Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Revolution will not be televised... or on your computer!

It has been several weeks now since the November 8th debacle of 60,265,858 million Americans voting for a known, unapologetic racist and bigot. That would be Donald Trump. To me, it was as though they voted for Adolf Hitler, knowing that he would exterminate the Jews, but thinking and rationalizing that Hitler would get them better jobs or health care programs… forget the Jews! The analogy is not that far fetched. The lack of moral and ethical fortitude is the same. Am I being too judgemental? Should an American President be a racist and bigot? Here in Delaware County, where I live, the vote for Trump was more than 2 to 1.  Upstate Delaware County is one of the poorest counties in New York.
Indeed, the globalization economy and the knowledge economy that is sweeping the world right now might be bad for you, but, is the answer to rationalize and make a racist and bigot the leader of the free world? I know it is complicated… but, is it really that complicated? Anthropologist say that deep down we are all tribal and racist to a certain extent. But to have a viable and just society I think each one of us has to give up some of that tribalism or “ innate racism” for the common good.
But, the good news is that the 60,839,922 million Americans who did not drink the various flavors of the Trump Kool Aide but, voted for Hillary Clinton, instead, are pissed off and in a mood to correct that November 8th wrong. Also, note that more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.
Since the Trump election there have been myriad attacks of hate and violence on Muslims, blacks, gays and immigrants across the country.  60.9 million Americans have received a jolting wake up call and are now prepared to fight for social, economic, racial, and environmental justice.
At this point, I think that one half of America is frightened by the other half. So, frightened are progressives and liberals that they feel that dropping out of or ignoring politics is now not an option. Many did not come out to vote on November 8th and regret it. After driving around and talking to people the last few weeks, I get the sense that there is some “buyer’s remorse” after voting for Trump and that many people want to “do something”. For me, having suffered the indignities of segregation and Jim Crow, it feels like the good old “revolutionary” days of the Civil Rights and Vietnam movements.
Protests are on going and in the works: high school kids are walking out of classes, large scale protests are planned for the January Trump inauguration, a Million Women March is planned for January 21st, and, across the world, safety pins are being worn on labels to symbolize support for the vulnerable. Even the thespian community is mobilizing. A few nights ago the Hamilton cast called out Vice President- Elect Mike Pence.
So, what to do? Todd Gitlin from Columbia University recently wrote that the Trump racists just have to be contained and driven underground. He says the rest of the Trumpsters will have to be “intelligently won over” and “out-organized”.
So, let’s get it on. And, as Gil Scott-Heron said back in 1970 “The Revolution will not be televised”... nor, will it be on your computer.
And, as our Hispanic friends tell us “La Lucha Continua!!”


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