How did it come to this?
It’s 2019. The President of the United States is a racist. He is a white supremacist. He is homophobic. He is a mysogynist. He is a dickhead.
In his latest Twitter tantrum, the Tangerine Nazi targeted four Democratic congresswomen – Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar – for more of his racist abuse.
Three years into his hate-filled presi-dunce-y, Agent Orange tweeted that these women “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”
Let’s make no bones about this. The President of the United States of America told four women of colour, all american citizens, to go back to where they came from.
The meaning behind these words is clear – The POTUS was telling these women of colour that they, and others like them, do not belong.
I remember as a kid being told by racist thugs to go back to where I came from. My response was usually along the lines of “I’m from Bensham, you fucking morons.” But that never belied the hurt I felt from being told I didn’t belong in my own country because of my skin colour.
Racism like that has never gone away. I do seem to remember it being somewhat frowned upon for a while though – like I’m sure I remember it being a given that Nazis were bad.
Yet here we are.
There’s a weird thing going on at the moment where news outlets and commentators fall over themselves trying to NOT label clearly racist things as racist. In the UK’s 2019 Tory Leadership debate, Jeremy Cunt and Boris Johnson refused to call Trump’s tweets racist. Instead we hear an ever expanding range of euphemisms like ‘racially charged’, ‘racially motivated’, ‘using racially insensitive language’.
I mean we already know that calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers is just ‘flirting with racially insensitive vowel sounds’ or some crap.
So honestly, what has to happen before this stuff is called out for what it is? What about MAGA lunatics at a Trump rally chanting “send her back? Is that racist?
Maybe if Trump straight up just called someone a N***er? Like live on television. To be honest I doubt anyone would bat an eyelid at that. It would just be described as ‘sensually massaging racial-like word combinations’.
Maybe an on-stage lynching at a rally? Perhaps that’s it. Maybe Trump having someone executed at a rally while screaming “Die, N***er, die!” would finally do it. “Ah, yeah, okay that’s kind of racist, I guess.”
After a few years of testing the waters, years of “very fine people on both sides“, of “looking like letterboxes“, of “funny tinges“, and of hostile environments, we have finally reached the point where I think we’re pretty much okay with racism – at least it seems that way sometimes.
But it hasn’t happened overnight. And it hasn’t happened without our consent.
This is what happens when racism goes unchecked. It’s the same for islamaphobia, mysogyny, and homophobia, and any other kind of bigotry you can think of.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, right?
This is why it’s so important to challenge it every single time. It’s why you can’t let your friends, or colleagues, or family members off the hook when they make racist, sexist, or homophobic comments.
A tut and a raised eybrow isn’t enough, I’m afraid. A disapproving look and a whispered “can you believe what he just said?” isn’t going to do it. As difficult as it might be, you need to call it out, and you need to do it every time.
You can’t let your friends, or colleagues, or family members off the hook when they make racist, sexist, or homophobic comments.
Because every time it goes unchecked, it’s a little nod to the bigot to say, “that’s okay.” Every time it goes unchallenged, it’s an approval and a message that says “yeah, we can tolerate that.”
But then there’s another ‘off-colour’ remark, because hey, it’s okay to say that stuff, right? And then there’s another comment. Then another. Then the next thing, and the next thing, and then a slightly worse thing, and then an even worse thing, and before you know it there are openly and unashamedly racist fuckheads in positions of power, deporting brown folk, taking children from their families, and locking people up in concentration camps…
And we all just look around at each other and wonder… how did it come to this?