I wake up this morning and flip the television to CNN, it’s of zero shock that they are doing a live spot on Donald Trump. In the background is the most mundane shot of people being handed signs and slowly filtering into the facility several hours in advance of the event. Much like a Black Sabbath concert ticket going on sale at 6am, the one thing you won’t see at the break of dawn at a will-be Trump rally is a person of color.
Let me make it clear, Trump scares the shit out of me. I’m a native of Michigan, whose primary just recently passed, and I think the most frightening post I’ve ever read was shared by an extended family member. This was not just some Trump bashing write up with the primary goal of going viral first and perhaps sending a message second, this was the true story of a Facebook friend of a friend – someone I could theoretically link up with in real life – and perhaps, that is what made the message so strong. Basically, two girls went to a Trump rally and just happened to be wearing some Feel the Bern hats, and though there were many people who attended that particular event to be disruptive and cause a scene, these two girls stood and listened without saying a word. At some point when disrupters were being tossed out left and right, the crowd begin to hype up and some aggressive Young Republicans began to point and scream at the girls to “GET THEM OUT.” The girls were quickly being forced out by Trumps hired security thugs and the girls explained that they weren’t doing anything and they had the right to be there. “Nope, not here” they told the girls as they were jeered all the way out the door. The sheer fact that Trump incites such hate into these crowds and that a person can be ejected simply for wearing unapproved clothing should terrify everyone.
So who are these Trump supporters? The old white people funneling into the Ohio event this morning look harmless enough. I kept asking myself what they were so pissed about. Then, I thought about what would be playing on CNN if they weren’t busy covering Trump-aganda 24 hours a day. And I realized they would be playing the same thing they had been covering for two years solid before Trump jumped into the Republican clown car – racism in america. Well, perhaps that is putting in politely, I believe maybe when the coverage started, the goal was to cover racism in america, but just like Trump-a-palooza, what was intended to be coverage of facts presented with professionalism, slowly evolved into an open platform for biased zealots to lecture white people on just how awful and racist they all are. Thank god I don’t have to sit through that, I thought, and the lightbulb turned on.
Look, I grew up in Detroit, I currently live in Atlanta and I was one of a few dozen white kids in my tech school, I am no stranger to black culture. I really did grow up with no consideration that the color of someones skin meant anything at all. And even though it’s natural as you get older to recognize and perhaps even judge cultural patterns – Asians and women don’t drive well, blondes are dumb, etc. these are just stereotypes. I like smart, thoughtful people and hate dumb assholes, regardless of the flesh that covers their bones.
One of the shows I loved to watch was Dr. Drew on HLN, it came on right after Nancy Grace and typically contained thoughtful conversation from a clinical perspective, and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I was forced to tune out about a year ago. I simply couldn’t take it anymore, like their parent company CNN, they spent almost every episode during a one year period focusing on racism. And racism is a terrible thing and to label someone a racist use to hold a lot of weight because by definition, a racist is a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another. That’s right, a word that should be reserved for only those who embrace supremacy has been so badly distorted by use that it has become akin to being labeled a poser in the 1980’s.
My Dr. Drew days came to an end pretty much the moment when someone pointed out that racism isn’t culturally exclusive and fanatical lawyer, Areva Martin concluded (not suggested) that only white’s can be considered racist because they are the majority race, it’s not possible for blacks or any other race to be a racist because they will never be in power. Did I mention this woman graduated from Harvard (well if I didn’t just watch 12 seconds of a clip and I am sure she will make mention). But seriously, how is this person on air every single night? And perhaps if it were exclusive to just one person, I could deal with it – but that was not the case. The deck was stacked with people taking fanciful leaps and presenting them as fact and this was by no means exclusive to this one show or one network.
All of a sudden, there was an influx of this definition warping and it had taken over the airwaves without a second thought. I am as left as left can be, I am aware there is a disproportionate amount of black males in prison, I understand police brutality is a real thing and support finding peaceful and lawful ways to enact change. But based on the media’s coverage, it was no longer socially acceptable to cast any doubt over any scenario where a black man was killed by a police officer. Can’t a person wait to hear the facts of a situation before drawing conclusions, is it really so terrible to have faith in a justice system and a grand jury of 12 local citizens deciding whether or not a crime was committed? Are you a racist if you don’t automatically assume everything is a conspiracy? The people they allowed on the tv, and therefore into our homes would have you think so. It was so clear that the lines of reasonable thinking got muddied and yet nobody was there to stop the run-away train.
So, I turned off my tv, and exited the conversation. And yeah, the fact I can do that is white privilege. But, it was what I had to do because I felt myself start to get angry and I had to get out before I misplaced it anywhere besides where it belonged – at the media. And all I can think of right now as I watch the Trump rally coverage is that perhaps these people didn’t turn it off.
I don’t actually know who they are, these insane people who support an actual racist bigot and dare to put their hands on another, but I do know they are not my kind of people.