This January has been possibly the longest month of my adult life. He Who Must Not Be Named (I have publicly denounced referring to him as President T****) has restored chaos and mayhem to the ministry and Death Eaters are running amuck all over Hogwarts (I do apologize to those readers who are not Harry Potter fans for taking this metaphor much further than originally intended). At any rate, it has been a really stressful January because every single time I catch a snippet of news or open any social media app, I am bombarded with news of some fresh hell that the Grabber-In-Chief is unleashing on the American people. We have read about executive orders, totally unqualified cabinet selections, and completely unjust terminations of those with the audacity to stand up to Twitler.
We have seen press conferences in which it seems the main objective is to bolster President Urinator’s delusions of grandeur (which are already pretty severe). We have been introduced to the concept of “alternative facts.” We have seen innocent women and children detained in airports for no reason at all. In short, we have been introduced to the beginning of an Orwellian, dystopian nightmare. And, at press time, we are a mere 10 days into said nightmare. However, we have also been introduced to something else.
We’ve been introduced to one of the largest displays of solidarity in our nation’s history, in the form of women’s marches worldwide the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.
We have seen immigration lawyers working overtime pro bono to assist the aforementioned airport detainees. We have seen members of our very own government placing their careers at risk by speaking up for what’s right for the American people.
We have seen foreign heads of state speaking out against the human rights violations that are either happening, or are currently being orchestrated.
We have seen countless internet memes using humor to mitigate the terror, anxiety, depression, and rage that we progressives are feeling.
We are not allowing the current cloud of terror and confusion to become normal.
We are, to borrow a term from the Black Twitter lexicon, WOKE. We are unified, we are righteously indignant, we are resisting, we are passionate, we is kind, we is smart, we is important, and we are not afraid to make sure that 45 and his cronies know that.
We are not willing to sit idly by and just allow egregious injustices occur around us. If Trump has done anything to “make America great again” (*insert audible eye roll here*) it has been to unite people of varying races, religions, political affiliations, sexual orientations, gender, and a myriad of other demographics to resist the serious social injustices that President Tiny Hands is attempting to execute.
This has given me a great hope in the midst of an incredible turbulent time. This is the time for my fellow Millennials and me to show the world exactly what we are made of. I do believe that we are on the precipice of a great and terrifying moment in our nation’s history. As a gay black man, I do have something of a personal stake in this. Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is an advocate for the national implementation of the racially-driven “stop and frisk” tactic used by the NYPD. Vice President Mike Pence is an advocate for conversion therapy and the legal persecution of adults that practice consensual same sex behavior in their own homes. However, as a middle class, educated man with a clean criminal background (and ZERO relationship prospects *sigh*), I am less worried about how this administration will affect me personally. I am much more concerned with how this will affect immigrants (particularly those of Middle Eastern or Mexican descent), women, people living in poverty, and children. I am concerned because this presidency will negatively impact innocent human beings. I am concerned because much of the progress that was made over the past 8 years is being threatened. I am concerned I have never seen open bigotry be as socially acceptable as it seems to be right now. I am concerned because America has never truly been great for all of its inhabitants, but instead of being able to progress to the point of having long overdue conversations about covert ways in which America isn’t great, we are having to roll back the clock to engage in fights that should have been settled decades ago. How can we have conversations about cultural appropriation when our current President tacitly accepted the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan? How can we have conversations about rape culture when our sitting President is on record making explicit and braggadocios comments about sexually harassing a married women (while he himself was married)? How can we have conversations about homophobia when we have a Vice President that still believes in conversion therapy (a practice that has been disavowed by the majority of the scientific community as being both ineffective and traumatizing)? How can we have conversations about the uneven distribution of privilege and power in this country when the epitome of undeserved privilege and power is sitting in the nation’s highest office? I don’t have the answers, but I am hopeful that we progressives will continue to seek it. I am also hopeful that we will seek those answers while continuing to fight Trump’s objectives at every opportunity. I am hopeful that we will commiserate when People of Color express frustration at the relative lack of support the Black Lives Matter movement has received in comparison to that of the women’s march or the resistance to Trump’s immigration ban, while not abandoning efforts in those movements. I am hopeful that the LGBTQIA community will fight not to have our freshly given constitutional right to marriage rescinded, while also address the problematic and toxic “no fats, no femmes, no blacks/Asians/Latinos etc.” disclaimers on our Grindr profiles. I am hopeful that the left will unify and take back Congress in 2018, and the White House in 2018. And I am hopeful that we won’t succumb to nuclear war in the meantime. I am mélange of contradictory emotions, but I do know that we are ALL in this together, and we should behave accordingly.
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