I’ve seen this before…I’m gonna see a lot more, aren’t I?

I have a feeling of dread. It’s new. I live a pretty happy-go-lucky life. A constant optimism is the break in the clouds over my head that results in me dancing everywhere I go. I am fairly certain that, given the chance to walk around in my head, the degree of positivity sloshing about in there would deeply disgust almost everyone I know.

But now I have this feeling of dread. It started when our current president was “voted” in and it was happening once a month. Now it’s once a week. I’ve been trying to come up with a good way to explain the feeling, but it’s so new that it’s difficult to find the words.

It’s kinda like that feeling when you sit down to watch a movie and five minutes in you already know what’s gonna happen—but not because you’ve already seen this particular movie. No. You know what’s gonna happen because you know who the director and writers are. You know the actors. You’re familiar with this kind of movie. It’s clear there wasn’t a lot of effort that went into making this. The writing doesn’t make sense. The actors aren’t very good. The director clearly doesn’t care about any of the scenes that he isn’t in because of course he’s also the star of the goddamn thing…

Anyway, to bring the analogy one step farther, this feeling of dread I have is kinda like knowing that the end of the movie will also bring about the end of the world and no one ever told you the runtime.

For real though, being a person of color in this time is so fucking exhausting. Like, we all know the problem is race. I’ve said this before, but for five years before he even ran we all watched this motherfucker get on TV every chance he got, point to the Black president and yell as loud as he could about how that nigger ain’t from around here. We also know that even that ol’ chestnut ain’t working that great anymore because, while he did win the white vote in every category and there was massive, racist voter suppression and Russia exploited our country’s racism for our further destruction, it still wasn’t enough to win the popular vote. It actually took some of our oldest, crustiest, stankiest institutionalized racism to appoint our current president.

We all know that he thinks Nazis are very fine people and that Mexicans are rapists and, look, even PBS is keeping track. And, yes, even though as I’m writing this he’s saying his most Hitlery shit yet, it’ll probably be topped by the time I finish typing this sentence and racism still won’t be addressed as the problem at the core of American Dysfunction.

We also all know that the president isn’t even the fucking problem. Some dumbshit bigot like that wouldn’t get two steps from his apartment if there wasn’t already a world of systems and laws and people ready to embrace him and all of his decay.

This motherfucker’s walking around with his thick skull filled to the brim with the tiniest amount of curdled milk and the rules established by men like him to protect men like him continue to do just that. Like, he really talked all about a Muslim ban and everyone was like, “Umm… Freedom of Religion. First amendment and all,” and the Supreme Court was like, “You know that’s only for white people, though, right?”

It’s so fucking exhausting. I mean, Michael Moore’s got a new movie coming out about the president and he’s probably got the N-Word footage. And when it comes out the administration, FOX News and all of their fans will say, “He didn’t mean it like that,” or “It’s just locker room talk,” or “You didn’t see the whole tape so you don’t know the context,” or whateverthefuckever they always say to excuse their own rancid lack of humanity. And, yes, some white liberals will then understand the depth of racism in this country. They’ll be shocked and horrified at what monsters some of their closest friends and family can be. But some of them will chalk it up to innocuous political differences. And some white liberals will also say, “Well, maybe he didn’t actually mean it like that,” and the center will continue to be pulled to the right.

Or, you know, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there’s a trick ending. Maybe M. Night Shyamalan can turn this shit show around before ICE comes for him.

I hope so because either way, the pacing sucks and I’d really like to get back to my normal life.


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Photo by Karen Zhao from Unsplash

Fascism takes shape and ICE is key to that…and not just at the southern border

Look, I’m about to get into some serious shit, so let’s start off by lightening the mood. Check out these silly-ass animals!

I hope that brightened your day.

OK. Now for the serious shit.

The United States of America will probably become a literal dictatorship very soon.

Every person of color in the USA saw this coming a long time ago. Even those of us not paying attention figured it out at this point.

But since then a lot has happened and you better believe it all goes in the same direction.

