The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.

January 3, 2017

http://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury/2016/11/06I went dark on November 9 after enough people voted for an eminently unqualified, racist, misogynist, homo-hating, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, narcissistic, criminal con man and Putin puppet to give him the majority of votes in the electoral college and force those of us who are not white, straight, christianists to live in fear for our lives.

The election results were disappointing, horrifying, nauseating, frightening, outrageous, and disgusting. The one thing they were not, at least for me, is shocking or surprising. I suspect the more marginalized someone is by our society, the less surprised they were by the vote.

Make no mistake, if you voted for Trump, if you stayed home and sat the election out as a protest (or just because you couldn’t be bothered), if you voted for Stein or Johnson or anyone else but Clinton, your actions contributed to people suffering and dying because they are queer, trans, POC, or just can’t afford health care. (No Clinton would not have been worse, she wouldn’t have hired billionaire white supremacists with no experience but plenty of conflicts of interest to run the government or worked to destroy any progress made in reproductive health care and LGBT/POC civil rights or left many of us trying to figure out whether we should flee the country.)

White nationalists emboldened by Trump are thirsting for blood. That blood might be mine, or your gay cousin’s, or the Sikh gentleman’s behind the motel counter whose mistaken for a Muslim, or the African-American boy’s playing in the park, or your neighbor’s who wears a hijab, or your trans co-worker’s. (You didn’t know she was trans? But you insist she should use the men’s restroom?)

As far as I’m concerned, every single person who voted for Trump is a racist bigot. You can say whatever you want about how you voted for him to protect your guns (Clinton wasn’t going to take them away). Or because the economy is in the toilet (it was the best it’s been since Bush destroyed it in ’08). Or because he’ll bring back manufacturing jobs (he can’t, automation has already replaced those jobs even if the factories move back to the U.S. and those jobs he claimed — at the cost of millions from taxpayer– to bring back either were staying anyway or will be used to create further automation). Or because he’s a successful business man (he’s lost more money than he ever made, routinely rips off people he hires as contractors, paid millions to get out of fraud charges against him, etc. etc.). Or because Clinton did whatever (outrageous misogynistic fabricated conspiracy theory) you’ve cited as an excuse not to vote for her. Or whatever other lies he told that you were gullible enough to believe. I do not care what “reason” you give to salve your conscious, you voted for toxic sludge and should be judged by what you did, not what you say.

I’m so very tired of inane statements about the majority of people voting with genuinely good intentions for what they honestly believe is their country’s best interest. The majority of those voters don’t give one rat’s ass for the best interest of the U.S. They deliberately voted to prioritize their straight white cis privileges over basic civil rights for POC, LGBTQ folk, and those who don’t worship their particular brand of consumerist christianism. They didn’t care about the consequences as long as they got what they wanted (and they will be genuinely shocked, blaming anyone but themselves and the man they elected, when they lose their jobs, their homes, their health insurance, and/or their savings and retirement as a result).

I find it more and more difficult to believe that even a small majority of people are genuinely good when so many of them are willing to deprive others of health care, a safe place to live, enough food to eat, a decent education, the ability to earn a fair wage for their work, agency/autonomy over their own bodies, a partner in life, etc.

Trump voters will eventually pay the price for their hubris. Racism is one of the ways the ruling class one percent keeps the poor white working class in line, enabling the rich to turn them into wage slaves while raping the planet, destroying our water supply and making the air impossible to breathe. No matter how bad it gets, at least those wage slaves can believe they’re superior because they’re white, straight christianists.

Racism has always been the primary motivation behind the white nationalism white evangelical movement and remains at its core. The GOP deliberately used the evangelicals to create the noxious atmosphere that allowed Trump to ascend to the White House by pandering to racist, xenophobic, fears of privilege loss.

Wherever you claim to stand on civil rights for women, POC, immigrants, or those who are LGBT, if you facilitated Trump’s election with your vote (or lack of) you are condoning both the violent racist/xenophobic attacks of his followers and your own exploitation at the hands of their billionaire masters. The overt anti-Semites in Germany didn’t enable the Holocaust as much as all those middle class Germans who wanted to Make Germany Great Again and who were willing to overlook their missing neighbors, the broken glass in the streets, the stench from the ovens, and the racist, xenophobic rhetoric. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.

This naziism of America is the result of your sharing fake news, giving racists the benefit of the doubt, avoiding political discussions with family members who actively support venal politicians, staying silent in the face of misogyny.

