I don’t know what to say.
I was always raised that it was rude to say “I told you so.”
No, it’s not that I’m so blown away by the events this week—hell, this year—that I’m shocked into speechlessness. It’s just that I was always raised that it was rude to say “I told you so.” And well…I did.
I knew that this was coming, and that the people who were walking around preaching the merits of our “post-racial” society were selling bedtime stories. We don’t live in a fairy tale. We live in the real world, where people are angry and vindictive and entitled. They’re also good and compassionate and naive. Sometimes all in the same day.
See, I don’t have much to say about Charlottesville. It’s sad. It’s unfortunate. But it’s not new. There’s nothing new about people being hateful or lacking respect for human life. What’s new is that people are starting to believe that this shit happens on a regular basis. And honestly, that doesn’t make me happy.
What did you think would happen? We allowed someone like Donald Trump to ride his way into the White House on a shitter-tape parade of racist, sexist, and xenophobic slurs. This didn’t start on Election Day. When we took him seriously as a Presidential candidate we ratified his behavior. We made the unrest that he caused in the hearts of millions of Americans okay. I wasn’t surprised by that either. That’s how we do business here in the good ole U.S. of A.
This isn’t a comment on race, although race is part of the conversation. It isn’t a comment on gender equality, although that’s there too. America has turned into the country of the privileged and the blind. To be able to say something isn’t a problem until it’s personally a problem for you lacks compassion, empathy and humanity. Yet that’s what we do, over and over again.
People have called out the opposers of Trump on Twitter, asking where were our voices during the Charlottesville riots. They were where they’ve always been—drowned out by the shouts of the righteously indignant protesters-of-the-month. Me, I stopped shouting. Because no one listened on Election Day, and no one listened after the Muslim ban, and no one listened after the multiple attempts to appeal the ACA. No one was listening when 45 bragged about sexual assault or refused to comply with the rules that every president for the last 50 years has complied with and show his tax returns. Now that you’re angry, I have one thing to say: I told you so. I told you this would happen. History told you this would happen.
America has turned into the country of the privileged and the blind.
There’s a silver lining to it all—you will survive. You will survive knowing that the world isn’t as fair as you thought it was. You will survive knowing that the fate of your family isn’t entirely in your control. You will survive feeling marginalized, disrespected and disillusioned. There are people all over the world who have been surviving living lives of uncertainty for generations.
And every once in a while, someone starts listening and something changes.
Until that happens though, you fight this by listening. Drop your guard and your narcissism and your entitlement. Pay attention to what life is like for others. Trump is a bully, and we beat bullies by sticking together. Trust me, he won’t be in office long. History told me so.