Don’t Normalize Hate
Sure, Jan. SURE. So many well intentioned liberals, media elite, people with massive following on social media are leading a charge of resistance. The path of least resistance being, apparently a rallying cry of “Stop normalising this…”
Ummmm, okay. Let me be abundantly clear, that part of what we all must do is not settle into this cheap suit, and pretend like it fits. That is clear, but is also low-hanging fruit. They used this very same message—PRE-ELECTION, and guess what, the results are still the same. That it didn’t seem to resonate with an Amerikkka that clearly & surely wants to normalize hating everyone again. That thinks this message of normalization you preach, like liberation gospel, is nothing more than “political correctness” — which, if we are being fully honest is the only mandate and rebuking the American voter did actually send on November 8th.
Valence in the face of Adversity
There is valiance, but then there is valence. That can apply to the winds, atomic particles in Chemistry, determinants and antigen in immunology, or linguistically to ‘the number of grammatical elements with which a particular word, especially a verb, combines in a sentence.’ (x)
In psychological terms, stated simply, is our ability as humans to anticipate good outcomes over the negative. In fact, it can pretty fairly and concretely mislead us sometimes to the overestimation of our own capabilities or that of others. Self-serving biases come into play. Predictive Technology which is laced with and created by people who can’t see past the lack of diversity on their own teams to be inclusive, have now rigged a “New Bell Curve” and called it an algorithm. Don’t believe the hype.
While not wanting to bog you, or myself down in more rigorous interrogation of that (available only if you pay me), let’s just assume that it is, at least aphoristically speaking — more likely that someone we are observing is deluding themselves in equal measure as we are deluding ourselves. That our biases demand that we take this position by default. Unless you are writer, and then you visited all day, everyday, for life eternal in a crippling sense-of-self-doubt.
What got us here was listening to well-meaning White Folx who think they know more about this country, its electorate, and how things should run. While they don’t have to be rich and white, they generally think like elites do. That being a product of their education or their exposure to and benefits from a White Supremacist system. Surely, we can all “just get along” they naively think. Until America elects its most hateful President.
Let me tell you what will not work. Doing what you’ve already done, and expecting a miraculous new outcome. Tomorrow will mark a week, one needed to vent, gnash and wail, fear and trepidation, anxious encounters. Where people (via social media) expressed their full outrage to their friends, where they look to blame whoever they have fixed in their mind, led to these conclusions by the same media that helped the President-Elect immensely, and who do all of this in collusion with social media sites that enjoy all this activity, as it helps them sell ads.
You’re the Real Racist™
Again as is stipulated or truncated in the tweet above, we can not stop the normalization of this hatred, it was already done during the Primaries, the general election cycle, but if we are going to be truthful here, and I strive…it goes all the way back to Trayvon Martin. Then you saw an America divided, you saw where their allegiances lie. There such division birthed the idea that became “Black Lives Matter.” America rebuked this, still thinks Zimmerman was right, and even after he’s been assaulted, said the N-word and been thrown out, shown a penchant for violence towards women, still seems to pop up and trend.
They (meaning the rest of America) think you did this to him. His ability to play the victim here, is legendary. It worked during the trial, and imagine he’ll run it until the day he dies. This was just a touch-point for how America deals with race. Then you have Mike Brown and Ferguson (not to be confused with BLM) and you see a further entrenchment. This is the electorate telling you that “All Lives Matter” with a side of “Blue Lives Matter.”
Amerikkka puts the Valence in False Equivalencies. It truly does. The winds have changed, blown everything we continued to love about her right off the table. Get used to it, without resigning yourself to it. They won, because of things like that tweet above. While you were traversing your social media feed, they were rigging the election, google searches, and shutting down polling sites. What were you doing?
Moral Mondays in NC, other activists on the ground in every city (especially NYC), Black Lives Matter, et al… the people I’m seeing complain the most are the ones that did nothing, or the bare minimum. Making a donation to the Sanders campaign did not make a better America. Nor does it give you a pass to bash those people who did the work, or lump the disenfranchised in with everyone else. DO BETTER! *stares dead into the camera with eyebrow raised*
Wanna know who is helping your “enemies” – every brand you hold dear. None more than Google:
It seems clear that White Men and those that think like them are emasculated by this election result, who with journalistic credos are going to “fight this war,” like they did the hanging chads in Florida in 2000. [While subsequently robbing ideas from PoC, BW, and giving them no credit but centering themselves squarely]
Know your enemies, and they aren’t the people who didn’t vote, they are not the low-info types, those on the other side. They are these global enterprises that are embedded in your everyday life. Who in the Age of Information, care not whether that is disinformation, propaganda, or what passes as groupthink. Their checks still cash, their money still flows, they are more than happy to take that dollar from an avowed White Nationalist as they are to use your eyeballs or clicks. Yet to lay all the blame on Google would be to again pick lowest of low hanging fruit here. That this reporter suddenly has a conscience, white guy that he is, and not during the previous few years should be galling.
“Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
– Langston Hughes
That on a platform filled with hate, that fostered and trained these extremists, protects him and his kind and helped them hone their message and establish their Uprising, their American Spring. Springtime for Demagogues and Alt-Right comes to mind. Let me find a Librettist. Let me find a way to monetize this.
If you have a high regard, even for the media still. Especially those left-liberal-types. You aren’t paying attention. They stand the most to gain right now. Think Progress, Huffington Post, MSNBC, etc… think back to the Bush years. They did fine, they made lots of money, pivoting and targeting your outrage. They are gonna make bank off you now.
The only cishetero white men I want to hear from are those that say this with their chest, and full-throated:
Click and read the entire thread. Yet what he didn’t say in that first tweet, and subsequent ones, is “we should have listened to you!” He doesn’t cede his power in this world and/or considerable privileges to dismantling the system that gave him his blue check, and that then made the world less safe for all of us while protecting his privileges. Not unlike the ‘Quality’ Filters and power bestowed with that blue check verification.
So he only gets *slow claps* from me for doing the bare minimum, but we can note even how very rare that is. Instead my social media feeds have been full of vitriol deflected and designed to make those most marginalized and disenfranchised in this entire process further victims to White Men’s Fury. Borne out of their White Men’s Burden to mansplain to us how we lost the election. That includes even the LGBTQ ones. That they are firmly embedded in and participate fully with the Patriarchy.
Instead he is playing the failed White Savior Complex. The Missionary who couldn’t make our world better or safer, while trying to play by the rules. So we get heartfelt apologies as we are being deported, killed in our streets, and still the work falls to those who don’t have his privilege to pushback.
Spare Me, Spare Us All
It is not lost on me, the irony that women did this. That in those that didn’t show up for the first female president, that cast dissenting votes, and those that couldn’t or didn’t vote. If your answer has one demographic to blame, then you are doing it wrong, and your lazy soon to be proven ahistorical, and bombastic rhetoric might as well be in support of Breibart & Reddit Presidency we now have. You are doing the work for them.
That women are the fastest rising prison population, and as such are being disenfranchised as well through the same carceral state that has been in place, and privatized, and very profitable. It is part of the added bonus that they then can’t vote in a world that will see more for-profit-prisons, more slavery by a new name, and further exploitation. This isn’t hyperbole. We’ve all *read* The New Jim Crow, right? I see you quoting & posting about it, surely you see just how powerful the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy is, right? You’ve read bell hoooks, you quote Audre Lorde & Jimmy Baldwin, surely you thought those days were behind us?
If they are so damn relevant, doesn’t that tell you something about the world we live in? Yet what I don’t really see much of you doing, outside of your complete and utter support for Ta-Nehisi Coates, which I approve of, but doesn’t go quite far enough. He is not James Baldwin, nor do I think that comparison apt. For one, he may have spent only a few years in Paris writing, not decades. His criticism by black women about what he misses, which he is far more accepting of than his fans, requires us to do more, balance out his lone isolated voice, that even flummoxes him when asked why so many Whites listen. He is your diversity voice when we need inclusion. Ta-Nehisi doesn’t drink to excess, isn’t personally brutish and abusive to those around him and other artists/writers. But ya’ll go ahead and call out others faves, and say they are “problematic” — I’ll be over here sipping this tea.
There is more than enough historical evidence, from people who were there, that even Audre was personally abusive. Yet her words were not. They like cast-iron forged deep and strong, can still serve up much wisdom. That sometimes your revolutionaries get caught up in the hagiography too. That to watch people, post-Beyonce Feminist, embrace The Black Panther Party, as a totemic meme, as empowerment, is quaint. While not really understanding what really happened, or why it failed. You shout COINTelPro, but haven’t even read Huey Newton’s dissertation. He was an incredibly smart person, and the read is good, but was, as they all were, utterly savaged by internal paranoia that the state explicitly designed. You now invoke it to gaslight people. I’ve the receipts.
