An I·de·o·log·i·cal Civil War: Part One

Nom De Guerre

153 years after the “War Between the States” had divided this country over the issue of slavery, a new conflict has Americans once again split into separate camps. 

The conflict is centered on the ideology of voters belonging to two distinctly different geographic areas, just as the  “Civil War” as it’s more commonly referred, had previously presented.

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The Mason and Dixon Line had been drawn horizontally in 1861,  specifically separating the northern states of the existing country from the southern states.  In 2016,  we had fifty easily definable enemy lines; the fifty individual states. States that had once been reunited were now the Red states and the Blue states.

This contemporary engagement is not presenting the world the Blues or the Grays; nor the Confederacy or the Union as its primary players. This battle has passionately reintroduced two feuding groups, each with very contrasting, yet precise code of ethics. Two groups that speak a different language politically. Both teams equally confounded by the unequivocal mindset of the people who make up the opposing side.  This is the assault between the Liberals and the Conservatives

History will remember these rivals by another name.

The Resistance and the Deplorables.
The Trump Effect

Do we mirror the people and the circumstances of the past? It becomes clear with each yesterday that passes, that unless we experience a major positive unifying force to stir this political climate, the US and everyone that occupies it, will be destined to travel down that same road as our antebellum counterparts.

What will we discover at the end of that road? Perhaps the depleted phantom of what the United States of America used to represent to ourselves and to the world.

We felt it in the ether, we knew something evil was coming.

What caused a rift to swell among us??

The answer is simple: the extremely deficient, damnable, misogynistic and entitled Donald Trump got elected to the highest office in the US over Hillary Clinton, the most qualified, dedicated and vetted person ever to run for the office of President of the United States. Do we blame racism?we-are-resistance Had Trump awakened the dormant prejudices that had been secretly tucked away among a large percentage of the country’s white population?

It used to be that the expression of voicing an opinion or a thought that could be construed as remotely racist was frowned upon in polite company for most of my lifetime.

If a person had a narrow-minded view of others because of a persons’ skin color or a person’s religion, they simply kept it to themselves and we all managed to maintain some semblance of political correctness, that is until the 2016 Presidential Election cycle,  when Donald Trump and his supporters proudly and loudly expressed openly and without shame, their disdain, and contempt for people of other races with no fear of repercussion. 

And he won. 

Liberals, those with unrestricted worldviews and advocates of equal opportunity and equality for all, will remember the election night results as a disquieting nightmare. We knew immediately that we would not acknowledge Trump as our president. We knew what to expect and we were going to resist.

The Resistance was born.

Conservatives, those with an incredibly naive and parochial worldview as they aim to extinguish individual liberties, continue to pretend that they were not at all surprised by the results. They took the name that Hillary Clinton gave them, it was easy, no one had to think. They were known by the name they claimed offended them. The Deplorable emerged.

This audacity to continue this racist unapologetic rhetoric continued well past election night as the presidency changed hands.

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REUTERS

We also have to remember that Trump was not alone is spreading his intolerance. The Trump Campaign had an accomplice. The media-   The media often fell back on euphemisms when describing Trump’s comments about race. The aggressiveness would be softened by using phrases such as: racially loaded, racially charged, racially tinged, racially sensitive.

The media did not call him out on the racism.

But here’s the truth: Donald Trump is a racist. He talks about and treats people differently based on their race. He has done so for years, and he is still doing so.

Today our one nation, under God or not, is as disconnected as it was in 1865 and even more intolerant when it comes to race relations.

Yes, we elected Barack Obama, the most progressive president in generations…… 

I stopped here as I was writing to re-read my thoughts and to make sure that I wasn’t starting to veer off on another thought, as I do often times when I speak. 

I was going to make a point by saying that I am perplexed by the thought of us being construed as a  racist nation since we elected an African-American man to be our president and after I typed the first sentence, I realized I left off his race.

It became apparent to me, that this omission spoke volumes I hadn’t internally addressed.

