… So, that happened.
Saturday, it was all Anger. Anger, to the point of distraction. I sought out friends to make me laugh. Then, I went home. Saw my husband and cried in his arms.
Sunday was mostly despair. Cause, it’s like… “We did this already. Wars were fought to stop this mess and it’s coming back again? WHY?!”
This should be easy. “Race is a social construct.” The idea that different races must be segregated, sorted by class, etc. is based on something completely irrational.
So, if this was already done before and there was a massive war over it and there were conditions of surrender, why are we back here again?
Because, you can only kill a man. You can never kill an idea.
Yet, there have been books and essays and studies over the years, supporting outrageous theories that anyone who isn’t “White” should be considered mentally, genetically, psychologically inferior. These hypotheses have been used to justify all manner of torture, exploitation and human indecency they could muster. So, I suppose most of this is in response to people of color advancing into positions of authority and making those arguments look real flimsy. But, we shouldn’t be shocked. America is not new at this oppressing thing.
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
Oh, yeah. And they literally tried to enact laws, prohibiting the issue of licenses, coercing workers into boycotting their businesses, restricting white women from patronizing their restaurants. All in the name of protecting their delicate white virtues. Or, maybe because they felt threatened that Chinese restaurants were offering great food at a better price than themselves and they were determined to do anything to stop their prosperity. Like, anything. And, they did it over and over again.
And, I suppose you could maybe excuse it if they had restricted these acts of oppression to just one race, for a limited time, then seen the error of their ways? But, oh no. Italian immigrants got their turn, too.
And, of course, there have been laws and riots enacted specifically against Jewish people and Black folks. And, the reasons laid out for these actions have ranged from economic anxiety to rise in unemployment, eugenics, miscegenation, you name it.
But, from all of these incidents, one thing keeps popping out at me: fear. Fear is the only one of these excuses that actually exists. Fear that they are no longer the dominant race in this country.
THAT’S IT! That is all this boils down to. Fear that someone else gets to push them around.
I read that there were chants of You, or possibly Jew “will not replace us”? I’m still not clear on which one it was. Perhaps it was both. But, this is what happens each and every time. Someone other than a white guy is put in charge or grows prosperous, and the response has been the same throughout American history. “No one is allowed to do better than ME!”
With every step toward progress and a more equitable society, there comes with it an uptick of the majority settling into a panic. A panic that soon and very soon, they won’t be the majority anymore.
And that, I think, is the fear that grips them the most. That if they don’t use legislation to suppress the successes of minorities and if they don’t use voter suppression (voter ID, literacy laws, grandfather clause, what have you) to keep a tight lid on the system that has worked in their favor for centuries and if they don’t use fear and force to make the world respect their authoritah, they will finally be on the other end of that minority story. They are afraid that we will treat them the way they have treated us, and that scares the Hell out of them.
I’m not even going to mention the Squatter in the White House. I refuse. He is a symptom. Not the cause. Oh, don’t get me wrong. He gets PLENTY of blame. He’s been cultivating this environment for at least 2 years now. But, this behavior was around long before he ever showed up and sadly, it will come back around long after he is gone.
This is a case of history literally repeating itself. So, I’m putting this down as a little reminder. Because, this crap is exhausting. For the last time…
We don’t want to replace you.
We want you to stop stepping on our necks.