That you can’t see that the Panopticon is very real and relevant as hell. That you worry about the NSA but not Facebook & Google. Or your cell phone carriers. You are still using them right? It is too late to stop whatever they are doing, but acknowledge your own complacency. It isn’t however their actual surveillance that the Panopticon Principle is really about. Now matter how every lazy analysis or invocation of it seems to suggest. It is that you police yourselves. That you don’t act, that you give up participating in the body politic. That you don’t read Gramsci or the Marxists, even the anarchists. That you begin to doubt every other activist around you, question their intentions or motives. (You can swap out voters for activists to see it at play today in real-time in your newsfeed)
Yet don’t read all those dead old white men. Look to Ella Baker & Fannie Lou Hamer not just Hannah Arendt. Especially seek out the ones that history wants to erase. Who were just as brilliant but quickly forgotten.
Put Your Safety Pin in Your Cheek:
So much fury right now, so much depressive, self-serving bullshit in our Attention Economy. Let me give you a sliver of hope, a ray of sunshine, that is wrought from the artists, the ones who will lead the way, inspire the real revolutionaries, forge new paths in the days to come. That during those times, whose ‘survival’ was some amazing art, with even better activism. But are now being invoked as a silencing tool by complicit White Supremacist that think they are just being good liberals, saying we’ll get through this.
Many, and perhaps you even, will think of Punk as a white movement. White People’s angsty music and rebellion. You’d be dead wrong. You might look at the most basic image concerning it, as a white couple, with spiky mohawks, dressed like White Nationalist (Britain First) Movement. While not knowing the history of America First Movement either. Or erasing it and those that fought it without recognition.
People of Color made and were exploited by the Punk Movement. This is the history they don’t want you to know about. That it was borne out of resistance to a nativism, a disaffected youth, who were responding to forces on a political as well as artistic level. They were the resistance. They are oft aligned with anarchist. The Anarchy A is a lasting symbol. From someone who was there, who came up on their coattails, that saw a vibrant and inclusive Punk, Post-Punk, New Romantics, and even the birth of Goth, and then was very present and active in the Club Kids’ scene which followed. There is a an oral history, one of confounding gender, race, and power. There is art, fashion, political theory, and activism. That what you’ve been told about it is a complete lie. It was way more than Punk Rock.
“History is an agreed upon fiction.”
— Diane Ackerman
Whatever you think of this election, it will not go down as a dark chapter in American Politics. In fact the rush to normalize this right now, means that history will and can remember some monstrous things as simply bumps in the long chain of imperialistic and colonial activity which will seem normal in just a few minutes. Who, but us, remembers 2000 as the election that SCOTUS stole? He was legitimized, even as history and facts, statistics show that it was in fact, purely stolen. That it begot two wars, that weren’t budgeted for, that no one sacrificed for, and eventually ran our global economy off a cliff.
Who paid for that? Did our Pentagon? Or did we see the rush to demonize and blame all these things on neo-Welfare Queens, subprime mortgages given out to people who were trying to participate in Acquired & Inherited Wealth System denied so long. That had for years been redlined and denied, were able to finally participate in the American Dream. Whose participation had to be exceptional in order to succeed. They had to be the Magical Negro, had to code-switch, and sacrifice to be included. Even then the popular narrative insists they only got what they had based on Affirmative Action. White Women benefit from that, and Title IX, but I’m sleep though. Did they then reach back, and help others up? Sure some of them did. But more telling is those that aim to “help” us symbolically, that will turn right around and stab us in the back. Or worse ACTIVELY WORK TO GET YOU FIRED, snatch your purse, and make you a pariah in the process.
Think it doesn’t happen, or couldn’t happen now as we are all hurting and supposedly together, then you thought wrong. What if I told you it happened over a safety pin? Wouldn’t that just take the cake? No it is a sad commentary about why and how you lost. Not the Appalachian/Blue Collar Whites that didn’t vote for Hillary. Nope, it is that the Democratic Party is trying to do diversity, without inclusion. It is an Affirmative Action machine. That its election of Barrack is more clearly a reflection of how Americans got the vote than we are ready to admit. First land-owning white men. Then the other white men. Then Black Men get the vote, sorta. Then that vote is curtailed, and dismantled. Then the suffragettes come up, and fight to get White Women, and only them, the vote.
Then fifty years has to pass before the rest of them gets the vote with the Voting Rights Act. Which was just dismantled. Let’s talk about how that happened, via the Supreme Court, which gave out an election, gave us Marriage Equality, and then guts the protections put in place that the CRM fought so hard for. People died, and sacrificed to get that corrective measure, to the supposed the most free and democratic nation on the planet. Progress?
Let’s Have an Uncomfortable Conversation
Spend some time today looking for the healers. They will look like people in the streets (either in protest or passersby), and look for the street art, the people who are on social media propogating #GoodTrouble. Who are leading this generations sit-ins, highway closures, fight #NoDAPL, die-ins, and basically doing the work. Yet don’t stop there, talk to your racist family (safety permitting; both mentally & physically), and help us work with them to change the course of history.