The president of the United States of America is separating the country from its democratically elected allies and aligning the country with cruel and brutal dictatorships. He speaks ill of democratically elected leaders and fondly of cruel and brutal dictators. He has always enjoyed the support of klansmen and Nazis and all other brands of bigots within the United States, so, naturally he publicly speaks fondly of them.

Like all cruel and brutal dictators, the president of the United States dehumanizes minorities and immigrants with his speech, calling them animals and their presence as an infestation.

The president often speaks of changing the country into a dictatorship. He publicly wishes United States citizens would obey him like those suffering under cruel and brutal dictators. He talks publicly and hopefully about getting rid of his own term limits and suspending due process, which is probably more important than you think.

The president’s administration is deliberately separating children from parents with no plan or desire to reunite them. They are even going so far as to have toddlers appear in court all alone. These peoples’ lives are so meaningless and disposable to this administration that the attorney general even publicly jokes about how meaningless and disposable he thinks they are.

And there’s also the recent Supreme Court rulings furthering institutionalized racism and sexism as well as continuing to destroy workers’ rights. Adding the likelihood that the shockingly corrupt court itself will soon begin dismantling the rights of gay people and women and minorities and voters in general, It’s clear that a dictatorship is on the rise, if not already risen.

This is not an exaggeration or hyperbole. Again, the president is talking about actual people as animals and he’s seeing to it that they are caged and abused worse than animals. People are being kidnapped, beaten, sexually abused, their identities are being stolen, their children are being ripped from their arms and then those children are beaten and sexually abused—and it’s being done in your name by the United States government.

And again, the president is referring to actual human beings as an infestation. We all know what that means. We all know there is only one thing to be done about an infestation. We all know that dismissing one’s humanity makes it very easy to kill them. And we all know that there are certainly active members of the military who appear ready for the killing to begin.

Now, if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself that the president probably isn’t really serious or that he’s just talking tough, you should know that we’ve been down this very predictable road before. Also, you’re being this guy. Don’t.

The secret police are roaming the streets and kicking down doors. They’re setting up check points. They’ve even got German Shepherds. And they are everywhere. Seriously, everywhere.

They’re even here in my state, in Maine, where there are barely any people of color. That makes it pretty easy for one of these Schutzstaffel pieces of shit to single out a person by their race. Yeah, it’s illegal, but of course it happens.

Now, look at this stumblebum, Hogan’s Heroes-looking, schweinhund right here. The driver asks him if she has to answer his questions and he just straight-up lies to her face, telling her that she does. Listen to him stutter and stammer like so many fascist Porky Pigs as he attempts to trick the driver into answering his questions with some kind of bullshit hall pass he pulls out of his filthy, Stasi pocket.

And it’s this moment that is going to decide where this country goes.

As Corporal Goosestep is trying to manipulate those young women into answering his questions, we need to ask ourselves the age-old question: How heroic would you have been had you lived in Nazi Germany?

Who would you have been?

What would you have done?

When you see a person of color in Maine, do you think we belong here?

You may have some kind of terrifying, Christophe-Waltz-type of idea as to who or what state-sponsored evil looks like, but real evil isn’t necessarily cruel on its face. Real evil is disarming. Real evil can be as charmingly inhibited as that crossing-guard-Uncle-Fester-looking motherfucker politely telling that young, white, female driver that he’s only attempting to detect accents.

How heroic would you have been?

If we don’t already know, I think we’re gonna find out pretty soon.


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A small sign that things can change

I don’t know if things will get better for Black people in America, but I am absolutely certain that they can.

Why am I so certain?

Let me tell you a story…

My father taught me awareness and perseverance. He taught me how to read and write and play music. Any kind of forward momentum I have ever felt in my life has come from his initial push.

I have felt this way as long as I can remember and in case you couldn’t tell, I’m a daddy’s boy. Always have been. So, you can imagine my panic a few years ago when my father got sick. He had a series of strokes and was diagnosed with cancer.

I became very protective of him. I quit touring and stayed close to home. I would take him around to run errands and to his medical appointments. He preferred to be driven in his car, a big, black Ford with veteran’s vanity plates that, showing his pride of his service and heritage, read BLKVET (as in Black Veteran).

