TW: racism, white nationalism, US politics
Abuse isn’t just something that happens on a personal level – it can also happen on a widespread level as well. Such as what those of us in the United States are living with right now.
Make no mistake, this POTUS is a bigoted racist who cares about absolutely no one but himself and those he thinks can be useful to him. He’s praised and excused white people who openly and violently hate people of color, Jewish people, LGBTQ people, and disabled people because those are the people keeping him in power and stoking his ego. This is more than simple enabling behavior – he’s actively encouraging white nationalists to radicalize and become violent, because they praise him, and he loves nothing more than praise.
This sort of radical hatred is not new in the United States. It’s simply obvious and transparent to people with privilege in a way that it hasn’t been in a very long time. It’s no longer something that can be ignored or denied or couched in fancy rhetoric – it’s being put out there very boldly and very directly.
A lot is being said about how anyone who supports our POTUS is racist. Others say that if you support a racist, that’s you saying that you’re okay with racism. To me, being okay with or unbothered by racism means that you likely hold to some of those beliefs yourself – you don’t need to be a KKK member or join marches with tiki torches to be a racist.
As someone who has been abused, let me tell you that anyone who supports your abuser after the abuse has become obvious is just as guilty as the abuser. There’s just no way around it. You can’t excuse it, you can’t let them tell you that they have other good qualities, you can’t listen to them try to tell you that just because the abuser is like that doesn’t mean they are.
Enablers are 100% culpable for supporting abusive behaviors. Republicans are 100% culpable for electing and continuing to support this horrifying failure of a president. You can’t separate yourself from abuse, whether it’s between individuals, or on a societal level. You just can’t. If you support the perpetrator of abuse, you are supporting abuse. You are saying that you think it’s okay.
In the case of what’s going on in our country right now, let’s be clear: The reason why so many white people think what POTUS is supporting is okay because they don’t see people of color as being equal to them. Some even still think of people of color as being sub-human. So part of the abuse dynamic that’s playing out here right now is happening because too many white people still don’t care what happens to people of color. Some even go so far as to say they should be eradicated.
This country is being led by a pack of abusive white men, and the leader of that pack has been very open about his racism, misogyny, and ableism. There are a lot of white women who support them despite the latter two issues, because aligning with their race is more important than aligning with their gender. And many of his base have been brainwashed by the idea of “traditional” gender roles being the only acceptable way to live, so many of these women are dealing with some serious internalized misogyny themselves. Not that that excuses them – it just makes it easier to understand why so many white women are in thrall to the racist trash running this country right now.
White people who support this POTUS do so because preserving their sense of superiority is their biggest concern. The idea that people of color should be given voices, given more power, and given equality scares them – on a base level, I do think a lot of the white nationalist reaction is fear-based. There’s a lot of projection that happens, and it played out really obviously this past week with Charlottesville – the more violent and extreme they become, the more violent and extreme they accuse the people they oppress of becoming. The more they terrorize people of color, the more they claim to be terrorized.
The backlash has been glorious, but it’s not enough. Too many “good” people still want to turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not happening. Too many “good” people still hold to the idea that remaining uninvolved somehow absolves them of any responsibility.
If you know something bad is happening, and you are capable of speaking up or doing something, and choose to do nothing – you are just as culpable as the person who committed the wrong. You are siding with the abuser.