I had this brilliant post all figured out and then the election went and happened. I was going to ignore the whole thing regardless of who won, because before the whole thing was finished I hadn’t really considered the whole of what a Trump presidency meant.
I’ve been scared for a while that he’d win and despite the fact that everyone around me was telling me that it was impossible that someone like him could win–I’m not going to do the whole blame thing, though I think there’s a lot of it to go around (most of it resting squarely on the uneducated rural masses that seem to think a New York billionaire who’s never given a shit about them gives a shit about them), but I am going to say that the one thing that I’m tired of hearing is that people out there need to stop protesting.
I lived through eight years of President Obama being protested against about all the awful things that he was going to do that he has yet to do. Considering he’s only got a few weeks left in office I think we’re not going to see any of that shit.
People are scared that their rights to marry who they want, their right to control their reproductive freedom, their right to be who they are might be stripped away from them. Those are all very scary things that I guess wouldn’t matter if you’re straight and a guy.
It’s you’re right to protest and it’s your right to be scared. There’s good reason to be scared of a man who called a climate change “a Chinese hoax” while a good section of the part of the country that voted for him is burning in the middle of fucking November. And I haven’t even mentioned the whole racism thing. The country has been ablaze with racism. Someone posted racist bullshit on the wall at a college right north of me.
I don’t really think that Trump invented racism. I don’t think that’s even possible to claim that. I don’t even think he stirred it all up. A good section of the GOP did that, the online white nationalist presence in this country has been on fire online; Trump didn’t put them there. Trump even claimed not to know or like them. But they have been emboldened by all of this and that’s a genie that won’t be put back in the bottle easily.
Now, on a positive note, Trump has walked back like half of the shit he said already. So to any who voted to him on “policy” it looks like you shouldn’t get your hopes up.
I went out to see Doctor Strange on Thursday night. It was supposed to be the highlight of my day. I’ve been counting down the days over the last month. There’s a tiny theater connected to my neighborhood. It also happens to be in the same building as my favorite comic book store. I’m in the place about once a week and people know me and I know the area.
The movie had been moved to a new auditorium and was starting late, but by the time I stopped bullshitting with the guys in the comic book store I was coming into the theater after most people had taken their seats. A woman pointed to the area where my seat was and I walked down the front part of he aisle (our theater has wide aisles in front of the seats for waiters to pass along without disturbing the viewers). The seat numbering seemed off and the seats in the area where the employee had pointed me to were filled. I was in seat 13 of the row I was on and I saw a seat marked 513 and assumed it was that one.
Suddenly a bearded man around my age or a little younger stands up from a seat a little to my right and asks “Are you sure you’re in the right theater?” He doesn’t come toward me or really move except to point. “They’re playing the Madea movie in another one.”
Oh, I get it now. That’s very clever. Black people, as we know, would only come to the theater to see the latest Madea movie or tales of triumph set during slave times. I wasn’t sure if he was going to tell me how brace I was next. It was raining, after all, and we know the blacks can’t swim.
He laughed after that and sat back down. I figured out my error a few seconds after ignoring him. There was a second set of white painted numbers on the bottom of the upturned seats. I found my chair near the middle of the row buffeted by a man playing on his phone and a man who would continually talk to himself and push down on the empty seat between us hitting me in the leg.
The movie was really good and I was thrilled to see it. Did the small interaction at the start ruin it for me? No. I’ve had worse said about me, although I really hate Tyler Perry movies, so this is an insult on two levels. There’s not a moral to this story unless it’s this: these kinds of things happen. I went into public to enjoy a movie and a stranger made a racist joke. I’m minding my own business and it doesn’t matter. People feel the need to comment on my race. I’m sure if asked this guy would be one of the ones who “has black friends” and “doesn’t see race”.