According to my mother, my maternal great grandfather, Dave George, was murdered by the Klu Klux Klan. Within this dark family lore, I was told he was murdered because he wouldn’t give up his land. I am aware that when one dons a MAGA hat, it is more convenient than wearing the white hood. It’s portable. Less messy. Then, you can tell people when you wear it you are a racist– you ‘just believe in what the POTUS is doing.’ In critiquing the current state of the country, in calling the POTUS to any accountability, your retort is ‘you hate America.’
However, whenever you see some of these ardent supporters, especially in careers of helping or influence, they always have sunglasses on with their hats. One interview which struck me was when a nurse, in the full MAGA regalia of cap and glasses, said that she supported the president because ‘he says what I think.’
This had me thinking.
With the addition of the Civil Rights Amendments to the Constitution, Title X, and the continued press for racial/gender equality, these archaic pre-antebellum notions have not gone anywhere. Just like the story of my Grandfather Dave, the story his killers told remained in their families as well! This is why you see these seemingly civil White folk relishing in this ideology!
Perhaps they, too, sat at the knees of their grandparents, or outside of locked doors and heard the stories. They heard the rumors. They heard the stories about the cutting off a left ears. Of lynch mobs. Perhaps they even heard the stories of these same grandparents–whom where once children–going to lynch parties, watching living, strong, Black bodies become strange fruit. With horror, then glee. The power is what they covet, what they believe is missing. What these generations previous and current believe they have to instill is the belief that to be White is to be powerful, and anything that is not White is to be removed, repressed, oppressed or subdued. This is one of the tenants of White supremacy.
What this election has done is expose the veneer of racial civility–completely. What we are left with now, which much be reconciled with is why do people of this seeming elite ethnicity believe they are superior to anyone else? Ergo, to ensure that power, this superiority, it has be reinforced generation, after generation. The adages have to be repeated, embellished, and ingrained. The rights of others, the equitable treatment of people of variant backgrounds have to be seen as an infringements to the right to do as you want. Infringements on power structure of a society they have to be indoctrinated to believe they are entitled to run!
White supremacy is a straw man for weak minded individuals with no sense of self outside of skin tone. It has to be reinforced: it is a legacy that demands ignorance at the cost of progress. At the cost of inclusion. At the cost of life, health and well-being. When that is exposed so that it can be dismantled, the layers of this fallacy are exposed! We see that is built on things that are not based in reality; quantifying everything unlike you as other, evil or foreign. That is not reality.
What must be addressed in this time of what can only be called MAGA fascism is no one wants to say it with their chest! You want to hide behind hats, glasses, fake accounts and bots and retweets! But you won’t go to the job that pays you and spout this lunacy! Why? There are parameters in place which you respect because there are consequences! There are are bigger things at stake than you calling your boss a slur because they got promoted and they don’t look like you!
Racism costs. It will always those whom cannot afford to pay. On and in the chances when the opportunity to confront those whom perpetuate this poison are called out and confronted–with tangible, economic repercussions–they feign ignorance. Suddenly everything was misconstrued, miscommunicated, and through the tears we hear the choruses of “that’s not what I meant!” are always heard.
The thing is, these things are meant. Anything that is taught, is a form of discipline. Memorization, a deposit to use for later. A weapon needed in specific situations. They meant it! They mean it every time they put this hat on–because their decedents meant it every time they gathered rope. Or raped mothers. Or took land. They mean what they say–racists don’t have the acumen to pay the cost because the world doesn’t, isn’t lily white anymore.
And if you hate me, at least do the dignity of your betters and say it to my face–and not behind a tweet. Or a hat. Or the hat-glasses combo. Say it with your chest.
“If you can only be tall, when someone is on their knees, you have a serious problem.” -Toni Morrison