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Non-fiction

On the Upcoming US Presidential Inauguration

There are days when this is my situation:

Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge / I’m trying not to lose my head / It’s like a jungle sometimes / It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under…

The reactions to the current US presidential incoming have kept me wanting to put this song’s lyrics on repeat.

Don’t push me …

It has taken just about everything I have to remain civil and I am sure those who disagree with me feel similarly. I have stopped following and ‘unfriended’ a few people in SML (Social Media Land) because I came to realize that we are actually on opposite sides of the ideological cookie. There are memes out there about the problems with this particular candidate — his stance on all humanity besides himself is, to say the least, skewed. And there are goo-gobs of folks out there who think he’s the Great White Hope.

Yeah, I said it.

Don’t push me …

Let me clarify: I don’t only mean that he’s the real image of hope for some who identify in a certain ethnic stratum of the US population, although that is part of it. There are people who had 29 fits when the current outgoing president was elected. For the first time.

Don’t even say a word about his getting elected a second time.

So-called good Christian folk lost their collective lunches because a man from the Global Majority got elected to the highest office in the land. The most outlandish efforts were made to discredit him — fingers and toes were pointed, not at his politics, education, or abilities, but at his nationality (as the head on the pimple — the other stuff was questioned as well). From those so-called good Christian folk came suggestions that the currently outgoing prez was an anti-Christ, a devil, the worst thing ever for this country, and on and on. When asked by people like me, a Black woman, why this was so, those good folk sputtered and puttered, never coming out with it. Never wanting to say to someone like me that they had no time for a member of the Global Majority in power in their country.

I heard more bemoaning from those I know who belong to this particular ethnic group than I heard from the Global Majority; granted, much of what I heard from the GM did little to make me feel better either because there were many who were just happy that ‘a Black man was in office’. Quite a few spoke against him because they wanted ‘a woman in office’. There was some of that talk this go as well — the excitement over a possibility for the first woman in office.

Whatever.

Don’t push me …

It was historic, Prez-O’s time in the White House. Not because of what he did but because of who he is. Many spoke about the next possible historic moment if the Hills had won … first woman Prez and all.

Can you tell I wasn’t any more fond of her than I am of The Don?

Not as big a conundrum as some seem to think. Guess what? There’s more than a two-party system in the US — we had other options and despite the outcry, those of us who exercised our right to vote for one of the other candidates did not water down the pool, we are not a group of unpatriotic hippie liberal commies, or any of the other zillion monikers that were offered to account for the ‘problem of the election’.

I’ve got a problem with the incoming Prez because he has said some incredibly offensive things. Leave us rewind to his point about Mexican people being criminals and so forth. Leave us rewind to his comment during the campaign: ‘Where is my African American?’

His ‘othering’ is infuriating for those of us who fall into the category.

I will admit that my fury has, Incredible Hulkette-like, morphed into a sadistic pleasure at cracking jokes about The Don. I used Twitterish posts to comment throughout the debates and the most recent press conference.

In other words, I crack myself up. But what happened to voting FOR a candidate instead of AGAINST one? What happened to paying attention to what a candidate says, what his or her record has been, and what the candidate says he or she plans to do if elected? Oh, I forgot — thinking is now overrated. It’s something we aren’t supposed to do. Has the collective human attention span been turned into the mental equivalent of a short series of characters on a screen?

But I digress from the title of this post. So back to it.

There seems to be a social media movement to boycott the inauguration.

I get it. I really do!

There are a number of marches planned across the nation in response to the horror show that is about to take over the US gubmint. That’s good organizing right there.

However, I do not have the luxury of being able to take the day off to march in solidarity with those who stand against the ignorant ravings of this new administration. Full disclosure — I haven’t done a ton of research on the organized events, but the bits that I’ve seen suggest these are marches organized by and for women. Not that there is a thing wrong with that.

If there was a Global Majority march, I might play hookie from work. A march including conscious people from across the diaspora (Chicano/a, Latino/a, Asiatic, Black, European, Indigenous)? Yeah, I would certainly do my best to be up in there if one were close by.

I am not dissing a women’s movement, but I have a different focus just now. One that is bigger than aligning only with gender … Please forgive me if I’ve narrowed the effort down improperly.

I plan to watch the inauguration, just like I’ve watched the debates and The Don’s press conference.

I need to know what is going on.

I need to see it with my own eyes.

Will I clown it?

Yep — with great glee, I suppose.

And because this post will be shared on my other social media spots, let me say this:

Don’t push me …

Before any of my Republican-leaning or sold-out Republican friends and followers who are still connected to me via social media offer their dismay, upset, or anger at my (minimal) skewering of The Don, let me ask:

  • What did you say in the privacy of your homes, offices, or to your like-minded friends and colleagues about the outgoing prez?
  • Did you snicker at the memes that called him an ape?
  • Did you nod at the suggestions that Mrs. Prez was actually a man?

There were still others about both Prez and Mrs. Prez that I didn’t see because in truth, I have better things to do than look for negative crap about any candidate, The Don included (added note — the ones about The Don that I share are those that pop up in my feed and trust me, I don’t share them all).

  • Did you share any of those memes or posts, just as a gag?
  • Do you still?

Yeah, all that.

