Trump’s America: Bounce Back! Fight Back!

bldontmattergraffitti
Derrick Lewis of WNCN in Durham, NC

The phrase, Day 1, Trump’s America, has become popular. It is usually associated with some ugly behavior by some of our fellow Caucasian Americans often of the male persuasion but sometimes of the female variety, too. People of color, women, Muslims, in fact everyone but Caucasian American men have reported being targeted by aggressive prejudicial biased behavior that either threatens violence or follows through, like the woman who was grabbed by the pussy on a subway. Luckily, several passengers forced the offending Caucasian American men off the subway car at the next stop. You can read about all this and more on the HuffPo article, People Share Frightening Images of the Aftermath of Trump’s Victory.

Rachel Maddow interviewed Senator Elizabeth Warren and asked her How can we fight back? Senator Warren responded by standing up to bigotry. But, what does that mean? How can we as ordinary people stand up to bigotry when we see it, especially without feeling like we are risking life and limb? Well, I gotta a couple o’ ideas:

num1

 

 

PhobicHarassment
Interrupting Harassment

There is a simple technique to use. I reblogged an infographic by Marie-Shirine Yener on a 22 Words blog post  about responding to public displays of Islamophobia, but it is a useful technique to use in the face of any and all bullying. Now, most of us think that when watching someone bully another, we should confront the bully, but that is wrong. Confronting the bully will only make you a target and likely escalate the situation, and in this world of armed assholes roaming the streets feeling threatened by every little kitten that hisses and puppy that lifts his leg to their ankle, you could easily find yourself on the business end of a stand your ground moment. We don’t need that shit. Instead, you talk to the person being bullied! SURPRISE! You don’t look at or mention the bully. You ignore the bully. But, you talk to the target. It will interrupt the situation. It will help sooth and calm the person being assaulted. And, it will help that person feel normal and accepted in a very abnormal and rejecting situation.

num2I hate to say it, but if the situation does escalate or you are afraid it will escalate, you should call the police immediately. If even it is nothing, the worst that can happen is that you’d be embarrassed for calling the police for nothing or very little. Don’t worry about the asshole who is doing the harassing. Call the cops on the mo’fo’. Better to call and be wrong than to not call and be dead, amirite? Also, too, when I volunteered at the rape crisis center, we would advise women to do what helped them feel safe regardless of what it might make the man feel. Your safety comes first.num3

Get involved politically.

  • Vote in EVERY election. It begins with dog catcher.
  • Work on campaigns.
  • Volunteer for your political party.
  • Call or write to your Congress Critter to let them know how you feel on a specific issue.
  • Stay educated on the issues. Like Thomas Jefferson said, a successful democracy requires and educated populace. Be that educated populace.
  • Run for office. Yes, you!
  • Do not engage trolls.
  • Be respectful of everyone, including your political opponents. Don’t insult and degrade your political opponents — except in forums that are appropriate, i.e. frequented by people of equal stripe because we’re blowing off steam.

num4Senator Elizabeth Warren told Rachel Maddow the other night that people should volunteer for organizations that work on issues they’re concerned about. Look, many people are rightly worried about DACA kids who came out to the Feds under Obama when that was cool, but now are vulnerable to Trump’s immigration deportation force. Many people are rightly worried about a woman’s right to choose. Volunteer with Planned Parenthood or other pro-choice organization. Contribute to your culture and society. Acts of kindness and generosity are not only good for your soul, they are demonstrably good for your health since it cuts your cortisol levels, and god knows my cortisol levels have been through the roof this week.

num5And last, don’t tell racist, misogynistic, or xenophobic jokes. People who overhear them are more likely to behave in racist, misogynistic, or xenophobic ways at their next opportunity. People who are racist, misogynistic, or xenophobic think you are approving of their secret thoughts and not-so-secret behaviors. If you overhear someone telling such a joke, interrupt it. Tell them it is not nice and will only encourage people to behave that way — studies show, bone fide science fact — whether the teller is a believer or not. And, it hurts people’s feelings. Back in the ’90’s before LGBTQ rights were all the rage, I’d tell people that 1 in 10 are gay, so if there are ten people hearing the joke or remark, they are likely talking to a gay person or the parent of a gay person. It humanizes the target of the remark and makes it more difficult to repeat these jokes even when you’re not around. Oh, and it encourages others to do the same.

ElizabethWarren.pngThere is going to be a fight in this country. When Senator Warren and others talks about fighting back and standing up for your rights, they are not talking about physical fighting or worse. They are talking about organizing to bring pressure to bear on government officials and electing government officials. They are talking about leading by example. Don’t give in to the forces of hate, but stand up for yourself and interrupt the assholes that would abuse and hurt people. Take care of each other and yourselves.

And, by all means, if you have an ugly incident indicative of Day 1, Day 2, or Day X in Trump’s America, share it in the comments!