Take heed and lessons from, even as it is humorous, #ThanksgivingClapback as a preparation. Show them the hypocrisy, lovingly and in as Buddhist open heart way. Failing that, fuck shit up! The ‘clapback’ can and should come from the heart. Let them know how your life lived, and your friends and loved ones are affected. Not in appealing to their better natures, or through respectability politics. Tell them to ‘Expect Us’ now and always. Let them know, at what specific intersection our lived experiences are going to collide. That there will now be more poor uninsured people, who will drive their tax rates up, show them compassionately how they have voted against their best interests. That things will get worse before they get better, and probably before they come to their senses.
They want us to be as angry and volatile as they were for eight years. This is them vengefully reclaiming power, nothing more. Not only tell them, but show them, we are going to be at those School Board Meetings, City Council, and other town halls to resist, refuse, and reclaim our America. Just as they were and did after ’08. That if the media is a liberal elite institution (and to blame for this) then we will use them to dog their every move. That is when they get finished trying to normalize this disaster and figure out how to profit from it. Like little Lean/Agile Theory strategists, we are going to disrupt them, the economy, their media, and everything they hold dear about America until it reflects properly the realities of a ‘Minority’-Majority.
Do not let their considerable Cognitive Dissonance be their security blanket. Don’t let them quote Breitbart or Alt-Right Racist Memes. Tell them quite literally they are killing you, and many other people with their dangerous ways. That when the bootjack is on their throat it will be too late. That unless they are a billionaire, or a single-digit Millionaire, they are doomed. When they wind up down here with the rest of us, it will be at the back of the line.
Go With Grace
Don’t make them comfortable, don’t let them erase you, gaslight you, or tell you to “Get Used to It!” Nope, not today, or the foreseeable future. It will take grit, resilience, self-care, the support of one another, truly listening and caring. These are all part of having difficult conversations. Be strategic, but not obtuse. They’ve shifted the goal posts, they clearly have finally won and are “taking America Back!” Back to the stone age, but realistically they are trying to recreate the 50s when everything was white. Their bread, their elected officials, their segregation kept those “others” in line. Now we all know they have elected someone so orange it is almost impolite to call him White. He is not their savior, they will soon realize this. We have to help that process, gently when called for, without being meek, and forcibly at others without being as violent and abusive as our oppressors.
That needn’t be the considerably boring track of non-violence movements of days gone by. After all their messianic leader was shot dead wearing a suit, right? Everyone who knows me, considers me a pacifist. My mode is non-violent. Yet as Assata reminds us:
“The King of Love is Dead. I ain’t ’bout to be nonviolent, honey! *cackles*”
Be like Nina. Who praises Dr. Martin Luther King’s approach, but delineates herself, her art, her being as outside that, respectfully. Aside from the gun-pulling story, hagiography really, she was non-violent and resisted through her art, her considerable struggles in her life, and then to fight with such brilliance against a world that has progressed, but not nearly far enough, and will minimize and erase the greatest jazz artist of all time. She called jazz the African-American classical music. It is a truism. It is a fully American invention, and the greatest gift that we gave the world. Above and beyond all others, above a supposed representational democracy, like none other, exceptional to a fault, and inherently flawed.
So we can push back, should even, against the “New Normal” of hate, violence, and more oppression. Yet let us not do it by doing what they want. Turning on each other, blaming (for a week running now) whoever is beside us. Let us as we clapback on the considerable process they are installing now, that the media is so complacent in, which your social media platforms are participating in, and are in a rush to find ways they can monetize your outrage as they did all throughout the past years.
They’ve evolved, as we should to. Start by knowing who they are, how they really came to power, acknowledge your part in it, try not shifting blame on your comrades, but recognizing the system (Electorally & Politically) is rigged and work to dismantle it. Don’t let your social media tirades be the be-all-and-end-all. Do the work. Get out there, in whatever way you can, and contribute. Not just in your donations, but in sacrificing. Do it for the culture, do it for your ancestors, do it for those that aren’t here or won’t make it. Do it for yourself, and those that you love, and do it for the children. Be the change they need to see right now, so that they can and will know this world gets better.
We need everyone, so take the time, grieve, gnash and wail. Do what you have to do. Know that when you need help, it is there for you. This is not alright, but we’re gonna be alright. We are in this together, and it won’t be easy, but we will not only survive, but actually THRIVE! Through our fierce activism, love for one another, and our devotion to making this world better.