Now what are you going to do about it (whether you enabled Trump’s election or not)? Will you sit silently with your head down and ignore the slaughter or will you step up to stop the colleague making racist jokes, refuse to allow your relatives to justify their Trump votes, call out the guy yelling at the Mexican-American on the bus to “go home,” video record the white cops harassing an African-American for minding their own business, stand in front of the woman threatened for wearing an expression of her faith? Will you donate and volunteer for organizations fighting for civil rights and reproductive health care? Will you call your Congressional representatives, daily if necessary, to let them know you won’t tolerate evisceration of the Office of Congressional Ethics, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, etc? Will you recruit, support, campaign for, and finance candidates for public office who believe in civil rights for all?

Or will you proceed with your daily life while everything that made America great is destroyed?

I know where I stand. I may have been silent online, but I never stopped fighting. What about you?

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Older Than Her Chronological Age

September 17, 2013

This post originally appeared September 13, 2013 on Truthout’s SpeakOut.

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I find the concept that any underage girl can be culpable in her own rape absolutely disgusting. The damage to the individual girl is deadly, as evidenced by Cherice Moralez, the 16-year-old Montana rape victim (and others) who committed suicide.

The damage to our society from allowing pedophile rapists to get away with this type of thinking, and the impact of victim blaming and slut shaming on our young woman, is incalculable.

Decades ago, a pedophile rapist went free because I was afraid to tell anyone what he tried to do to me. I sincerely believed that it was my fault. I was too young to even know what rape was, but I blamed myself for the predicament in which I found myself.

I didn’t look my age. My first bra, at age nine, was a B cup. My mother had to bring my birth certificate to the movie theater to get me a child’s priced ticket. At 10 I looked 16. At 14 I was buying booze at the local grocery store for my older friends in a state with a 21-year-old minimum drinking age.

I also qualified as “older than my chronological age” in other ways. I learned how to read before I started school. I had no use for the children’s section of the library, but could navigate my way around the adult stacks blindfolded. I had more education, a higher vocabulary, and a better understanding of history, sociology, politics, etc. than those whose physical age I resembled, never mind those just entering their second decade. Anyone told how old I was accused me of lying.

But at 10, I knew nothing about sex. Nothing. I didn’t even know that tab B goes into slot A and I certainly had no comprehension about the emotional impact of sexual contact for a prepubescent (or even an adolescent) child.

Searching for a stray pet, I was lured into a stranger’s house because he lied and said he had a similar animal in his possession. The man pushed me onto a bed and held a pen knife to my throat.

In retrospect, I’m somewhat grateful I didn’t know what was going on. I thought he was trying to kill me. The adrenaline kicked in, as did the muscles acquired from my first year on the swim team. The man had neither the bulk nor the strength to hold down a young, athletic girl in fear for her life.

I ran. And I hid. When I was sure he hadn’t followed me, I found my way home and concealed my emotional trauma from my family. And, I never told a soul what had happened. I had disobeyed the “stranger danger” admonitions delivered by parents and teachers and I feared additional punishment for doing so.

This is what we teach our little girls: that if you make a mistake, if you believe a liar, if you dress the way Madison Avenue encourages you to and something horrible happens to you, it’s your fault.

I do not know if the man went on to rape others. Quite possibly he succeeded the next time he tried. After all, he suffered no consequences from his actions.

I didn’t figure out until years later what had actually occurred that day in a stranger’s house on a rural dirt road leading out of a small Alabama town. Until something triggered my memory of the event, I suppressed it. But, recognizing what that man’s intentions were has become indelibly seared into my psyche.

Even though I no longer blame myself for what happened that day in Alabama, although I have shared this story with a few friends and now with you, I still haven’t told my mother.

I can imagine how horrifying the experience would have been, how violated a 16-year-old girl would have to feel to take her own life rather than face in court the pedophile teacher who defiled her body and her trust. That teacher, Stacey Rambold, should be charged with manslaughter as well as rape, for he is responsible for her death.

Any conversation that portrays Stacey Rambold as anything but a pedophile rapist, that invents the slightest excuse for his despicable behavior, is revolting. Stacey Rambold deserves to rot in jail and suffer the abuse of prisoners who have less regard for child molesters than those in society at large. And rape apologist and pedophile enabler Judge G. Todd Baugh should be removed from the bench immediately and prevented from further victim blaming.