The fact that he was black was of historical significance. The fact that color or ethnicity was not in that underlined sentence above was unexpected, but that alone explains why Trump is in the White House. The black mattered to some. 

Many were bothered by the black.

Deplorables perceive Obama the way I see Trump. I see Trump as inadequate. The deplorable saw Obama’s’ skin color/race as the inadequate.
The black was incompetency to them.

Those that were anti-Obama, I believe, had at least hoped that he would assimilate to fit in with them, you know since society had allowed him to not only run for the highest office but to actually become the president. Was the presidency supposed to make him less black? More white?

Obama was expected to change so that they would be more comfortable. The more Obama showed his competency and the more he succeeded, the more enraged they became.  They did not want him to succeed at all.

CREDIT: KWAKU ALSTON
CREDIT: KWAKU ALSTON

In 2012 he was re-elected, and that sealed the deal and the hate never went away.

As recently as May of this year, Deplorables attacked “Obummer”. ( They are so proud of that misnomer) because Barack and Michelle Obama have entered into a multiyear agreement with Netflix to produce some series and features.

Red state Americans and devout supporters of Trump began tweeting their cancellations to Netflix.

“Start counting your cancellations!” one user tweeted at the service that boasts 125 million worldwide subscribers. “You must have been living under a rock [these] past 18 [months]. We had those idiots for 8 years and couldn’t wait to get rid of them. They’ll destroy you as they tried to destroy the US. Hang up the ‘Out of Business’ sign now.”

Similarly, a call for a boycott of Target by the conservative American Family Association a year earlier over its transgender bathroom policy produced “no effects” on the company’s business.

Now think back to Obama’s victory in 2008: This is was racism looks likes:

Additionally, we cannot forget that David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), had pledged his support for the former reality TV star and Trump came under fire for hesitancy to disavow Duke.

Trump again lacked courage following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Heather Dyer was killed as she marched against neo-Nazi hate.
“I think there is blame on both sides,” was Trump’s reply to the incident.

Trump began his reign with the “Muslim Ban” which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court,  thanks to a Republican blockade of President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court Judge Merrick B. Garland. 

(Photos by Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post
(Photo by Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post

The Muslim ban is meant to play on the fears of conservatives, don’t forget how Trump started the birther movement by claiming that Obama was a Kenyan Muslim.

I read an article written b written last year about a research in political psychology that consistently showed that how physically threatened or fearful a person feels is a key factor — although clearly not the only one — in whether he or she holds conservative or liberal attitudes.

Conservatives, it turns out, react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do. In fact, their greater concern with physical safety seems to be determined early in life.

This is why it makes sense that liberal politicians intuitively portray danger as manageable — recall FDR’s famous Great Depression era reassurance of “nothing to fear but fear itself,” echoed decades later in Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address — and why Trump and other Republican politicians are instead likely to emphasize the dangers of terrorism and immigration, relying on fear as a motivator to gain votes.

Trump has a history of being racially biased in his business dealings and in his personal exchanges throughout his career but it wasn’t until he was on the campaign trail that he started to bring out the ugly in some white people.

That dialogue was emphasized when he made the disparaging umbrella remark that Mexicans coming into the States were all rapists and murderers. He further continued to single these people out by saying that Mexico was sending their worst citizens here, all the while falsely claiming that immigrants were freeloaders using up our welfare services.

Attendees at Trump rallies paid close attention and focused on this narrative of alternative truths, and without once asking for or seeking any proof to explain the statements, rather than conduct their own research to verify Trump’s accusations, they lazily decided that he was a-preaching the truth, in part, because that is what they wanted to believe and were determined to believe.

Deplorables have long been okay with Trump speaking and tweeting his scattered thoughts without concern for concrete facts or sources to back up any of his statements. If anyone did present proof to the contrary, they simply cry out “fake news” and are satisfied with that.

I once heard a white lady say, “We support Donald Trump because he says what we are all thinking.”

Well, white lady, that makes you an idiot too.

“Speak American”

It would appear that there are many in this country that assume undocumented immigrants are here to live and function with as little effort on their part as possible.

