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.


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Photo by John Hain from Pixabay

So focused on teams we ignore the game

To all my white friends, I need you to question your team. Yes, I know I talked a lot about teams last time, but I just keep seeing their problems everywhere I look. It’s as though this country only thinks in absolutist, binary bullshit terms.

Like, we got the president over here talking shit about his attorney general. It could prove to be a big problem, but who do we root for? The racist who left to his own devices would absolutely ruin the country? Or the racist who left to his own devices would absolutely ruin the country? My money is on the racist who left to his own devices would absolutely ruin the country.

I mean, we’ve got the president in one corner and the Mueller investigation and the Comey book tour and the FBI in the other corner. While that may sound comforting to some of you and yes, the president is just an absolute piece of shit, Mueller is a Republican, Comey ain’t no homey, and the FBI is not now, nor has it ever been interested in defending my rights or any other citizen who looks even remotely like me.

And if you’re hoping to be saved by the blue wave, you might want to find out how many Dr. Mai Khanh Trans are out there running for office.

Answer: Both too many and not enough.

And I’m not just talking about political candidates either. Last week the entire country was either rooting for a racist comedian or a goddamn pharmaceutical company. More on that later, but seriously, WTF is happening in the world?

We’re so focused on the teams that we’re forgetting about the game. Also, we’re not really on the teams. Sure, we’ve got the jerseys and yes, some people came here together, shirtless with letters painted on their chests and yes, they’re on live TV drunk, standing in the wrong order and everyone watching at home sees “RUMPT” but they’re not really on the team. They just really love the concept of the team.

The problem with that is when your only priority is the concept of the team, the actual team can cease to exist. It’s not being evaluated. The people you were once rooting for eventually cease to matter and all that matters is the other team’s loss. And not even that so much as the other team’s perceived loss.

That’s how you end up with right wing TV like the Roseanne reboot, or Tim Allen’s dumb shit, or, ugh, goddamned Sinclair, while at the same time Black shows are getting censored.

As my white friends, you should know this because, though you may have heard otherwise, there are still racist problems with restrooms.

And restaurants.

And resting.

Where does it stop? Maybe they’ll reboot segregation.

The point is that if you don’t stop this binary bullshit thinking, we may get rid of our current president, but we will most certainly only be making an easier path for one much, much worse.

Yeah, right now he’s the fuckin’ worst. And, yeah, so are the Russians, but all they did was exploit the problems we already had.

And you know what else? It was easy. Our president isn’t smart and neither is Putin. All they did was poke at the country’s festering, unbandaged wound. A monkey could do that.

But, white friends, you’re still the majority.

You can tend to your wounds.

You can question your team.

You can start here.


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 Alex Sajan on Unsplash.