Saturday, March 27, 2021

State of a Nation Dying of Racism

How do we spend hundreds of years as a country and not manage to progress beyond Racism 101? It's everywhere, and just months ago 75 million Americans voted for it. When they lost, and not by very much, a whole lot of them were ready to overturn democracy so that racism could remain in the forefront, rather than a few inches in the background. 

But still it rears its head everywhere. What's the real agenda of Fox News? Now, in fact, there's OAN and Newsmax, because Fox News is just not racist and authoritarian enough for some. Tell people their racism is okay, and they'll support all sorts of programs that benefit them not at all. Huge tax cuts for the rich? Great. I'll be rich at any moment as long as we can keep children in cages and socialism at bay. No way do I want decent health care because next thing you know, those people at the border will have it too, and that will be the end of Western Civilization. 

A Republican Senator can get up in front of God and everybody and say he wasn't afraid of the mob trying to overthrow a democratic election. They were okay somehow because they weren't from Black Lives Matter. For this guy, as long as Black lives don't matter, democracy doesn't matter either. It's ironic, because the first reaction of the talking heads on the neo-fascist news networks, when the Trumpies attempted a coup, was to say the insurrectionists were Antifa, whatever that is, or BLM carrying Trump flags as camouflage. Yeah, that's the ticket.

That's what happens when your role model is a malignant narcissist who can never admit fault. Trump was a Great President. Never mind that half a million Americans are dead because he not only failed to plan for the epidemic, but also dismantled Obama's pandemic prep. Never mind that he failed to enact a national plan because Jared thought mostly blue states would be affected. Evidently, if enough Democrats would drop dead, it would aid in his re-election. 

And despite that, 75 million Americans went to the polls and demanded their racism. In the states controlled by those racists, we now see a rollback of voting rights. In Georgia, you can go to jail for bringing voters water while they stand on line. Of course, the only reason they need to stand on line is because their polling places are intentionally inadequate. A Georgia state representative was charged with a felony for knocking on the governor's door while he signed the bill. 

It's ridiculous and inexcusable. And now we see that Trump's vitriol has further real-world consequences as anti-Asian violence surges across our sick country. In Atlanta, there was a murder spree, and a sheriff's spokesman said they guy killed 8 people because he had a bad day. Frankly, I've had some very bad days. I might take an Advil. I might write a nasty blog. I don't go out and kill eight people. We later learned that this "bad day" genius promoted anti-Asian shirts on Facebook. He should be fired.  He should've been fired before.

Two weeks ago we did parent teacher conferences. Most of my students are Chinese, and I don't speak Chinese. A Chinese-American paraprofessional helped me. Between parents we talked. She told me she was now afraid to go out at night because of anti-Asian violence. I was horrified by this. Not only that, but she lives in Flushing, which is a largely Asian community. She said that her family didn't want to travel around America because it was too dangerous. 

How can we make people live like that? How can we tolerate it? How can we put up with politicians willing to change laws so they can pick voters rather than have voters pick them? I'm reminded of a line from Pearl Buck's The Good Earth. "There is a way when the rich are too rich."

We can't sustain a country in which the rich are too rich, especially one that maintains that greed by bamboozling half of the public, promoting and tolerating their awful racism. We need a change in direction, and we need it immediately.

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