Many a white person insist that they are personally responsible for providing these families with food and other necessities with their own tax dollars while these families give nothing back to our society.

This line of dialogue angers me more so because my father was born in Mexico. He came to Texas in the 1960’s and worked in the west Texas oilfields, he married my mother, a Latina, in 1968. They were blessed with a baby boy in 1969, that would be me. Eventually, my family would settle in North Dallas.

My dad was always employed. At times he juggled more than one job. He did janitorial work, he washed dishes, he even sang lead for a cumbia, norteño, or ranchera Latin music group. I do not know the genres well enough to list the correct one. Maybe it was Tejano?

I doubt that the jobs he took to support his family took away an opportunity for the good white people of Dallas. 

Eventually, he retired from Minyard Food Stores where he had a Supervisory Position for over forty years without ever missing a day of work. 

My mother rejoined the workforce after all her children were in school. There are three of us total. We were never on welfare although if we had been there would’ve been no shame in it.

If a person is on SNAP or any other kind of government aid, it is not any of your business to know the how and why. It is none of your business to know what they purchase. You have no way of knowing what circumstances led them to reluctantly seek aide. Anyone can suddenly find themselves without a job and some cannot work because they have become disabled, others are mentally handicapped.

It does not concern you and the stigma must end. 

Undocumented immigrants contribute an average $12 billion per year in federal taxes. These immigrants could also get away without doing so as they continue to contribute billions of dollars a year to Social Security, though they may never reap any retirement benefits from it. In a 2014 Vice News piece, the Social Security Administration’s chief actuary Stephen C. Goss affirmed the $12 billion contributions. Social Security Administration analysts also added that “a relatively small portion” of those who could draw benefits do so.

So go ahead deplorable conservatives, keep telling the world how your tax dollars are providing Consuela with tortillas and that’s the reason you feel empowered to try to control her language settings through vile rants.

It is now becoming commonplace to hear about individuals empowered by Trump calling the police on black people that are enjoying a barbecue or on a young African-American girl selling water on a San Francisco sidewalk.

We have seen the video of a white woman showing her disgust at hard-working Mexicans by calling them murderers and rapists as well as an older white man angrily harassing a woman for wearing Puerto Rico shirt ‘in America’ as an officer stood by and failed to intervene.

We can’t forget Aaron Schlossberg, a New York-based lawyer, who became Internet famous for a racist rant that went viral.

Schlossberg was captured on a smartphone video yelling at employees in the restaurant Fresh Kitchen in midtown Manhattan. His complaint was that the workers were speaking Spanish to customers.

“And my guess is they’re not documented,” Schlossberg said to an employee, who appeared to be a manager. “So my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country.”

My home state of Texas was once part of Mexico and although you can make a State out of a Country you can’t take the Country out of the State, but we see you trying. This country does not have an Official Language. 

Swamp & Circumstance

This is not the America I was once so proud of.

The deplorables continue to confuse patriotism with nationalism and no matter how many times a person tries to explain to them why Colin Kaepernick took a knee, they will always revert to the same futile argument that he was disrespecting the flag and the country.

We have conservatives screeching about how we should always stand for the flag and how we should all stop being so disrespectful.

I will never stand for The American Flag or stand for The National Anthem again. Conservatives took away the proud feeling I used to have for them both by making a mockery out of the flag and anthem by using them as pawns in a fake controversy in order to please the banjo picking cousin dating Trump base.

I want to hold the anthem and the flag in high regard just as I did when I was a little boy, but I won’t be bullied into it. It would be an empty gesture.

Do not ever tell me when or where I have to say or do or salute anything, because I am an American too, and that is what being an American is all about!

Suffice to say, Trump is a racist. America has racist citizens.  These two factors combined got Trump elected.

What should we expect now? 

There will be people feeling entitled to be hateful. There will be those that will tell you to your face that you are not as good as them. History will be rewritten as more people forget how they got here.

Coming Soon: Part Two – Manifest Destiny

Certificate of Completion

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