To All the Dudes Who Think They’re Disenfranchised…
The other day, I felt myself getting sucked into the slippery slope that is Facebook political discourse. It went something like this:
White Man: Everyone protesting Trump is just a sore loser.
Me: I don’t think they’re protesting Trump. I think they’re protesting racism and taking a stand for equality and the groups that are disenfranchised.
White Man: I was disenfranchised under Obama.
Me: Okay, but that’s not racism. I’m sorry you felt unheard, but no one committed a hate crime against you.
White Man: My daughter got bullied for being a Trump supporter.
Me: I feel you. That’s bull shit. But still not racism.
I had this conversation, and a fucking light went on in my embattled head. Jesus, this is where we are at as a country. I really feel like I need to say it: Dear white dudes, feeling disenfranchised and being racist (or sexist or homophobic…) are not mutually exclusive.
Just because you felt poor and ignored when we had a black, Democratic President (with a Republican House and Senate who didn’t even allow him to do anything), does not make you a protected group in this country. “Pissed-off, straight, white guy” is not getting listed under the Equal Protection Clause anytime soon. So you didn’t protest when Obama got elected? Congratu-fuckin-lations. (Side note: a lot of people actually did). Either way, your life was not in danger. You may have felt burdened by unnecessary taxes and verbally restrained by a culture you deemed to be suffocatingly PC. You may think healthcare isn’t a natural right and we should all just drop dead from pre-existing conditions. But that doesn’t make you the victim of a hate crime. Like at all.
The protesting now is not about Trump winning the election. He’s the President-elect. It’s done. Probably. Most likely? I literally know nothing these days.
Protesting is a message: We are here. When practiced peacefully and respectfully (here’s looking at you, flag burners), it’s our way of saying, “Don’t fuck with our rights. And don’t fuck with our friends. Crawl back into the hole from whence you came, Steve Bannon. Expelliarmus!” Something like that.
Let me try to explain this in the best way I can: You have a right to be a douche bag and think people shouldn’t get married. You have no right to prevent them from getting married. You have a right to think racist things (again, and be a douche bag), but you have absolutely no right to commit acts of racism. You can want to grab pussies. But don’t.
Now, to my point: You also have a right to feel disenfranchised. You can say you are a victim of a broken system, and you know what? I believe you and may even agree with you. Unfettered democracy and the “free market” so gloriously touted by many Americans doesn’t ever really lend itself to economic equality (‘cuz then we’d be socialist! *insert chilling scream*). So someone is always going to get screwed. And I’m sorry, I truly am sorry, that you feel it was you. But feeling disenfranchised doesn’t mean you understand what it is to be a subjugated group in this country.
The cycle is real, and the cycle is vicious. What we lack so often is just a little compassion and empathy. If you truly say you felt oppressed, than you should be fighting more than ever to not be an oppressor. If you are Donald Trump’s true constituency, than you are the people he will hear the loudest. As it stands right now, while he cherry-picks lobbyists and establishment figures for his administration, he’s setting out to maintain the status quo that got us all here in the first place — and that you claimed to vote against in voting for him.
Because your vote for Trump had nothing to do with racism or sexism or homophobia, right??