Dear White People...
There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t levied against us – and we’ve paid all of them...the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down. - Jesse Williams, Actor and Activist
Dear White People,
Yes, I'm talking to you. You know you messed up, right? The numbers are in and this, right here, is your fault. You created a monster; let the fox in the hen house and, now, it's on you to fix it. I know you aren't quite accustomed to this level of directness. But, that's okay because, over the next four years, you'll get used to it.
Let me get right to it. I kinda expected this from white men. When President Obama took the oath of office on January 20, 2009, plenty of you lost your damn minds and, for nearly eight years, you've been terrified of also losing complete control of life as you know it. Individually and collectively, you've feared the idea of total obsolescence. Except, you still hold most political offices, run most Fortune 500 companies, make more money than your female and non-white counterparts for the same work, etc. In theory, NOTHING changed other than the First Family (and your newfound desire to exhibit uncharacteristically high levels of keyboard courage on social media platforms). But, clearly, the First Family was too much for you to handle, so you came out in droves for Donald J. Trump. According to exit polls, sixty three percent (63%) of white men who voted cast their ballot in favor of Trump. He is, after all, one of you - even if he is a real estate investor turned reality TV personality with absolutely no political experience and a boatload of questionable business practices. That is, if you look at his tax ret...oh, wait, we never saw those.
What I can't quite understand, though, is what the hell happened to white women? Over the past few days, I've been asking myself one question: "With all that Trump has done and said, what WOULD it have taken for white women to disavow their support for him?" Listen, I am not implying that, because Hillary Clinton is a white woman, she was entitled to white women's votes. But, my goodness. Fifty-two percent (52%) of white women voters did so for Trump. 52%! I refuse to believe that your loyalty to him was because of her deleted emails. Sure, plenty of people will say, "You shouldn't vote for her just because you're a woman." But, really, do you know how many people did not vote for her for that very reason?
And, yeah, Clinton pulled fewer Latina/o voters than anticipated and fewer African Americans got out to vote at all. I get it. Although Black men weren't quite as sold on Clinton, only 13% of them threw their support behind "The Donald". Regardless, this ain't on minorities - especially not BLACK WOMEN.
Sans Diamond, Silk and Omarosa, black women showed up and showed out for Hillary Rodham Clinton. According to some exit polls, of those of us who voted, a full 93% of us delivered the vote for her. Literally, that is almost all of us...except for Trump's aforementioned "African Americans". Now, listen, I'm not suggesting that we loved everything about Clinton. I certainly did not. But, this election was far too important to have thrown your support behind a candidate based solely on one or two issues. If you made a side-by-side comparison, the way I saw it (and clearly most Americans, if you consider the popular vote), she was far more qualified than her competitor. Plus, the GOP didn't even deem Trump fit for high office! If Clinton were a white man, I have no doubt that she would have beaten Trump and, if Trump were a Black man, I have no doubt that he wouldn't have made it past the primaries.
So, here's the deal. There is more than enough blame to go around. The media (run by y'all, might I add). Elitism. Low voter turnout. Clinton's campaign management. Clinton's hubris. The DNC. Donna Brazile. The woes of Middle Americans. (Michael Moore talks all about that on "Morning Joe".) However, on behalf of "The Blacks", Trump's ever-so-articulate, over-arching description of Americans of African descent, I'm not accepting responsibility for this calamity. As such, I'm also unable to extend the olive branch that every minority group that has been disparaged, disrespected and discriminated against BY Trump and the Republican establishment is now being asked to extend TO Trump and the Republican establishment.
Somehow, Trump and the GOP have been afflicted by a rare case of amnesia. They have managed to forget when John Boehner, former Speaker of the House, said, "We're going to do everything - and I mean everything we can do - to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can." Not to be outdone, his pal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell added, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Oh yes, if there were an award for obstruction, Congressional Republicans would have won it. But, if they need to be reminded of the sort of hate that their antics stirred up - antics that Trump took to the nth degree, emboldening some of the ugliest and most deplorable segments of the populace - they need only check social media or the comments of their favorite news sites.
Dear white people, on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, you opened the hell out of Pandora's Box and, this time, we're not closing it. For nearly eight years, we've been trying to tell you that President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama are a very special kind of Godly people. When many of you have gone low, they have gone high. Unfortunately, though, as you can see from this post and the protests occurring across the nation, we aren't all cut from that extremely rare cloth dipped in holy water. Oh no! We are not. And, attacking women wearing their hijab, assaulting gay men outside of bars, vandalizing churches and other properties, and/or referring to people by racial epithets are officially outside of your allowable realms of foolishness. I, therefore, declare it CLAPBACK SEASON; thus, we are no longer TOLERATING YOUR MESS.
The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. We are not to blame for this travesty and many of us are currently unavailable to help ease racial tensions in America. Tensions that too many of you were completely disinterested in easing less than a week ago. Yes, we will stand up for what is right but, no, we will not absolve you of your responsibility in all of this. Now, some of us will forgive and forget; turn the other cheek; pray for you, Trump and the leaders of this great nation. But, many of us are tired of the BS and simply have no more f*cks to give - much less an olive branch. We are putting this burden back on your shoulders and imploring you to fix it, if you care anything about your Black, Jewish, Muslim, Mexican, disabled and women friends who were deeply hurt, physically harmed and/or thoroughly insulted by Trump, his supporters and the GOP.
After the inauguration, perhaps, we can sing "Kumbaya" at our Come to Jesus meeting. But, until then, please let us work through our feelings and figure out how to live peacefully with those of you who thought it a good idea to elect Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of these United States...and have the audacity to gloat about it, thereafter.
CJ (on behalf of members of "The Black Delegation")