How The 45th Regime Is Doing Wonders for My Mental Health
Many of you may know the story (or one variation thereof) of the oracle Cassandra of Greek mythology fame; not to be confused with DC Comics’ the Oracle or Cassandra Cain, the awesome heroines of modern-day mythology fame.
Cursed by the gods, Cassandra was blessed and cursed with prophetic sight that would be believed by none. She could foretell the future and even though people knew she was a seer, no one listened to her or believed her.
I said it back in high school, I said it back in college and I will say it again, the gods cursed her so that everyone would dismiss her truth and wisdom by turning her into a black woman. After this past election, I’m more convinced than ever that I may be a direct descendant.
Picture this. Wednesday, November 9, 2016. It’s an early rainy morning. The streets are empty save for the occasional somber soul whose whimpering over the election results. Dancing across the sidewalk in a slow-motion montage is yours truly. For while others are crippled by the darkness and despair the forthcoming Trump administration will no doubt bring, I dance because a victory has been achieved.
“An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again, but one which crumbles from within? That’s dead…forever.”
~ Baron Zemo, Captain America: Civil War
Now I know what a lot of you are wondering. Why would a queer person of color, a raging liberal, a Clinton and Obama voter, be excited about Trump becoming the 45th president of the United States? The answer was adequately summed up by Baron Zemo in the 2016 film, Captain America: Civil War, “An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again, but one which crumbles from within? That’s dead…forever.”
Even though I’m still with her, the election will prove what myself and other PoCs have been warning for ages about institutional white supremacy coming back to haunt white Americans. With the Trump administration, America is going to learn at least two very important lessons. Be careful what you wish for and you reap what you sow.
This election will provide an unexpected bonus: vindication. Which is always good for the mental health and the soul.
Beware The White Saviors
“I’ve dated white people. I’ve got white friends. But I firmly believe that there’s not a Caucasian man in this world who does not think he’s more intelligent than a man with darker skin. He’ll deny it. But when he’s crushed down one thousand times, and when he absolutely needs it, he will play that card to save his self-esteem vis-à-vis me. I’m not saying it’s a choice. It’s not a moral thing. I’m saying it’s a feature of his soul that he doesn’t know is there.”
~ Humans of New York
Life as a person of color in the United States is never easy. On the best of days, we have to worry about being gaslit and told that the racism we’re enduring is imagined. On the best of days, we’re dogpiled online by rabid Nazis while our so-called white “allies” remain silent and look the other way and enable our attackers. On the worst of days, we have to deal with discrimination and violence.
Obama’s success would inevitably trigger a backlash. This was the first time in history that someone nonwhite was running the country. As far as many white Americans were concerned, they truly believed they had lost their country. It was inevitable that racism in America would respond in kind. The increase of police murders of innocent black citizens, celebrities, and politicians going on meltdowns and spewing bigoted bile every chance they were afforded. Let’s not forget the Supreme Court’s ruling to gut the Voting Rights Act in 2013 allowed Republicans to redistrict areas and deny blacks and other PoCs their right to vote.
Donald Trump’s presidential slogan “Make America Great Again” was dog whistle politics for Make America White Again as a Tennessee candidate illustrated with a billboard that garnered national attention.
While many whites choose to believe (in spite of evidence to the contrary) that the Trump camp was the source of all of this sudden bigotry in America, the reality is that white supremacy was as rampant with white fauxgressives and their newly appointed white savior, Bernie Sanders.
Sanders is an example of what I would call the Nader Effect.
Every election some walking bastardization of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington shows up out of nowhere promising to be the Great White Savior that will make Washington an honest and cost-efficient spouse. Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders, the list goes on and on. Usually it’s some old rich white man who is a malcontent and has income to dispose of in an election campaign that will fail abysmally. As Sanders and Paul’s records have illustrated, these old white men often have a low opinion of black people and LGBTQs.
Of course, they never win much less follow through on their big empty promises. Their purpose is to syphon off enough white liberal votes to make certain the Republican candidate they’re secretly in bed with makes it into office. But they will return next election ready to swindle every caucasian too gullible to learn history.
Not especially bright, Sanders revealed his agenda as a GOP plant time and time again. In 2012, even though he was an independent, Sanders demanded the Democrats presidential primary challenge against current sitting Democrat President Obama.
Sanders’ racism didn’t stop there. He threw a hissy fit and stormed offstage when Black Lives Matter activists confronted him about remaining mum on the increasing violence against blacks at the hands of law enforcement. It was revealed during the election that Sanders’ claims that he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Era was a lie. The Sanders campaign also exposed its homophobia when it attacked the Human Rights Commission for endorsing Clinton. Let us not forget the brawl that erupted at the DNC National Convention in protest to Sanders’ defeat by the Bernie Bots.
The moment Sanders was defeated, he returned to being an independent. But that hasn’t stopped him from whitesplaining about what Democrats should and shouldn’t do. This also hasn’t stopped him from attacking top black Democrats such as Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.
To speak out against St. Bernard meant to get harassed, dogpiled and gaslit by white fauxgressives. Trump supporters and Bernie Bots were two sides of the same coin of white supremacy. It’s little wonder that many Sanders supporters voted for Trump in the presidential election.
“I don’t like [Sanders] and I don’t like his cult. No one who can get that many white people to follow them so blindly is someone who should be trusted.”
~ David Carlton
The Sad Truth About Obama
Former President Obama will no doubt go down as not as one of the greatest presidents of all time, but one of the greatest leaders in human history.
Nevertheless, had Obama run today or at in other time, he most likely would not have been elected. Not because of any shortcoming on his part, because he has none, but because of America’s hatred of black people.
