I’m sayin’ it. I knew Trump was going to win.
I knew because I grew up in rural Illinois and I have lived in Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Southern Indiana. I understand what the rest of the country is like.
We are blessed to live in this liberal bubble like Seattle, where we sometimes get blindsided by the fact that racism still exists. Having lived in other places in the country, most notably the Deep South, I can tell you that’s not the case.
Racism, homophobia, and misogyny are still rampant. You have to remember that in places like Jackson, MS, and Evansville, IN, FOX News is blasting in every hotel lobby, in every bar and grill, in any public place with a TV set. If folks listen to talk radio, they’re listening to Glenn Beck and Michael Savage, not Rachel Maddow.
These are places where you’ll see Confederate Flag bumper stickers with the popular “The South Shall Rise Again” slogan emblazoned upon them, places where the American flag may be flying upside down underneath the Confederate flag–even in front of public buildings. These are places where people might accidentally slip and call you nigra, and then blush and apologize. But there it is, staring you in the face. These are places where people still think wearing blackface is funny, make jokes about “them queers”, and distrust those elitist Yankees.
We should remember that, for the most part, independent critical thinking isn’t valued by the majority in these states. People prefer blind faith–in a Big Daddy with a big stick, a cowboy, or a snake handling preacher. Those are voices that are more likely to be taken seriously, not some black guy with the middle name Hussein.
But now, we’re surprised?
The thing is, we forgot a few things, like just how blatantly the vote could be hacked and stolen, and how many Blacks and Latinos would be prevented from voting, We forgot how intellectually incurious and politically ignorant most American Voters are, and how many people wouldn’t bother to vote at all. We forgot how many racists, homophobes and misogynistic idiots would vote against their own best interests, and how easily the American electorate could be distracted by the reality TV shenanigans masquerading as press coverage, while fake news stories seeded dissent, particularly on the left.
Here’s truth: if we want to survive, we cannot indulge in purity politics any longer, not when it splits the base. Not when it divides us, and makes us weak, and completely ineffective. We need to stop being defensive and we need to get past blaming–yes, that includes blaming the DNC–and get focused on the Midterm elections. That’s how we fix this, because, if we can’t get it together, then we deserve what we get.