I am in a park, across and down the road about 100 feet having a
discussion with a sistar resister when I see three young white-appearing men carrying
a large u.s. flag and equally large tRump/pence maga sign stroll by my parked truck
and disappear at the back. I cut my conversation short, rush across the street
and down the grass until I catch up with them standing a couple feet away,
reading my messages.
I greet them to their joint surprise and summon my deepest bewilderment (which is
very easy to do) to ask them why in the world are they carrying a tRump sign?
They angrily ask me if I voted for Clinton. I diffuse them by saying no I actually didn't. I ask them if they did and they answer as they adamantly shake their head no, one word: "emails". I don't want the conversation to go that way so I just clam up, put on my rueful smile, and shake my head.
They are anxious to talk, especially the very blond and blue-eyed - and young- flag carrier, who tries to proclaim that tRump has made the u.s.
great again. When I ask how he continues broadly grinning and says one word “Carrier”. I try not to
scoff and ask if they are aware of the details of that ‘negotiation’ or of the
layoffs that were just in the news. “Fake news” one of them grumbles. At least they're up to two words...
So I ask instead if he or either of his pals (one who
looks a little more brown than white to me) are getting a job with Carrier?
Flag bearer proudly boasts he’s joining the military to fight
for me and everyone in this country. I tell him he’s not, he’s going to fight
for our corporations right to exploit people in other countries. He wants to
insist that he is fighting for my freedom of speech.
I inform him the fighting he's going to do is learning how to kill another human being, not how to fight for freedom.
He is getting angrier and louder and takes a step toward
me so that I can almost feel his hot breath, as his arm swings to indicate what
I’ve written on my truck. He wants the fuckin military to take credit for my
right to say what I want.
I ask him if he REALLY believes in freedom of speech, why
is he yelling at me? Why has he moved closer, raised his voice, why is he so
He backs down enough for me to tell him I am the one who
fights for my constitutional rights, me and water protectors and activists and
lawyers and Sojourner Truth and Martin Luther King. He pooh-poohs my list of
sheras and heroes but I tell him as authoritatively firm as I can that there is
one lie he will NOT leave my presence with, and that is the belief that he is
fighting for me.
I tell him I do NOT want him to kill ANYONE for me, to
fight ANYONE for me, and reiterate this until he unwillingly indicates he
Again I ask them how tRump has made amerikkka great
again, as I pointedly look at my “Make racists, misogynists, war-mongerers,
fascists SCARED again” sign on the back of my truck. They’re either not bold
enough, or maybe in deference to the kinda-brown appearing friend in the
middle, to mention Muslims or the wall, but instead they say that he is a
businessman so he’ll provide jobs and bring wealth to the country.
I am incredulous again: their naivety is stunning. I ask
if they really know what it means to file bankruptcy, as he has done to the
tune of a billion dollars (that we know about)? They are kinda blank but still
I explain what that means to the little people, like
them, who are going to work and work and in the end, not get paid.
When I ask them why the hell do they think a democracy, a
government, should be run like a business, and have they ever worked for a
business? They all nod and I say, so your employer has been more concerned with
your welfare than him making a profit? You’ve had great experiences with
They are again speechless, maybe thinking, maybe
conceding their ignorance.
Then they state,
with a sneer that indicates the opposite, yeah, all white people are racist. I smile
and want to say I didn’t know they were that informed. Instead I nod my head
and say, yes all white people are racist, all whites have the legacy of racism
on our backs, spoon fed to us since we’re born.
They protest loudly and want to talk about Black people
being racist and I end up defining bigotry, prejudice, and racism for them. They
state unanimously they don’t believe white people have more power than Black
people, or more privilege, opportunities.
I ask them how many Black business owners do they know,
police, politicians, bankers, realtors? They’re scrambling to deny racism
accounting for their white worlds.
They out and out deny white supremacy. Flag bearer points
out black-on-black crime (in Detroit…) but is silenced when I tell him Black
people tend to kill Black people, white people tend to kill white people, men
tend to kill along racial lines. So fuckin what?
I can see him thinking about that.
I leave them thinking about what are billionaires really
doing for them? I tell them tRump doesn’t give a shit about them unless he’s
exploiting them & I think in their heart of hearts, they know this.
Maybe. But off they go, another three tRump supporters
challenged by me…