and voted against in the first place: liberals, minorities and foreigners. They’re pretending (or lying to themselves) (or ignorant of the reality that) it’s how many of them justified their votes to begin with. Here’s the math of this translation:
“Give Trump a chance” = “We need a patsy for when this thing goes south.”
There is a section of these people that looked up this week and realized that they are going to be responsible for their country now in a way that they haven’t been in a long time. They’re also going to have to do it in a way that they’ve never done before: with the entire world not just secretly despising, but openly mocking them. They’re going to have to expose themselves now that the ballot curtains have been folded up and packed away. That’s kind of scary for them. They’re used to having stuff just magically fall into place socially, politically and culturally in their interests under the guise of “normal” and “American”.
There is also a huge chunk of the GTAC mob (and many of them are already acting like one) that are operating almost entirely out of fear. Yes, I know, even MORE fear. It’s the same family of fears that drove them to become Trump supporters to begin with. It is the fear of revenge. It’s an irrational fear (most of their fears are), but it’s a real fear nonetheless. At first they feared what they did not understand (while never trying to understand it). Then they feared that they would lose what they built once the people who built it for them no longer had to (which they reneged on). They continue to live in constant fear of being found out that they were never truly great, never great in the sense of something beautiful or awe-inspiring. They were only ever great in the way one is great from conquest, from having destroyed a great many things to stand victorious over a clear/not clear enemy.
Here’s the irony: The best examples of the potential for their greatness still mostly come from the efforts of people they have feared into submission and years of the grave. Half of any random sample of America’s greatness are black, and the ones that aren’t owe almost everything to the work of black people. Their fears are all loss-based, on being uncovered, on being found wanting, on the ruse not holding in the face of reality. A Trump presidency – joined with an all-Republican triple threat of government branches – is America being given exactly what it asked for through a combination of its votes and its apathy working together, both of which had to be overwhelmingly white to make happen, and it did. Congratulations, America. You have finally created the America you were trying to build all along. You have your forty acres, but you’re still going to have to work for your mules. You’ve whacked our asses one time to many. Some of your mules are bucking, even your white ones. Some of your mules are headed for the wild. Either way, you’re going to have to start getting your hands dirty and plowing your own fields a little more. I think most of you are going to discover you’re really bad farmers.
“Give Trump a chance” = “We need a patsy for when this thing goes south.” Note that the patsy need not do anything. They just want to set up the marks they’re going to blame later for any shortcomings: “Immigration? Hey, the new immigration policies failed because minorities wouldn’t support President Trump’s initiatives to make it work by policing their own!” or “We’re in a recession again because anti-Trump liberals wouldn’t support all of the new businesses President Trump tried to create!” It’s not a new tactic. It’s the same Little League playbook they’ve always used. They’re just using it at the Super Bowl now.
Look, I’m black, and I’m not one of those blacks you write-off all the time as poor and ignorant. I’m middle class and brilliant as fuck. I’m one of the snatch-your-job-without-a-quota-because-he’s-gifted black people. And for the black folks like me, this week has been very liberating. There are so many conversations I don’t need to have anymore with so many more people than previously assumed. I no longer have to pretend to be in a country that doesn’t know what it’s doing to its citizens, or is more noble than half of the developed world. America has exposed not only its true value system, but the breadth and depth of its willingness to protect those values. And guess what: they’re abhorrent values, almost all of which are founded in white supremacy. White supremacy is finally willing to come clean on the world stage – again – about its true dietary needs, and some of you are discovering it’s cannibalistic. Welcome to the menu, white folks.
Here’s a phrase you probably type wrong all of the time that you should get used to using correctly now: “laid bare”. America is fully exposed now. I say that with no satisfaction. I am in no way happy that Trump won or what it represents, but there is a peace that comes to some of us in the madness America is about to experience. It is the calm that comes with knowing how a thing is going to be, that you were not being paranoid, that you have in fact done everything you could to forestall an event that was destined to overcome you. I am not happy about the result. As a black person living in America I have never experienced political happiness. Writer Syretta McFadden wrote it best:
Everyone: “Why you so calm, Syreeta? Why you look like you ain’t been crying?”
Me: “Your countrymen told me everything I need to know and they don’t love us. I’m good. I don’t need to try to do everything in my power to make them love me anymore.”
This is freedom.
There are millions of people who are just now learning where they live, what evils their nation is capable of, how they fit into the machine of racism and how much that machine comprises the levers and gears of the American Dream. No small number of those people are also realizing that they could have done more. It’s a painful thing, the real American Dream.
Black people like me have been telling whoever would listen what this country was about since there were black people in it. If that feels like “I told you so,” that’s because it is. I’m not interested in rubbing anybody’s nose in it, so if it feels like that, check your fragility levels. I’m just stating facts. At the same time I stand on enough legacy and self-respect to tell you when you’re wrong as often as it suits me. Black people’s feet have been falling on the right side of history since we first caught slavery’s dookie chains, so yeah, you’re going to hear about it a little. Oh, and any time you suggest that we need to step up to the plate and work with people who got everything they have by stepping all over our necks. Some of us will not be at your rallies anytime soon. We will not be providing tissue. Some of us will need a little Me Time to process what to do with these freshly delivered divorce papers.
In the meantime, to all the Trump supporters: act like you been here before, because you have. In fact, you never really left. This has always been where you were headed, by design and now by choice. You don’t have to pretend anymore. After the way you’ve acted over the last eight years, no one believes you anyway. Because when you say “Give Trump a chance,” what you really mean is “make it easy for us.” I’m sorry, but no one’s memory is that short, not even yours. So quit playing.