When it is routine to hold hostage a domestic flight to check the papers of ordinary citizens, when you have made it legal to seize the assets of those who speak out or gather in groups of more than two for fear we might contradict you or plan some protest, and shut the press down for printing truth, because you can’t bear to be wrong or challenged—
When you make us make art furtively as though it were wrong and dangerous (O it is, yes!)—
When you and your cronies have stolen our wages through bad schedules and punch-clock shenanigans and right to work for less laws, stripped us of what little we make through exorbitant taxes that subsidize your businesses, given the bosses permission to use our time and our bodies as they like without regard for our humanity or safety, no matter how many of us are maimed or killed, dumped us out of the skimpy, fraying safety net without arms, legs, or lungs, poisoned the air and water then sold it back to us, bottled, like the whole country is a company town, neglected unto ruin the bridges we cross to work each day and dug up the parks we cherish when we’re not, disappeared the buses and trains we ride so we have to all buy your cars or walk to your jobs, enslaved us with debt for an advanced education you require to work in the goddam mailroom, made us so poor we have to wager our lives in your wars to even begin to get ahead, then send our children to countries we’ve no business being in and abandon them when they come home without limbs or minds or sleep, pawn off the excess equipment to police and give them the power they should never have to decide who lives and who dies for expressing themselves or just walking down the street, enforcing harsh laws that send more of us (mostly Black and brown) than in any other nation to jails where we still work like slaves—
When you have reduced us from a free(ish) nation of free(ish) people pursuing happiness to utterly oppressed masses, when you are huddled in your compounds with your paid servants and paid security, unsure of their loyalty, behind razor wire and laser beams, as much prisoners as those in your jails—
This ends two ways: in misery for all of us or death for you and rebirth for us.
Stop now, while you still can. We are already sharpening our tools.
Claim you are the Party of Family Values, and ban abortion but rob the funds for prenatal care, school lunches, food stamps, teacher salaries, college financial aid. Get ‘em born and forget ‘em, or better, keep ‘em poor so they become the ultimate resource: more fodder for your army.
Then dedicate your platform to soldiers going to war for your greed, but keep your own children from the front, and turn a blind eye to the maimed, the homeless, those your wars wounded invisibly, who can no longer sleep for fear that followed them home. If they survived your war, let them kill themselves.
Say you are believers in the American Dream then deny it to anyone who does not look like you or comes fleeing some country you can’t find on a map. Or rob those already here who thought they had achieved it when you revolve back to your pillaging corporate job.
Mouth the words freedom of religion and conscience but show no mercy no justice, no love.
You are the worst kind of liars, warping words into unintelligible contradictions, deceiving with fear, and harming those who trusted you while you prosper.
We have been robbed of even the slightest sense that the government belongs to all the people, of belief that it just might be working to make our lives better. Worse, we have been robbed of a fundamental right— to pursue happiness:
To wake up and read the paper without dread of what new perfidy we might find there. To go to work without wondering if what we do is of value or if we should be in the streets carrying signs, instead. To not wonder if we should get a gun and learn to use it. To not question whether the art we make is frivolous or not political enough. To lie in bed and read novels, go see a movie, make love, binge watch something other than “The West Wing,” “Homeland,” or worse, “24.” To send our students abroad and welcome others here. To not have to examine every fucking thing our government does to protect ourselves and those we love.
This is his goal: to suck us dry of joy, of security, of life, leaving us as hollow as Liberty’s crown after 9/11.
No news that makes you look bad (election statistics). No news that asks blunt questions (where are your taxes?). No news that your spicey mouthpiece can’t pronounce (anything not English and some that is). No news from media you don’t like (anything not Breitbart). No news that shows you’re incapable of this job (all the news).
No news that contradicts your alternative facts. No news about Jews even if they’re already dead in a particularly satisfying way. No news about immigrants greasing the wheels of commerce especially if it’s about you not paying them to clean your hotels.
No news that doesn’t acknowledge your greatness. No news that you can’t deny. No news that criticizes your puppet master. No news that shows us who is the true Enemy of the People.
What matters to us are all the things you fear: whatever might mock you, whatever you don’t understand, whatever is not explicitly about money or your penis, whatever shames your behavior, whatever contradicts you, whatever denies you what you want whether others want it or not:
Women having the right to say “fuck off” to you and your grabby hands and laws. Artists making art you don’t understand. The free practice of a religion you don’t subscribe to or no religion at all. Welcoming arms at the borders for those fleeing in fear or just wanting another chance. Wilderness uncolonized by golf courses and hotels. The free exchange of ideas. The preeminence of facts. Drugs that don’t bankrupt or maim us. An education that doesn’t leave us enslaved to banks or corporations for the rest of our lives, and teaches us to question everything, especially authority, especially your authority. Air and water that don’t poison us. A climate that won’t kill us. A future for those not born yet.
–President’s Day, 2017, Harlem, NY
Posting for the following meme:
From Linda Kennedy via Marcia Morgan.
I would like to start a little ripple of resistance today. Tomorrow is February 20th, and Mr. Trump will have been in office for one month.
Amidst the lies of their non-existence the papers surface, a draft waiting to be numbered, dated, and signed: eleven pages of White Nationalist send-‘em-back-where-they-came-from hate and what amounts to ethnic cleansing, turning a hundred thousand National Guardsmen on their own people. How many of those first- and second-generation immigrants wearing their new country’s cammo do you think would comply with such an order, Mein Herr? We’ve done this before, in my lifetime and yours, when threatened by challenges to the status quo. Four young people ended up dead at a college in Ohio, shot by other kids their own age. And you would do that to us again, Mein Herr?
There is no national emergency involving immigrants, no plot to blow up the White House or even Target (no, white male citizens who look a lot like you are doing that). No need for the well regulated militia necessary to the security of a free State to participate in knocking on doors asking for papers, Mein Herr, and rounding up women and children, fathers or sons going to work and school each day —unless you don’t like their color, their accent, their food, their voices, their music and art, their existence, their right to freedom and opportunity on a level playing field that includes you, Mein Herr.
“Trump’s run for office electrified the radical right, which saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man’s country.” –Mark Potok, Senior Fellow, Southern Poverty Law Center
He surrounds himself with wife-beaters braggarts racists the delusional the hateful the not just uncaring but openly selfish I-got-mine-to-hell-with-you money grubbers masquerading as entrepreneurs and job creators — white, almost exclusively. Men, almost exclusively. Wannabes. Just like him.
In his world, there are still deviants, but he is not one of them. No, even his love of young girls is Completely Normal. Sex and gender are the same one or the other on or off Tab A in Slot B missionary position and force no choices no identity but his or what reflects him.
In his world, brown skin is a crime. Black skin is automatically violent. Mexicans are rapists. Muslims are all terrorists. And the Blacks — no matter how they protest silently, loudly, on their knees, with fire and rage — they should all just die.
It’s so simple to be him. Always right. Always good. Always manly. Our Glorious Leader bred in the Fatherland.