[content note: racism, misogyny]
Remember the plethora of think pieces right after Election 2016, warning us that calling bigots bigots is why Trump won and how we ought to, instead, gaze into Trump supporter navels so we could better understand the economic anxieties of those who would support a misogynistic racist?
Consider Republican Mitch McConnell shushing Senator Elizabeth Warren two days ago, as she attempted to read the words of Coretta Scott King. She was reading these words in opposition to the nomination of Jeff Sessions, a racist whose nomination is celebrated by white supremacist David Duke, as US Attorney General.
In silencing her, McConnell issued a patronizing scold: "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted." This quickly became a Twitter hashtag #ShePersisted
Now, in an ideal world, a man who lost the popular vote and whose inauguration inspired the largest protest in US history would make a humble offering. Perhaps an, "I see your unrest and I will do what I can to understand it and earn your support."
We are not, obviously, living in that world. Trump is not that person. In light of the reality that neither Trump nor many of his fans are going to be gazing into our navels anytime soon, I will remember that they may have power, but they do not have a mandate.
As they call "SJWs" "snowflakes" while refusing to let a racist white man be called racist because it's indecorous, they are the epitome of hypocrites who demand all the special treatment and empathy while refusing to render any themselves.
But, here's a thing about many people with unexamined privilege:
Bigots in their insular "white-man-only-discourse" bubbles and golden-toileted towers seem to have no idea of the fury they are continually evoking. As I alluded earlier this week about a Tweet of mine that (unexpectedly) went viral, Trump is so proud of his unwillingness to engage in empathy, that he and his team continually lurch into every sore point, every rage-trigger, and every fear of further victimization that many marginalized people have.
The bigots in power may not yet understand "the optics" of what they are doing. I suspect one day that at least some of them might. Even if they don't, or perhaps especially if they don't, we must continue to document, speak out, and resist every indignity, every mistake, and every act of abuse. Let the resistance be viral.
We are here, we are resisting, and this is not done in our name.