When our sitting president and his national security adviser speak of fighting terrorism alongside Russia, what they are proposing to the American people is terror management: the exploitation of real, dubious, and simulated terror attacks to bring down democracy.
The President’s nationalistic rhetoric and scapegoating of racial others, not to mention his habitual reliance on unverified information, have sown panic among immigrants. I’ve often asked myself lately whether I’ve been right to suspect that people were looking at me differently on the street, at airports, or in elevators. Whenever a stranger has been kind to me, I have almost wanted to weep in gratitude. Unlike when I first arrived here, distance no longer offers any reprieve from these feelings. The Internet delivers ugly fragments of report and rumor throughout the day, and with them a sense of nearly constant intimacy with violence.
This Google Doc went around some time back. I’ll read and post some of the articles it references myself, but see the doc for more links and offline resources for white folks looking to get outside-their-own-heads perspectives on race issues.
We need to be thinking about how we are thinking about this election. This sense of comfort, of insulation from the horrors of America, is precisely what this syllabus is meant to disrupt. We, white people, clearly weren’t listening hard enough to people of color, to women, to queer people, to immigrants, to Muslims, to anyone who holds a marginalized identity. This did not come as a shock to many marginalized people. Instead, as a friend of mine put it: “I am hurt but my hurt comes mainly from having my fears proven. Not from surprise. I am so angry because there are so many people who needed this result to prove to them the divide of this country instead of listening to the voices of their token friends. Instead of hearing. Instead of trusting.” Now is the time to hear. Now is the time to educate and propel that education into action.
But that “joke” is trolling women on Twitter and using violent, code words for black people, Muslims and Jews. They also like to say “glorious,” as in, “glorious” leader Donald Trump, a nod to Hitler’s “fields of glory.”…
…Which is why we are avoiding “alt-right” in favor of white supremacy or white nationalism.
What you saw in many of these countries was a very different kind of population moving in and occupying social roles that had previously been reserved for white Christians. This was the ultimate change in social hierarchy. Nonwhites, who had historically been Europe and America’s colonial subjects and slaves, were now becoming its citizens. They weren’t just moving in; they were changing its society.
The question wasn’t whether there would be a massive electoral backlash. It was when.
When the dust settles, we have 100% of the Executive Order we originally wanted, we’ve tested the loyalty of a department we’ll need later on, we’ve proven we can ignore an entire branch of government, and we’ve slipped in some subtle moves that will make the next test even easier.
We’ve just tested the country’s willingness to capitulate to a fascist regime.