Just another mo(u)rning in America

 

Good morning! Time to cozy up to social media with a mug of tea, and — what’s this?

igorvolsky_on_Twitter___You_can_assault_a_reporter_for_daring_to_ask_you_a_question__lie_about_it___Americans_will_reward_you_w__power__That_really_scares_me__

Oh my god. He WON?? What country am I living in? Apparently one where we now just openly celebrate and reward violence. It’s like living in Lord of the Flies.

Of course, I realize, this is a typical naive white person response.

The Washington Post reports that in his victory speech, Gianforte acknowledged, “I shouldn’t have treated that reporter that way. I made a mistake.” To which a supporter in the audience replied, “Not in our minds!”

Mother Jones observes that Montana’s special election is a “notable test” of Trump Country in 2018. Oh my god. What behavior will Gianforte’s win empower?

Still reeling from this news, I scroll through Facebook, where a friend has shared the following:

This set me into a panic. The couple in the story is 24 years old. Two of my dearest friends here in Brooklyn, women who are like family to me, are a 24-year-old lesbian couple who live near the Q train.

I texted them. They’re fine — as fine as you can be knowing that this could have so easily been you. It’s sickening.

As I write this my daughter’s collection of My Little Pony toys stares at me from the coffee table. Her pipe cleaner art sits atop a painting she made of a rainbow heart.

When do I break it to her that this is the world she’s living in?

And I know people think I’m being dramatic every time I bring this up, but am I doing right by her by raising her in this country?

I know our history is marred with violence. But our bully in chief (who is #notmypresident and never will be) is empowering bullies everywhere to act openly on their basest instincts. We liberals gasp in horror while their supporters cheer them on.

It’s not just here in America, I realize. Obviously. An 8-YEAR-OLD GIRL was among the group of people killed in the Manchester attack. We know of the suffering in Syria. In Southeast Asia, acid is thrown in women’s faces when they reject a man’s marriage proposal or sexual advances or otherwise assert their will in a way that displeases a male member of the species.

And on and on it goes. Suffering, everywhere, daily. We just need to accept that we are not exceptional anymore. We aren’t. We can’t look down our noses at “those barbarians” in other far flung places. We are barbarians. And yes, maybe we’re different because those of us who are horrified can freely criticize, but then, a man was just elected after assaulting a reporter for asking questions, so…

As the Committee to Protect Journalists reminds us,

(Trump) cultivated media suspicion and animosity at his rallies, where he corralled and frequently ridiculed journalists whom he described as “disgusting” and “the lowest form of humanity.” Crowds at those rallies frequently booed journalists, and in a particularly disturbing image that was widely circulated on social media (and appears on the cover of this book), a supporter wears a T-shirt emblazoned with the words: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED,” bringing to mind the notorious lynchings of the civil rights period.

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Photo by Jonathan Ernst for Reuters

It is FUCKING INSANE, this time we are living in.

The barrage of news. The violence. The insistence in some quarters that everything’s just fine and this too shall pass, while our country seems very obviously, to me, to be heading toward Civil War.  The dissonance between the news in our social media feeds and the animal gifs that we share with increased desperation to soothe ourselves. The dissonance in our lives between cramming news of the latest indignities into our brains while rushing off to work and teaching our kids how to tie their shoes.

It’s crazy.

It’s ugly.

And I’m afraid it’s not going to stop anytime soon.

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