Trump is not the problem. Trump is the symptom.
America is sick right now. Perhaps not deathly ill, but this is definitely more than a sniffling cold. Historically speaking, going back to the Civil War and other critical times in our nation’s history, there is ample evidence to suggest that we certainly have the capability to survive 45.
Should we choose to exercise that capability, that is.
The problem, again, is that Trump is not the problem. He is the symptom.
Exercising our capability to raise America out of the muck, as Americans have done before, is contingent upon us as Americans all being on the same page about what the problem actually is. And then uniting to solve – or erase – that problem. And one of the biggest problems we face right now is that far too many of our fellow Americans have developed the awe-inducing ability to stare straight into the face of the problem and declare – with a straight face – that it does not exist. Even worse, they point at those who are trying to draw attention to the problem as being the actual problem. It’s kind of like watching a deranged kid kick a stray cat for no reason, and then declare that the cat is the problem because …well..you know…because it’s a cat.
Or it’s like what just happened in Charlottesville. Understandably, a number of sane folks are outraged about Trump’s refusal to criticize his voter base of Nazis, Klan members, and other white supremacist types. But to some of us this comes as no surprise whatsoever, because we were paying attention during the campaign that delivered Trump to the White House. But if we really want to get an idea of what we’re up against, we need to take a closer look and listen to those white conservative types who – just like the kid who kicked the cat – swear up and down that President Obama was to blame for Charlottesville because he’s the one who divided this country.
Oh yes. You read that correctly. Just check out this article that appeared in Vox. Here are some sample quotes from the hinterlands of Willful White Ignorance, the land where right-wing white Republicans exist happily in the womb of their own denial. Here are a couple of samples, just to encourage you to check the rest out for yourself. Because you really should.
Ann Eubank, 68, of Rainy Day Patriots Tea Party:
“Obama set racial relationships in the nation back 100 years with his divisional rhetoric. Being a Southerner, the KKK was always Democrat. So to blame it on Republicans is ridiculous. Did they have the right to march? Absolutely. Did the antifa have the right to stop them? No. That’s how violence begins — the two polar opposites don’t want the other to be heard.”
“Well, it’s pretty scary if you’re white to see these Black Lives Matter — they assassinated five police officers a year ago in Dallas. There’s a lot of wrong on both sides, and unfortunately all the liberal media talks about is the wrong on one side.”
Others quoted aren’t quite as outrageous or strident, but their views make it plain how Trump’s insistence that there was wrong on both sides is rooted in a willful ignorance of a segment of the white population that refuses to see what is in plain sight because it’s not a threat to them but to the ‘others’ whom they view as a threat. It’s that sort of ignorance that will always choose to believe that young black men always deserve whatever police brutality is heaped upon them because they are young black men. It’s that sort of ignorance that says Black Lives Matter and white Nazis are one and the same.
Don’t blame the crazy kid with the bloody boot. Blame the bleeding cat.