A friend posted this account recently on their social media page:
A friend was standing in line at returns at Home Depot yesterday when the white man in front of him told another man, who was hispanic, he was going to call Trump to come get him. I was horrified and would not be able to keep my mouth shut if I had been confronted by that bigoted white man. Disgust!!!!!
Immediately, one of my friend’s friends, apparently a conservative, piped up with this:
What about freedom of speech? Please explain “HOW” this man is a bigot? It was probably not a nice thing to say, but we do have freedom of speech.
When several others on the thread pointed out how bigoted Conservative Person sounds, Conservative Person wilted from the controversy, claiming loudly “you don’t know me!”
I am appalled at Conservative Person’s enormous lack of recognition of the double-standard in play here. When a white person threatens a foreign-looking person with deportation it’s all fun and games or “freedom of speech.” When someone points out the hypocrisy of this thinking, suddenly they’re all “mind your own business.”
I tried to build a bridge here, gently showing Conservative Person how the Latino man deserves the same respect that Conservative Person does but there was just no connecting the dots. It’s like it never once occurred to Conservative Person that there was anything wrong with being an asshole towards people who look different. White people get a pass for their bad behavior, apparently.
This is what has me so worried about our country’s future. Outside forces, such as far-right so-called sources of news, have stirred up racial animosity and these fires take incredibly long to get under control, if they ever do. And I use the word “fire” here deliberately because of the damage these attitudes can do. Fires can get out control and have far-reaching, unintended consequences, beyond simply winning elections. Fires can cause permanent damage.
I read a headline this morning that an Oxford University report states that Trump supporters are now considered unreachable, stuck in an endless feedback loop of fake news. Says Ben Cohen of the Daily Banter:
I have argued that reconciliation with Trump supporters and the fringe right is a necessity at some point if the country is to survive in the long term. But in the short term, this is now completely impossible. Trump supporters cannot be reached, talked to, or negotiated with, so there is little point it trying. The only thing that counts is upholding the rule of law, voting the complicit GOP out of office in the midterms, and booting out Trump in 2020 (should he survive that long). There can be reconciliation, but only after the adults take back control of the country.
The adults have a lot of work to do. A astoundingly huge amount of work.