It’s a terrible, terrible thing what’s going on with hate in this country, said the hate-filled man who spreads it daily.
We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t have to specify whom.
Suffice it to say you want him as far away as possible in the aftermath of the largest attack on a Jewish synagogue in U.S. history. If only in respect for the 11 dead worshippers and their families, as well as for the six members of the police force shot trying to save them.
Sadly, this is impossible when he occupies the most powerful bully pulpit in the land.
Oh, and for the record, blackface was not okay when Megyn Kelly was a kid. In much the same way race baiting tweets are no-no’s today. At least for some people.
She might have thought so because she was a kid in the eighties, a time when lots of people adopted tone-deaf insensitivity as their overpowering scent. The greed is good mantra/catchphrase of Oliver Stone’s fictional antihero/villain, Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko, was their guiding North Star and it extended to far more than money.
And luckily, we’ve gotten soooo beyond that.
People nowadays remember the eighties quite nostalgically. They quickly, very quickly, get all Goonies on you. Soon after they might start singing the Ghostbusters theme or even begin quizzing you on who your favorite Back to the Future character is.
I didn’t have a favorite character from that particular film, nor did I think a bunch of guys pretending to kill ghosts or a group of kids fighting special effects thingies were particularly amusing at the time.
That is because back in the eighties, when I wasn’t tripping over homeless people in the street or watching many of my contemporaries being wiped out by the AIDS epidemic, I was marveling at how a second-rate actor clearly in over his head pretended to be president for eight years. And to such acclaim by so vociferous of a base.
This isn’t meant to be political. Seriously, I didn’t get it. Because if you look at Ronald Reagan’s old movies they were truly not very good. It was the same watching his TV performances as president. Bad Hollywood dialogue he didn’t write delivered with the faux sincerity of a television pitchman, which was what he was before he slid into California’s governor’s mansion and later the White House.
To this day it’s a wonder to me and to my friends how it happened. So put that in your pot pipe and inhale before you dismiss the crazies in 2018.
One might say my friends and I hold a very niche minority opinion on Mr. Reagan and that the 1980s are not the twenty-teens. But anyone who says that clearly didn’t bear witness to that president committing passive genocide daily in the eight years he was in office against thousands in the gay community, dozens of whom were my friends and several of whom were former lovers. Our then president’s refusal to take the lead as the leader of the free world in a clearly growing pandemic because it primarily affected a minority group outside his base, (Note: Not to mention, one they didn’t care for), or to vaguely step up or, to even do anything meaningful at all on the issue ever, is a matter of public record. And as such, it is irrefutable.
I know this because I’ve silenced many a room over the decades that were singing his praises by staring coldly at anything human in my eye line and proclaiming in my most non-hysterical, deepest and resolute voice:
DO NOT TALK TO A GAY MAN OF A CERTAIN AGE ABOUT THE VIRTUES OF RONALD REAGAN. DO NOT. I WAS THERE.
The same will be said about Donald J. Trump one day, but not only by gay men. It will be said by African-Americans, by Mexicans, and by any person of color vaguely paying attention. It will also be voiced by the disabled, by the sick, by the uninsured and by all those who like to drink clean water or breathe fresh air.
It will particularly be voiced by women, who, by then, will likely outnumber the men in leadership roles. Assuming, that is, we are still united enough to lead and there are enough of us left.
One supposes this depends on how far off that said future is and how fatalistic one chooses to be.
A president doesn’t need to personally fire a gun or inject someone with a virus in order to be held responsible for presiding over the mass carnage left in the wake of domestic terrorism or disease.
When you are the person at the top, the place where the buck stops, it is enough to fan the flames of hate against particular minority groups or political foes from the opposite end of the spectrum and then watch in faux horror as the chips fall where they may. In that sense nothing has changed since the 1980s, though ads featuring Black Welfare Queens seem almost quaint in comparison to today’s not so passive presidential endorsement of white nationalism and the KKK rallies from which they draw (Note: Drew?) their power.
It is infuriating, as a gay Jewish man of a certain age, to have to once again bear witness to a U.S. president who offers nothing but insincere hollow platitudes and a crystal clear lack of intent to do ANYTHING AT ALL to stem the tides of hate. One hopes it is equally infuriating to those of any heritage or sexual persuasion at any age.
Still, what makes it worse this time is that the platitudes offered don’t even attempt to be soothing. Instead, they are tinged with threats of law and order violence and a recommendation for more guns, along with a promise of capital punishment retribution.
And that’s on the day that it happened, before we’ve buried even one of the 11 latest bodies we’ve yet to mourn.
It’s unclear where we go from here when almost half the country doesn’t understand what the big deal is in supporting a TV host who thinks Blackface isn’t any big deal. But certainly let’s not go back to the 1980s, or the 1950s, for that matter.
Huey Lewis – “The Power of Love”