There is a strong mentality out there that we must behave towards the lies and aggressions of this Presidency and this movement manifested by Trump. That it’s important that business as usual be maintained. But I really want to ask, what does that benefit? And who does that benefit?
Democrats seem to think their respect and “good behavior” will benefit them with voters. That if they maintain the ability to be cordial and give reverence to the political posture, and business as usual, things will simply pass and be well in the end.
Because it is so uncommon, acts like Pelosi tearing the speech or AOC, Warren, Maxine, Sanders, and many others not attending seem outrageous to many people. They should not. Those are normal reactions to the lies and horror that come from this office every day. And people should be more familiar and comfortable with such defiance. These moments should not be headlines. They should be the normal response to such ugliness. We should not stand for this. We should not behave.
Start flipping the tables.
All it does is normalize this devastating moment and give it validity and platform it should never have.
Tear the speech. Don’t attend. Disrupt. Defy.
I don’t want to make any outrageous Hitler comparisons but let it be the example that assuming the people will eventually come around in the face of fascism and white supremacy is a losing game. That’s not going to happen when we treat this division like a valid form of leadership. It has to be opposed.
We need to get into some good trouble. There must be acts of defiance and dissent because nothing about this is normal and any behavior that legitimizes it allows people to oppress unchallenged.
This all is about systems of power and oppression. That is the battle happening. And the system at the center of glory in tonight’s State of the Union is the racism of white supremacy. They gave Rush Limbaugh, one of America’s most famous and divisive racists, the highest civilian honor. Limbaugh’s entire program is such ugly and divisive white supremacy.
I think this point is so important for white people to recognize. The opportunity of our nation “coming together” too often is a call to behave in the face of white supremacy. That we should treat campaigns of white supremacy as a mutually compatible platform to all others. It is too often the oppressor class asking those without the privileges to be silent and deal with it. To behave while they are stepped on and over. To allow it. To submit to the gaslighting. The trolling. The dehumanizing. The constant lies. The erasure of sacred lands. The vilification of BIPOC. Especially non-white immigrants.
To show respect to such violence is to lose.
It is white silence and for too much of my life I have been guilty with not being concerned enough about this.
I do not believe it is what the Gospel calls us to do. It does not make room for Kingdom but for Hell.
Do not be polite to white supremacy. Do not respect the opinion of bigotry and homophobia. Do not treat dehumanization with any ounce of validation.
May every prophet arise.
That anyone would call the tearing up of the speech ugly and immature but not feel the danger of those words and lies spoken to a nation is beyond me. I cannot fathom this false equivalence. It just makes me so sad to see the things this President lies about and amplifies. This was not an address to the entire nation. It was an address to his base and a middle finger to any opposition. And it is working and winning and will be elected again.
Get defiant. Encourage your representatives to do the same. We cannot treat this like it is just any other Presidency. Or the usual back and forth of power exchange. The crowd passionately chanted “four more years” and they will get it.
If social harmony means submitting to lies and racism then it’s not peace but oppression.
We cannot honor the humanity in one another when we bow down and submit to systems and movements of oppression. When we simply allow such evil with silence for the sake and tradition of being “respectful.”
We are on the cusp of an illegitimate partisan impeachment trial that will only move us closer to fascism and we have leaders of our nation sitting in the presence of unchecked abuse of power and applauding. And we are all acting like this is normal, beneficial, favorable, and somehow going to heal our nation. It will not. It benefits not.
It only benefits the abusers of power. And alienates, and marginalizes those who dissent.
That any Democrat would attend or applaud this show is a mockery of this moment. It is a failure to grasp what is happening. And it is legitimizing a system of abuse and equating it to the highest honors of our society.
It is a validation of racism and fascism and we all should be disappointed to legitimize it’s seat on the throne. History won’t care about your “professionalism.”
“Not peace, but a sword.” That’s what that scripture is about.
One thought on “If social harmony means submitting to lies and racism, then it is not peace but oppression.”
Thank you for your thoughtful and powerful words of conviction David. A friend of mine shared your blog on her Facebook, and your words have given me hope again, amidst observing my (predominantly white) church community remaining silent amidst so many acts of hate, injustice, and oppression. May you know that your words have brought healing to a fellow sojourner.