Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pumpkin Spite Latte

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

If someone is not nice to those who serve them, they are just not nice.  Ordering your drink at Starbucks as"Trump" is a way to tell a barista, "I own your ass,"  while enriching the corporation that employs them.  

On the one hand, I like how ineffective it is at hurting Starbucks' bottom line.  On the other, it's a meme meant to humiliate people in the service industry.  Maybe if I wind up in  Starbucks I'll say my name is Miranda, as a nod to the patron saint of no-nonsense niceness Lin-Manuel.  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Skeptical but Hopeful on Infrastructure

Donald Trump has a long record of graft in his real estate dealings, so his push for infrastructure improvement feels not-so-altruistic to me.  This is the area where he's confident that he's got everyone outsmarted, but there's a lot more scrutiny on this than he's ever had.  This is an important problem that needs to be treated seriously, and I'm going to have to have faith that checks and balances will keep it from being a boondoggle.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Am I The Only One Trying To Have a Society Here?

I honestly believe that most Trump voters don't really care about race.  That's a double-edged sword, because it doesn't take being a Klan member to be a part of the problem (or as some people say, "racist.").  Often you don't care about race because you're white, and race is something for liberal crybabies to scream about.  It may not be our fault that America's systematically racist in many ways, but as Americans, it is our responsibility to stop it.

I am jumpy about white supremacy's footholds in the White House (not to mention truly ashamed).  Donald Trump doesn't strike me as a guy who truly hates people of color - he seems like a guy who will use racism as a tool when it helps him out.  I hated it when Clinton did it, but she seemed to regain the trust of people of color in the interim, so I followed their lead.

I loved Patrick Thornton's piece on how isolated rural America can be.  I identified with it strongly.  My childhood was spent in a notoriously-white area.  The general etiquette about race was not to mention it ever, since we're all colorblind.  To learn racial slurs, I had to read them in books.  I didn't want to be grouped in with the Aryan Nations just because I grew up close to them.  I know a vanishingly-small number of people of color very well, and it's not because I avoid people who don't look like me.  This all amounts to me being passively racist.

I realized that mass incarceration and the achievement and wage gaps between races in America are problems that are being maintained by a racist system that needs to end, and colorblindness has no effect on those problems, so it's not good enough.

It's not just in my libtard imagination that nonwhite votes are suppressed.  Maybe that's not enough overt racism to convince you that you have a responsibility to act, but that's the half-assed attitude that kept me safely self-respecting in my white bubble 50 miles from the Aryan Nations compound.

I trust the instincts of oppressed people more than I do the white guys who are telling them to calm down.  It's not possible to really get into the feel of moments in history when things went bad, but I think it would behoove us all to be slightly paranoid about things looking eerily similar.  We still haven't really answered the question of how any number of human atrocities happened, so it's not safe to assume that we're safeguarded against doing it again.  Maybe the PC culture is a pain, but that's a price I'm willing to pay.  The way this campaign ran, I think it's safe to say that Trump's ideology vacuum was left open for exploitation by white supremacists.  He said things that were racist enough that the alt-right felt welcome and validated, and moved right into his organization.

It reminds me a lot of hostile responses to Black Lives Matter.  Being a police officer must be challenging, but if the people who do it aren't up to that challenge, they should quit.  Same goes for the people trying to make a fair and equitable society.  If they can't see the problem with the hateful rhetoric in this campaign, they haven't done their due diligence.

If this all seems imprecise, that's because it is.  I'm sticking with the methods that have worked and working against the ones that have failed.  Maybe we're seeing some returns diminish on some methods, but I don't have the perspective to really tell.  In that case, I like to keep it simple.

We can't prevent people from exploiting their power over others, but we can try and empower everyone so that it's a fair fight.  I am allowed to vote, but that can be taken away.  I'm not allowed to assault anyone, but I still might have the power and inclination to do it.  Donald Trump has shown no interest in maintaining a fair society, and that's why this is scary.  In fact, his whole persona consists of exploiting his power over others.    That can be a fun fantasy once in a while, but it's not an ethos a free society can glorify.