Off Topic, and Yet Not
Alright faithful readers, however many of you there may be, full disclosure: This post will have next to nothing to do with being trans. For this particular moment I’m breaking format because I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Yesterday, in Charlottesville, VA, Heather Heyer died at the hands of a 21st century Nazi. I’m sure when she made her last contribution to Facebook – “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” – she did not realize she was about to go out and give her life in a crazed act of hateful violence but though unintentional, she’s become a beacon around which those of us who are paying attention can rally. How did we get here? For those just now noticing, lets review.
On the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, in the center of Emancipation (a relatively new name) Square stands a statue of General Robert E. Lee. Rightly recognizing, 150 years too late, that it’s a horrible idea to erect monuments to traitors who fought to defend the right to own people (don’t try to teach me folks, I spent my whole life in Mississippi and have a degree to teach high school history which just shows I was mis-educated about these matters more than most people from the South, I know the rationalizations and I know specifically how they fail), local officials had planned to remove it which process has been temporarily halted by a court while disputes are worked out. A local Nazi white supremacist organized a rally which he called “Unite the Right” and invited a collection of the more evil leaders who shared his sympathies to speak. The Nazis planned the event on-line for months, schooling each other on the sort of weapons to brings and what to expect. The rally was scheduled for August 12, but the event somewhat unexpectedly (to outside observers) including a (tiki) torch-lit march across campus the night before.
The next morning, yesterday as I write this, to the surprise of exactly no one, violence broke out between the Nazis and anti-racist counter-protesters. Amid the chaos, one of the Nazi’s (those poor oppressed suffering white males) plowed his late-model Dodge Challenger into a crowd of anti-Nazis eventually hitting two other vehicles and pushing them on through the crowd, killing Heyer and injuring 19 others. Eventually, the Racist in chief approached a microphone to disapprove of “violence on all sides.” Which brings me to my point, which I’ve made mention of before but now has an added layer of context.
I know from direct interaction during the campaign last year that there are LGB/T persons who rather passionately backed Trump. I never encountered a trans man who was a Trump fan but I encountered dozens of trans women who loved him (and lost, deliberately, some”friends” among that foolish crowd) and their routine justification, being conservatives, was that they were more than one issue voters. Yes maybe, they would concede, MAYBE the left was better on equality but…tax cuts or abortion or guns, oh those all important guns!, or whatever…were more important considerations and on those, they believe, the Republicans are in the right. I recognized the rationalizing well, I did exactly the same thing in the first few years of my transition. I voted for McCain, then four years later for Gary Johnson.
But if you ever needed any evidence that this reasoning was wrong, look at Charlottesville. No, I mean YOU conservative trans woman in your MAGA hat – LOOK AT CHARLOTTESVILLE.
These are the demons YOU helped unleash on this nation. We TRIED to tell you for a YEAR that the Nazis, the KKK, the White Nationalists saw themselves in Trump and you denied, you pretended not to see your fellow travelers as you marched in essential lock step with them. You pretended it was okay to be worried about the Mexicans or the Muslims and that didn’t make someone racists to support a man who so obviously pandered to racists that people who’s only reason for organizing I white supremacy immediately identified him as one of them. And yesterday, he confirmed it (ask them, they are gushing about his comments as you read this post).
And don’t sit there and waffle and give me BS about “but terrorists” – your allies ARE terrorists. Since 9/11 more events that took lives on American soil have been right wing white-nationalist or Christian terrorists than anything connected to Islam and the only reason the later has taken slightly more lives is Pulse. All last year you lot were “why can’t Obama or Hillary say “radical Islam” yet you worship a man who not only can’t say “right wing domestic terrorists” but actually acted to cut funding to DoJ efforts to monitor these assholes.
The Nazis are emboldened because a man they see as one of them is president, and that man confirms their assumption by appointing at least three blatantly white nationalist persons to his inner circle. YOU, conservative Trump loving transwoman (or other LGB/T community member) voted for this. It belongs to YOU. This is not something no one saw coming, not something that could not have been predicted, not something you were not warned about. This is something you either willfully blinded yourself to, or accepted as the collateral cost of Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.
That goes for the rank and file Republicans too. Sure, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are out their strongly denouncing the rally and, really, how could they not – but they campaigned for this man, they put party loyalty over the clear and present danger that EVERYONE could see. The only Republican worth listening to today is he handful who said last fall “We cannot accept this guy, party nominee or no.” That’s honorable guys like Evan McMullin to despicable trolls like Erik Erickson – a wide range of people that I probably disagree with or even outright loath, but at least on this one point they took a stand.
If you didn’t? If you put your pet issue, your Second Amendment fantasy or your abortion obsession or your beloved tax cuts or whatever, ahead of recognizing this day was coming – Heather Heyer’s blood is a little bit on your hands too. What are you going to do about that?
The irony is, if those monsters ever did obtain the level of power they want, they’ll be coming after you too.
Image shared from Robert Bonfante