 

 

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14 comments

    1. Howdy Usfman!

      Yes, looking for common ground is the way to start dialogue. My objection to the use of the term profiling here is that I’m not suggesting we do anything to a person simply because he is a white guy. I’m describing the majority of the people who are committing the acts of aggression that I’m talking about.

      Profiling is a racially charged word since it is used in stop and frisk police actions which disproportionately focus on people of color. Since it didn’t result in a significant number of arrests (in fact the proportion of arrests to stops suggests it was a waste of time), it amounted to racially directed harassment.

      When an airline passenger objects to the presence of an Arab looking person on an airplane or an airline employee removes an Arab looking person from a flight for no reason other than they appear to be Arab that is racism.

      I’m not suggesting an action take place here. I am simply describing the people who are committing the acts. It would be no different than saying that the residents of Lawrence, Kansas are a white majority.

      I am not saying that we should not attempt to dialogue with the other side. What I am saying is that attempts to disguise Trump’s election as anything other than racially and misogynistically driven is avoidance of the racial and misogyny issues by white people.

      What I am saying is that if we are ever to resolve race issues in this country, it will come from white people decrying and disclaiming racially charged jokes and caricatures and other prejudicial and bigoted behaviors and words.

      If we are to overcome sexism and misogyny, it will be because men interrupt these behaviors.

      The election of Trump, indeed the very viability of Trump’s campaign, is evidence that this is not happening. He admitted that he commits sexual assault with impunity. He is advocating blatantly racist policies. If white people supported that, then we are enabling sexism and racism.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

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      1. Howdy Artimus!

        That’s a line from a TV show, but I can’t quite remember which one. Friends? Gilligan’s Island? MASH?

        Do you know? It’s been dwelling in the back of my head since you posted this.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Like

  1. I am a white man who taught in a racially polarized situation for 13 years in Miami. I agree that one should not retaliate if they are a victim of profiling. Inner City teachers learn to re-direct the angry mind of the perpetrator to calmer perceptions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Howdy Usfman!

      That sounds really interesting (a) how do you re-direct the angry mindset and (b) I lived in Kenya for four years and it really changed the way I look at race and racism, what changed for you in your experience? I’d love to hear about it and discuss our experiences.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

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  2. Good advise. However, as a Caucasian American often of the male persuasion I don’t appreciate your profiling. Have seen the video of Black men and women beating a middle-aged male of Caucasian persuasion while yelling “he voted Trump”? There are bad people everywhere, some will kick you in the balls others will grab your pussy. Either way lets try not to profile.

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    1. Howdy Artemus!

      I truly do not like profiling. And, the incident of a Trump voter being beaten up is reprehensible and condemned in the strongest terms. If you read further in the article, I clarify what Senator Warren and others mean when they say fight back — they don’t mean beat up Trump voters. However, the incident does not make any of the incidents of Trump’s supporters any less egregious. Two wrongs do not make a right or in this case 1 wrong against 1,000’s of other wrongs do not make the 1,000’s okay.

      As to profiling, I say that the people committing these acts of aggression as inspired by Trump are usually white men. The usual part hedges against profiling. It is also statistically defensible. I do not wish to offend or to argue, but I do not believe that I have committed an act of profiling.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

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  3. Kudos to you!! excellent response to Merde. most of the ” asshats” are more hot air than brains . I am not a Muslim, but I have lived in a Muslim country and have a soft spot in my heart for most of them……especially those that have come to the US. We need to step up to that plate and ” put our money where our mouth is ” so to speak. We need to use every non confrontational method of push back we have , because if we don’t we will also become the victimized , and even more important ….. it is the right thing to do,

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    1. Howdy Francese!

      Most heartily agree that we need to use every means at our disposal to push back. Something that struck me about this election is that we don’t understand how our government or system works. The people protesting in the streets is great and all, but the time to correct the problem was on 8 November with your votes. Now, to be effective we must start organizing for the 2018 mid-term elections. And, when people say fight back, too many will only think of aggressive shouty and even violent responses. I hoped to give some alternatives.

      And my experience with Muslims is the earth-shattering conclusion that they are people, too.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

  4. I was in the pharmacy this morning and heard a man say “take the damned scarf off or we’re sending you back to the camel humpers”. I turned around, saw a young woman with a small child standing nearby. She was wearing a hijab and started to take it off while blushing furiously. I walked quickly over to her and said “that is a gorgeous hijab! I haven’t seen one so pretty. And your child is so sweet. Look at that beautiful smile!” the man grumbled “bitch” and something I couldn’t really hear but turned and walked away. Deflecting the focus is what it takes sometimes and it really does work to stop a confrontation from an asshat. People do not have to put up with the bullying. They can stand up for each other. And if I thought for one second that I was in danger I would have called the cops on that bag of merde.

    Liked by 1 person

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