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An Open Letter to Those Racists Who Feel Empowered by Trump

Posted by Gail Barth on

Dear Racists, Bigots, and Others of Your Ilk,

Recently in Kansas City they took down an 83-year-old statue honoring the contributions of women to the Confederacy. Now, I honestly don’t know where I stand on this one. I guess if we’re going to take down statues of Lee, Sherman, and Davis, it sort of figures that statues to honor heroic women contributing to the Confederacy could also be considered inflammatory. Statues like this one have been relocated, removed, and vandalized across the country. There has been a public outcry, to be sure, from those who believe these actions equate to erasing part of our country’s history. But there has also been discussion in the media about the origin of many of the statues in question, which were not nearly the glorious commemorations you probably think, but, rather, organized tributes to bigotry erected to cause fear. And hopefully, there is some increased awareness of just how a person of color might feel walking past one of the statues on their way into a government building or through a city park. The demonstrations and official actions against the offending statues continue. But seriously, you-far-from-fine people, you did this. This is largely on you and what you stand for. Well, on you and a president who tells you and the world that what you stand for is okay.

Your leader, Trump, certainly didn’t invent bigotry and hatred, but ever since his campaign, he’s gradually pried the lid off a Pandora’s box of crazies until, finally, the lid has been ripped off like a scab over a pus-filled sore. (That’s actually mixing two dissimilar figures of speech. I probably lost you there. Look it up.). The hate groupies are coming out of the woodwork; KKK members are frantically ironing their sheets and whittling their crosses. You’ve been enabled by Trump, and you’ve come on strong with the full power of your stupidity. And now you’re reaping the consequences of both your actions and his ignorance.

What you’re discovering is the fact that you are vastly outnumbered, totally in the minority (ironic, eh? How’s that feeling?). There are just too many good people in this country who know right from wrong and recognize lower functioning animals like you and your president when they see them. But they aren’t just recognizing your existence; they’re also rising to the occasion and actively countering your dumbassery. If you doubt the truth of this, just remember Boston and the fact that there were a mere hundred of you but thousands of counter protesters. And the folks in Charlottesville were able to reduce one of your tough, threatening morons to a blubbering puddle of goo, crying like a little girl. I’d like to inject here that as moments go, this was one of my personal favorites. So you’ve not only been unable to make any meaningful, convincing statements on intolerance and ignorance, but you’ve actually fired up the good people on the other side. And, as you’ve discovered, these people are just as passionate, if not more so, about their beliefs. And there’s power in big, colorful crowds of people that you guys in your bland, bleached whiteness can’t even begin to approximate.

Which brings me back to the statues. If you had stayed under your rocks and in your holes, if you had not felt validated by your racist train wreck of a president, you might have been able to keep your statues intact, at least for a while. That particular controversy would have continued to simmer below the surface. But you, puffed up in self-importance by a pretender to the presidency, created a very powerful backlash. The people who respect and celebrate diversity doubled down on their compassion and acceptance, the better to meet and silence your ignorance. Your precious statues are one result of your actions. There will probably be more. And you have mostly yourselves to blame. 

I guess to say that we owe you a small debt of gratitude would just be weird, but we sort of do; at least, I do. In a nation that has been and continues to be gradually dismantled beyond the point where I can even recognize it as my country, I’m reminded of the sheer numbers of truly good people we have. And it gives me hope. Because if we have that much good, so much that it clearly dwarfs your pitiful actions and nullifies Trump, then the evil you all perpetuate really can’t win. And, once again, to those Confederate flag wavers in particular, you’re on the losing side. You always will be. Deal with it.

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