- Bigotry is unprofessional.
- There are social and economic costs for bigotry.
- Pluralism is non-negotiable.
When bigots have got me down and I need to scream it out, I often turn to Marissa Paternoster and her band Screaming Females, my favorite power trio of all time and space. Here she is singing about gender non-conformity and homophobia, screaming “While you sit on the fence I will burn in hell” over and over from the depths of her soul.
To all you fence sitting family members with conscience compromised by your bigoted religion: fuck you. You fail at moral autonomy, and you fail to #EmptyThePews of toxic Christianity.
As Lili Loofbourow wrote of the Kavanaugh incident in Slate, adolescent male cruelty towards women is a bonding mechanism, a vehicle for intimacy through contempt. The white men in the lynching photos are not merely smiling because of what they have done, but because they did it together.
Once malice is embraced as a virtue, it is impossible to contain.
We can hear the spectacle of cruel laughter throughout the Trump era.
Trump’s only true skill is the con, his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.
Tolokonnikova spoke of a recent visit to the city jail at Rikers Island and her horror at the conditions at what she described as a penal colony in the middle of “supposedly progressive” New York. She found them, to her shock, worse that those in Putin’s jails.
She went to the local paper with an investigation into “who is responsible for making black snow,” and was told by the editors — who she said she’d written for before — that the story was good, but “you understand, we can’t publish it.” The company that was responsible was too powerful to challenge.
“‘You understand’ — that’s the keyword in Russia. ‘You understand,’” Tolokonnikova said.
Here is an image of a 13-year-old idealist being enlisted to participate in her own oppression. “You understand” is a phrase used to inure us to our own oppression, and make us complicit in the oppression of others. It draws us into the system that oppresses; tells us that we are already part of it; suggests that to reject it is simply to not get it. The implication is that to not understand is to somehow be lacking, to be not as smart as we would be if we understood. The young don’t understand, by their very nature. That is part of their power. They are not yet indoctrinated into the performance of the system; their powers of perception and inclination to question has not yet been eroded by years of bumping up against oppression both subtle and overt.
And I remembered Tolokonnikova’s anecdote this week amid now-regular calls from conservatives and liberals alike for liberals to be nicer to bigots, to be more “civil.” When people – including Julia Ioffe, who later apologized – questioned why news outlets were following around a lawyer who threatened to call immigration on two women speaking Spanish, I thought of how these calls for “civility” seem to be veiled calls for complacency, or even complicity. For silence. I heard “you understand” in these calls. You understand why it’s better to be polite, to be quiet, to be “civil.” Stop resisting. You understand.
I added selections from “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy” and “Opinion | The ‘Roseanne’ Reboot Is Funny. I’m Not Going to Keep Watching. – The New York Times” to “To the family Trumpists”.
“Needless to say, racists don’t spend a lot of time hunting down reliable data to train their twisted models. And once their model morphs into a belief, it becomes hardwired. It generates poisonous assumptions, yet rarely tests them, settling instead for data that seems to confirm and fortify them. Consequently, racism is the most slovenly of predictive models. It is powered by haphazard data gathering and spurious correlations, reinforced by institutional inequities, and polluted by confirmation bias. In this way, oddly enough, racism operates like many of the WMDs I’ll be describing in this book.”
They act as if love can protect the most vulnerable members of their family from the repercussions of their political choices. It cannot.
You are the family bigots. That is your legacy. That is how you will be remembered.
Source: To the family Trumpists