It took the disaster of two wars under the George W. Bush administration, the economic recession in 2008 and the nation’s near collapse to get this country to even entertain the idea that the best person to lead the country is anything other than cis straight white man. As I’ve said time and time again, there’s no greater language for diplomacy and peace than self-preservation.
People of color watched helplessly as President Obama, his lovely wife Michelle, and their two beautiful daughters Sasha were subjected to inhumane racist attacks by the political left and the right. Who was leading the hate mongering? Donald Trump. The same Trump who would succeed Obama as the 45th president.
“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”
~ Lyndon B. Johnson
Obama’s presidency and last year’s film Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice have more than a few parallels.
The arrival of both Superman and Obama changed the power landscape of America, of the entire planet. White humans were irate because in both cases, Obama/Superman threatened the existing power structures and now whites were getting a taste of the fear PoCs have had to endure daily for centuries. And even though both men fought tirelessly for truth, justice, and the American way, they were met with outright bigotry. The ones leading the hate-mongering were Lex Luthor and Donald Trump.
So, what happens? Obama and Superman sacrifice everything for a world they’re too good for. It is revealed that Luthor was responsible for masterminding Superman’s murder and endangering the planet. Trump, the very one who accused Obama of having a fake birth certificate, steals the Oval Office and continues to this day to be exposed as a criminal.
Now that Obama is out of office and Superman is dead (and in both cases no longer deemed a threat) the world wants to make martyrs out of the very people they dehumanized. That is the twisted beauty and irony of bigotry and oppression. It is as irrational as it is evil. It ALWAYS comes back haunt the privileged, the bigots and the oppressors.
The Tables Have Turned
“The majority of whites complaining about Trump aren’t complaining about him because of his bigoted actions. They’re complaining because his bigoted actions are inconveniencing them.”
It’s not random happenstance that blacks and other PoCs have survived over 400 years of oppression in the U.S.
PoCs know their history. It’s one of the main reasons we’ve survived for centuries. We know how to navigate in an oppressive society of racist sociopathic whites. There is nothing the Trump administration can do to PoCs that hasn’t already been done. We know how to weather the storms of a GOP presidency.
Most whites on the other hand, not so much. Now that the wolves are at their gates, the game has changed.
You see before Trump, one wasn’t allowed to voice their opinion about politics in casual conversation. Why? Because it was too taboo and too divisive. Before Trump, whites attempted to qualify that America was a post-racial society when we all knew that was anything but the case.
Make no mistake. The majority of whites complaining about Trump aren’t complaining about him because of his bigoted actions. They’re complaining because his bigoted actions are inconveniencing them. White Americans are outraged at Trump because he isn’t engaging in dog-whistle politics or other forms of veiled gaslighting as most bigots prefer.
Trump has been pretty blatant with his bigotry for the last 9 years. White are only complaining now because only now they’re being adversely affected.
Since the election, there have been countless articles and blog posts and online forum discussions where whites discuss how their mental health and white fragility has been affected by the Trump Regime. Never once have any of them ever bothered to ask what it must be like for PoCs. Of course, the only time whites generally take an interest in our pain is when it can be exploited for entertainment such as the countless slavery films that are greenlit by Hollywood.
Most white Americans are still expecting their white privilege to save them from the Trump administration. However, they refuse to accept the Trump administration is exactly what led to the Trump administration to begin with.
Dr. King was right when he said that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It sets a precedent. It allows systemic societal corruption to take root. Most sociopaths harm and gaslight often just to test the waters. They want to see what they can get away with. Which is why it always starts small. It never starts big. A racial slur here, a fridging of a woman of color in a tv show there. Little vandalism, a hate crime, and then a murder. A dozen murders. Genocide. Before you know it discriminatory and oppressive legislation is passed and before you know it, they’re coming for you in the night. Or in the middle of the day.
At the core of bigotry (be it racism, misogyny, ableism, homophobia, antisemitism, anti-blackness, Islamophobia, etc.) it means some lives matter more than others. The core of white supremacy is that in order for one to rise, it must be at the expense of others. Which is why whenever there’s one ism, others are often present. How many conservative politicians have also been racist, homophobic, and pedophiles? How many mass shooters in the last year have been members of white hate groups?
So, when we as a society are silent and complicit when it comes to calling out police brutality against PoCs, it’s inevitable that oppressors will target Planned Parenthood or the rights of trans people when it comes to using a restroom.
Still don’t believe me? Think about this. Had white America loudly and decisively called out and shut down Trump when he made those racist birth certificate claims nine years ago, it would’ve eliminated any political aspirations.
Instead, well, here we are.
What This All Means
As a child, I used to pray nightly that I would live to see the day when my Native and African ancestors would be avenged. That the nation built on their backs would answer for her crimes. My heart swells with joy that such a reality may very well be a possibility.
To deal with racism and other forms of bigotry on a daily basis means being plagued by depression and despair and the belief that the world will never change. It is vital for the physical and mental health of PoCs to witness this chaos. It is vital for us to be vindicated.
It is just as vital for whites to learn that their actions have consequences. Whether it’s allowing an alleged child rapist to take the Oval Office or turning a blind eye to the ever-increasing hate crimes against PoCs.
Sadly, there can be no progress without struggle.
I do think the Mayans got it right in that an upheaval, a change, a storm, is upon us. Between the economy, the wars, the crumbling systems, and the racial tension, it’s all coming to a head. The pragmatist in me says things are going to get far worse before they get better. Assuming things even improve at all. The old gods are dying but they aren’t going out without a fight.
But just as America nearly crumbling brought us a black president, I am optimistic that the chaos and corruption the Trump administration brings each day will teach the hardest of hearts that institutional white supremacy is just as a detriment to whites as it is people of color.
Trump is the karmic balance that has been long overdue. More often than not, karmic balance (and schadenfreude) is good and even vital for the soul.