About a year ago I made the decision to stop re-posting or responding to political posts on Facebook because most of the time it was a fruitless waste of energy. After spending hours tapping out responses and crying over hurtful words, I realized that my energy could be used towards actually doing something about all of the hate in the world, so I made some personal changes in lieu of getting into arguments with strangers on the Internet.
But sometimes, a whopper comes along that blows my mind and hits me in the gut and I cannot stop thinking about the blatant ignorance behind a statement like the one I found on my news feed last week,
“Wow I can’t believe people are so disrespectful about our president of the United States. When is it ever ok to disrespect the president whether u like him or not … I know people wouldn’t have done when Obama was president.”
The first and most obvious thing I have to address here is that yes, actually, my dear, people did worse than disrespect Obama when he won the presidency in 2008. The opposition lynched black mannequins and burned crosses a la the KKK. A stark contrast to the peaceful and empowering women’s march that took place on inauguration day 2017. This is one of the glaring examples that racism is still alive and well in America.
The other thing about this post that gets to me is the fact that people still aren’t “getting it.” Someone responded with, “That’s what political people do.”
No, this isn’t what “political” people do. Politics always has been and probably always will be ugly business. But when it comes to the current administration, our lack of respect isn’t because of his politics. It’s because he is a deplorable human being. His antics would have gotten him fired from a job at Wal-Mart, yet somehow he’s managed to rise to the highest and most powerful position on the planet. Which is another example proving that racism still runs rampant. If Obama (or any black or brown man) did the things that trump did before, during, and after his campaign, people would be demanding his head on a stake. And this is what prompted me to write the following response to aforementioned post,
“Most people did not like Obama because he’s black, he has a “funny sounding” name, and he may or may not be Muslim. None of these things have anything to do with his character or his ability to run a country.
I did not like George W. Bush’s politics, but I respected him as a man and as a president because he had experience, a sense of decorum, and, in general, our country’s best interest at heart.
When it comes to trump, I cannot and will not respect someone who sexually assaults women, mocks the disabled, regularly uses racial slurs, and puts our country in danger by bullying other countries like the biggest kid on the playground.
The differences here are profound. This is no longer about politics. It’s about basic human decency.”
And to anyone who still cannot see this – please, I beg you – open your eyes. Open your mind. Open your heart.
Author’s note: My failure to capitalize the “T” in trump is not an error. As a writer, I sometimes take artistic liberties to reflect my feelings or make a point. Typically a letter is capitalized to denote a proper name. And since there is nothing proper about 45, the first letter of his name deserves no capitalization in my book.