I’ll get this out of the way early and type that if not for being a white man, Trump could never get away with acting like an unhinged, uninformed, deranged, ignorant hyena. He would have long ago been medicated and caged. And as obvious as that sounds to most of us, I am still going to let it linger for a minute, because that is what ALL of this about. It is what it has ALWAYS been about.
Dirty, white privilege.
The one thing — the ONLY thing — Trump can take any credit for during this heinous, two-year assault on the world is enabling millions of cockroaches to crawl out of their sewers and spread their disease in the full light of day. We now know for certain they were there all along biding their time waiting for a creepy, blunt object with a nuclear-powered dog whistle to send the alert freeing them from their soft, gooey lairs. How frustrating it must have been for them under Obama, one bloodshot eye peering at the majority of America getting served justice, the other focused on Fox News reminding them every hour how unfairly they were being treated. Oh, the misery of waking up each day as the rest of the country they claimed to love so much was progressively getting on with solving the real problems of the generation — equal rights, the environment, healthcare for all, and so on.
Then with an awful gust, along came Trump and just like that they no longer had to cower or hide in their dark corners for fear of being stomped out, because they were about to be lifted upon a pedestal for all to see. They were everywhere — Wisconsin, New Jersey and Montana … New York, Florida and Tennessee … An infestation had been given wings and taken flight thanks to the dark, disgusting thing.
I was one of millions who were horrified yet again when the hyena visited a three-ring circus in Mississippi Tuesday night and eagerly threw his feces at Dr. Blasey Ford. He was cheered for it. Let me type that again: He was cheered for it. A woman who was held down while two drunken, ugly men tried to rape her was mocked by the President of the United States with the encouragement of men, women and children in the audience.
In some small way, I was actually relieved at my ability to still be so easily repulsed, because we all know normalizing this hideous behavior means a certain end. So I went to bed furious and woke up madder yet.
When I posted of my anger here and there across the social-media spectrum Wednesday morning, it was explained to me that the hyena was simply “playing to his base.” Setting aside the insanely sick implications of that, it occurred to me that it was somehow far, far worse — he actually gets off on this behavior. While there might be some sick political calculations to his venomous slop, the real truth is, it fuels him. It drives him. It is what he is at his dark, sick core. He needs this. Even better? It provides sustenance to the cockroaches in his base, who also yearn for this bile. They thrive in the thick, sweltering heat they are putting on our democracy.
With that horrid backdrop, I type to you as an aging, white man who has been thinking hard over these past two years about what it means to be under assault for no other reason than your sex or color. I was raised in the 60s and 70s and lived in a town that went through the riots and saw our downtown burn. I saw my mother grieve the night Martin Luther King was gunned down. I was taught all lives matter. But I was a white boy who grew into a man in the most forgiving and fertile environmental conditions in the world. I coasted along on top of the wave and was never thrown under it. Sure, I had some cloudy, dark days, but knew the sun would always return no matter what.
Until it didn’t.
As mentally and physically ill as I am from this assault on the senses as a 50-something white guy, I cannot begin to calculate how our women must feel about all of it. The best among us, taking the brunt from the least among us. My-God …
We now have a man who calls himself a president but acts the part of an abusive, lewd lounge act treating women like so many other meaningless objects he’s spit on and broken during his miserable life. He’s a real hit and sells out all the dive joints in our nation’s broken down and confused heartland. Worse, he’s dog-whistling to me, the old white guy. Thing is, all I hear is noise and venom. I have my mother to thank for that.