Before you get all flustered at my negative stance on the incoming, ask yourself why my upset causes anger in you.

Before you do that though, how about you ask me why I wasn’t as negative about the outgoing. Do you think it’s because he was part of the Global Majority, that I am down for the Black man?

C’mon — ask me.

No? I’ll tell you anyhow.

I hadn’t even heard of the man until right before he ran for office. My late husband had asked me if I’d heard of this Obama person. I had no idea who he was talking about. See, at that time, I was commuting like a fiend, working a full-time gig outside the house, trying to make a good life for my household as the primary breadwinner; my husband was not in the best of health and had not been able to work since about 2004 or so. He contributed financially to the house as much as he could but retirement income is not enough for most individuals to live on, much less a family.

Anyway, I hadn’t heard of Prez-O.

One day, my former hubby pulled me in to hear a speech by this Obama. He was eloquent but more than that, what he said made sense.

Did I believe all of it?

Of course not. No politician in the history of politics has been able to do all the stuff they say during those speeches.

They are like highly polished used car salespeople (no offense to those of you who make a living in that area, but even you know what I’m saying).

The administrations prior to the outgoing’s had not made my life any easier and I wasn’t expecting him to do it, either.

Note — it’s not a president’s job to make my life easier. Yes, our highest government officials work for us. It is part of their duty to aim to make the nation an equitable place. However, we all know how equitable the US has been, with its bloody past and present (ask any socially-conscious indigenous person or descendant of mainland slaves). Yet, as people of the Global Majority in the US, we have fought and died for equity. In many areas, we do not earn the same and are not considered for jobs, loans, and the like, but we continue to fight.

It is true that this country was built on indigenous and slave blood.

It is true that it was built on immigrant blood.

Many of those who are down for The Don try to placate those of us who share this point about social equity by touting the diverse history of their families. I am not doubting that it is so — the US is a country of mongrels … there is no such thing as a ‘pure’ anyone, anywhere. However, it is also a country of crabs: this group sees itself as better than that group because of economic standing, race/ethnicity, or whatever. In truth, I would venture to say that many fans of The Don (and I include those who say things like, ‘We need to just give him a chance’ — I have no choice but to give him a chance because he’s going into office. Yet, I don’t have to be silent, to pretend I agree with him. Do not expect me to do that) don’t think a member of the Global Majority was good enough to be the prez and now here comes someone who, ehem, looks right for the part.

I had a flashback to the muriatic acid in the swimming pool story from the 1960s.

So before you get all upset and reply to my social media posts with outrage or by suggesting I am fanning the flames of division, turn that pointer finger back at yourself and consider what you might have thought or said about the outgoing prez.

And think about why you said it.

If you happen to also be a person of faith, I suggest you check out your holy books. What do they say about love and respect for humankind? Most indigenous and later religions are similar in this regard. That while we have differences, we are still brothers and sisters at some level. It is for that reason if you do choose to post your indignation at my posts, I will respond with as much kindness as I can muster. I will first assume that no one in your immediate circle is like me, that no one has schooled you with some consciousness. Chances are strong that you might fell a little sting if you are bold enough to read my responses. I am from Jersey after all and we can be a smidge blunt from time to time.

Don’t push me …

Search your own heart before you presume to know mine.

 “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
― Martin Luther King, Jr.

2 Comments

  1. Lyn January 19, 2017 2:02 am

    Did you nod at the suggestions that Mrs. Prez was actually a man? I almost choked when I first heard that rumour. Can’t remember what I was looking for on YouTube, but this was one of the things that popped up — including numerous videos that “proved” it. Mind you, there were also videos that “proved” she and Mr Prez were actually aliens (along with the British royal family).

    I’ll be watching the highlights of the inauguration on the morning news, but it’s happening at 3:00AM our time, so I don’t think I’ll be watching it live despite all our TV stations covering it. They have it on for various lengths from 3:00am. One finishes at 5am, another at 6am and yet another at 8am after the motorcade.

    A FB friend shared something rather thought provoking the other day:

    “I hope Donald Trump is a good president.
    Wanting him to fail is like wanting the pilot
    to crash the plane that we are ALL on.”

    Another social media friend (on Twitter) quipped : “The best part of the inauguration on Friday will definitely be watching them install the giant, golden “T” on the White House.”

    It’s easy for us here in Australia to joke about the “ridiculous situation” that has occurred across The Pond, but we, along with the rest of the world, are affected by what happens there.

    You always write such well thought out posts, dear sister-friend.

    • AR Neal January 21, 2017 9:30 am

      Hi, Lyn — ah, yes, the alien theory (rolls eyes). That post about wanting him to fail/crash the plane is going around in my circle as well. I shared something about how Nielsen ratings work because some were calling for a TV blackout during the inauguration — first, the rating system has a demographic and if your house isn’t in it, what you watch matters not. If you are in the demographic and don’t watch anything, the ratings are higher for those who are watching. It’s a law of averages. I had one church friend leave a comment: ‘Shouldn’t you be praying for him instead?’ or something like that. She is like a mom so I didn’t lose my cool, but I replied that I am praying for him, that he will gain some good sense about those of us in the global majority in his country, who he has yet to show any care or respect for. And don’t get me started on his stance about women!

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