The bleak picture of America described in Donald J. Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last night had its moments of truth—truth perverted and subverted in order to mirror the fear and bigotry of the convention cohort and a growing number of white folk who long for the “good old days” when African Americans knew “their place,” gays stayed in the closet and immigration inclusion meant there was a new burrito on the Taco Time menu. “Make America Great Again” is code for “white, male-dominant and straight.” A 1950’s redux, perhaps?
Violence is on the uptick, but not against white folk and police (the Dallas and Baton Rouge police killings are a recent and dramatic exception). However, the horrific incidents of reported and recorded institutional killings and police violence against African Americans is up and out of control. Trump misled and misspoke in presenting his statistics. Is anyone surprised by his lack of facts and reliance on hyperbole? The twin pillars of a fascist wannabe—great.
Those Americans who have traditionally received white-skin privilege feel under siege and threatened and, in many cases, they are correct. The good life is no longer a given for white blue collar, any-color-collar, folks. However, put on your thinking caps for once and put the white, pointy clan caps in the trash. Yes, globalization is both a threat and a reality for many, however, don’t blame Americans of color, women, LBGTQ and immigrant folks for your troubles. An equal playing field for all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and family nationality is not the threat to our democracy and your well-being.
Please—blame the right folks, for once. Focus on the multinational corporations, those who want to privatize everything in sight, those who want to live in an evangelical theocracy and those who want a law-and-order style police state where the white man’s rules, rule and “Father Knows Best” reruns are mandatory viewing. In 21st century America, these entities and individuals are the real threat and their destructive impulse based on fear, greed and hate must be countered through deep listening, reason and action.
Get over it, all of you who fondly romanticize past generations—the 1950’s are over and most Americans are the better for it. I know I am. Do you really want to go back to the days of girdles, beehive hairdos and white bread? Oh, and white folks, let’s not forget the lynchings. Yes, let’s never forget the lynchings. Thank you.