One afternoon we were driving down the highway back from one of his chemo treatments when I notice an SUV all the way on the other side of the highway about to merge.

Normally, I don’t notice cars merging three lanes over, but I did notice this particular SUV that happened to have its entire back windshield covered with a decal of the confederate flag. I actually noticed the decal second. The first thing I noticed was the actual, full-sized confederate flag that was flying from a pole attached to the side of the vehicle.

Yup. Two giant, confederate flags on the same fucking truck. I guess the guy really wanted to make a point.

Now, look. I’ve got a little bit of gray in my beard, a career and I’ve never been to jail. I’m an adult and I know how to navigate my life.

But here’s the thing. Like I said, I’m a daddy’s boy. And my daddy was 17 years old when Medgar Evers was murdered, shot in the back. He was 19 when Malcolm was murdered, shot in the chest. Twenty-two when Dr. King was murdered, shot in the head. And the same night Dr. King was murdered, my father was arrested in Ohio for being Black. Understand, while Blckness was not what he was officially charged with, my daddy was jammed into a cell shoulder-to-shoulder-full with only Black men and probably every Black man the authorities could find.

The good people of Whereverthefuckever, Ohio, were in fear of a violent revolution and so, along with spending a life under threat for being Black while using the wrong bathroom or water fountain or entrance or making too much money or eye contact or being in the wrong restaurant or grocery store or town, my daddy and the Black men around him were made to fear for their lives in a makeshift internment camp, you know, just in case. But my daddy survived that and countless other systemic and personal harassments, indignities and threats during his 70 years of life in this country. And for him, an elderly, dying man to have to suffer one more harassment, indignity and threat presented as the confederate flags of some no account, milquetoast motherfucker who isn’t worth the smell of shit on his own breath, well, it was more than this daddy’s boy could stand.

Now, before I go on, in case you didn’t know, when a white person calls a Black person a nigger, it’s much more than a nasty name. A white person calling a Black person nigger is celebrating the fact that our society views Black people as less than human. It’s cheering at the fact that to be Black in America means to face personal and systemic violence alone. A white person calling a Black person nigger is saying, “You could die screaming, devoured by the very beasts that protect and nurture me and for that I am glad.”

A white person flying the confederate flag has more than all of the intentions and implications of calling a Black person a nigger but lacking the necessary courage required in singling someone out or even just using one’s voice. That’s what the fuck the goddamned confederate flag has always meant to me and a whole lot of other Black people.

And this motherfucker has two of them.

So, even though I am an adult with a career and a little bit of gray in my beard, I cut across traffic and pull up next to this bigot. And I’m staring at him. And my father, who is definitely not happy I’m doing this, is also staring at him. And I can’t wait for this fucking fool to look over and see two Black men in a black car with Black plates just staring at him. I can’t wait for him to lose his goddamned mind over the very clear judgment in our faces. I can’t wait to see him flip us off. I can’t wait to see his foul, racist blood expose that vein in his forehead.

But, when he eventually looks over none of that happens. Instead he sees us and immediately breaks eye contact, looks down and away. And he does so in such a manner that what he’s feeling is as obvious as his racism.

Shame.

He was ashamed of himself and it was incredible to see. It was so striking that, if it wasn’t for the third confederate flag on his fucking hat, I would’ve thought he was just borrowing the vehicle from his racist uncle or whatever.

The whole thing was so crazy. I mean, I saw those flags telling my father and I that we were worth less. Then I cut across the highway and pulled up next to that racist motherfucker because I wanted to look him in his fucking eye and have him explain to my dying father and me who he thought was worth less. And he did. It was him.

And that made me realize that things can change. Because shame is a recognition of standards. It’s an acknowledgment that there are societal expectations that were not met. And if even this fucking idiot feels compelled to acknowledge those expectations, then those expectations exist for everyone.

But we have to make sure it stays that way.


If this piece or this blog resonates with you, please consider a one-time “tip” or become a monthly “patron”…this space runs on love and reader support. Want more BGIM? Consider booking me to speak with your group or organization.

Comments will close on this post in 60-90 days; earlier if there are spam attacks or other nonsense.

Photo by John Hain from Pixabay