Three hundred and ninety six years after the Pilgrims first spotted Cape Cod and 8 years after this nation elected its first Black president we’ve finally come to a point where we can see clearly that the great experiment of The United States of America has ultimately failed.
We were left with no options in a game that always leaves conquerors at the helm.
In January, we have perhaps the second coming of Andrew Jackson. The Indian Killer lives on in a large portion of our American psyche. What happens between now and Inauguration Day, at the Standing Rock pipeline protest in North Dakota, may tell us a great deal. Up until this point, President Obama has been sitting on his hands as protestors are being arrested, beaten, hosed down, shot at with rubber bullets, peppered sprayed and attacked by security dogs. Our new president elect, who has investments in the pipeline awaits in the wings possibly chomping at the bit to take his first swings at the people as many have done before him. For those of you who still believe a Clinton presidency would be more just, I recommend you try another flavor Kool-Aid. The flavor she packaged for you doesn’t have that Trump aftertaste but still contains the poison of this lie we call The American Dream.
Trump will be following a long pattern of injustices against native folks, immigrants, those living in poverty, people of color, the LGBTQ community and women. This is where those of us with a moral compass have an opportunity to show our actual worth. Instead of just signing petitions, writing letters to our senators or voting, we actually have to take significant action. We have to be the frontline of defense as the upcoming onslaught of liberty and justice begins. Voting is a negotiation with what’s always been non-negotiable and simply leads to conformity.
Our defense requires us to listen to those being attacked.
It requires us to follow directives from them instead of assuming leadership. It requires sacrificing our own comforts and privileged protections to confront injustice. It also requires financial, material, emotional and physical support. Most of all, it requires us to be present and mindful as we all attempt to flip this system.
It’s been a strange year. The Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908 and we elected a white man who speaks like he’s from 1828. Like all of you, I don’t know exactly what’s coming. What I do know is that we must be willing to risk this nation for our moral imperative of supporting our fellow human beings against conquerors. If we fail here our legacy of classism, white supremacy, xenophobia, homophobia and patriarchy will be our completed history on this continent.
Some argue (usually those with inherent privilege) that we should give Trump a chance to lead. To them I say, wake up! This isn’t about Trump. It’s about a long line of war criminals (every president we’ve ever had) and psychopaths destroying and dividing in the name of God, country and progress. It is not our country. It was stolen and handed to us in the name of destiny. I’ll happily defend those who are oppressed and threatened by it. As Hip Hop genius Boots Riley says, “We got the guillotine you better run!“. Pretend lines we call boundaries, should never come before the lives living inside and outside of them.
No matter our ideology, we all believe we are the good folks.
We believe we are right. Conquerors believe the same thing about themselves. The truth is we’re all terribly wrong. Only those who have lived and died or continue to live on the outside looking in know the truth. As my good friend Justin writes, “The rope, stained with the blood of the left, remains a rope, weakened not at all. When the attitudes remain the same, the game can never change.” The United States of America is not what many white folks on the left or right perceive it to be. It’s a failed state because we have failed to shed our inherent privilege and instead continue to play the game within the rules set before us. The rules of our rulers are killing us. It is time to cut the umbilical cord and end the game.
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