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 donâ€™t think theyâ€™re protesting Trump. I think theyâ€™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 thatâ€™s not racism. Iâ€™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. Thatâ€™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 ignoredÂ 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. â€œPissed-off, straight, white guyâ€ is not getting listed under the Equal Protection Clause anytime soon. So you didnâ€™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 isnâ€™t a natural right and we should all just drop dead from pre-existing conditions. But that doesnâ€™t make you the victim of a hate crime. Like at all.
The protestingÂ 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.
ProtestingÂ is a message: We are here. When practicedÂ peacefully and respectfully (hereâ€™s looking at you, flag burners), itâ€™s our way of saying, â€œDonâ€™t fuck with our rights. And donâ€™t fuck with our friends. Crawl back into the hole from whence you came, Steve Bannon. Expelliarmus!â€ 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 shouldnâ€™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. YouÂ 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 â€œfree marketâ€ so gloriously touted by many Americans doesnâ€™t ever really lend itself to economicÂ equality (â€˜cuz then weâ€™d be socialist! *insert chilling scream*). So someone is always going to get screwed. And Iâ€™m sorry, I truly am sorry, that you feel it was you. But feeling disenfranchised doesnâ€™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 Trumpâ€™s true constituency, than you are the people he will hear the loudest. As it standsÂ right now, whileÂ he cherry-picks lobbyists and establishment figures for his administration, heâ€™s setting out to maintain the status quo that got us all here in the first place â€” and that you claimed to vote against in voting for him.
Because your voteÂ for TrumpÂ had nothing to do with racism or sexism or homophobia, right??