There's Some Half-Assed Hope At The End

« November 2015 »

Memo to Donald Trump: WELL, THAT SUMS IT UP NICELY.

American society and politics, 2015. We're in the middle of an overlong process to pick the next President, we're in the midst of a xenophobic outbreak in the wake of the Paris attacks, and protests over the police killings uf unarmed black men continue across the country. The country is super-saturated with awfulness, and it only takes a tiny mote to make the whole thing crystallize into a perfect moment of awful.

So Donald Trump, because of course it was Donald Trump, was in Birmingham, Alabama, because of course it was Alabama. He was speaking to what was probably most of the white people in Birmingham when Black Lives Matter activist named Mercutio Southall Jr. started to disrupt the event by chanting "Black Lives Matter" during Trump's appearance.

What happens next depends largely on who you ask. A physical altercation ensued. At best, "a physical altercation ensued". At worst, a bunch of people punched, choked, and kicked Southall Jr. while calling him "monkey' and "nigger". There is no video of the start of the fight. Southall Jr. was escorted out. But a plurality of sources as reliable and serious as you can find in modern journalism seeom to express a consensus that a bunch of white people were beating up on the black dude.

Now, under normal circumstances, a hate crime breaking out at a political candidate's rally would be a problem. He would, at the very least, have to denounce it post facto, possibly explain how it could have happened, and maybe, just maybe, have to dance around how his campaign-long history of support from and dog-whistles to Americal's white-supremacist and white-supremacist-sympathizing communities may have contributed to an atmosphere in which a bunch of white supporters felt it was OK to physically and verbally assault a person of color because he was shouting.

But, of course, these are not normal circumstances. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I will tell you that the man that was -- was I don't know you say roughed up, he was so obnoxious and so loud, he was screaming. I had 10,000 people in the room yesterday, 10,000 people, and this guy started screaming by himself and they -- I don't know, rough up, he should have been -- maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. This was not handled the way Bernie Sanders handled his problem, I will tell you, but I have a lot of fans and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy, who was a troublemaker, was looking to make trouble, but I didn't get to see the event."

If that sounds familiar, it's because you've been paying attention. Michael Brown shot by the cops? Well, maybe he should have been. I mean, he was stealing cigars. Tamir Rice shot by the cops? Well, maybe he should have been, because he was playing with a toy gun. Trayvon Martin shot in the street? Well, maybe he should have been, he was wearing a hoodie.

And now, the Republican frontrunner for president is basically running on the platform of a racist USA Today comment troll, telling Americans of color "hey, if you don't want your ass kicked by my rabid, hate-filled supporters, don't show up making noise. Because if you're obnoxious and loud and black, we'll just take the law into our own hands and rough you up before the authorities can do anything and that's OK."

But hey, at least he didn't cede the podium like that pussy Bernie Sanders. That's what really matters.

If there's any consolation, it's that David Vitter is once again out of a job. Vitter lost his runoff election in Louisiana despite a late surge and a desperate attempt to exploit the irrational fear of Syrian refugees to overcome his opponent constantly reminding everyone about Vitter's prostitution scandal. So white supremacy's sway over the electorate isn't as powerful as it is in the Republican primary.