In the Democrat’s version of “being the bigger person” it is Black people, women and other disenfranchised groups who always get thrown under the bus.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about the Democrats and how members of the party from all across the country are donating money to help a GOP campaign office reopen its doors.
Yes, you read that right.
According to published reports, GOP headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina was firebombed late Saturday night. The investigation is still pending and no suspects have been named. However a swastika along with the words, “Nazi Republicans leave town or else”were both spray-painted on an adjacent building.
Although police have no clue who is behind the dastardly act – or their political leanings – David Weinberger, a democrat from Massachusetts, has started a GoFundMe asking his fellow comrades to donate $10,000 because:
“No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences. We talk, we argue, sometimes we march, and most of all we vote. We do not resort to violence by individuals or by mobs.
So, let’s all pitch in , no matter what your party affiliation, in and get that office open again quickly.”
Thus far, the page has raised over $13,000.
On the surface it seems like a noble gesture. At the least, it is a symbol of the inherent goodness of Americans who can look past another’s personal political ideology and reject violence just the same. And at the most, a reminder of what makes the Democratic party different, and more respectable, than its supposed arch nemesis (because as we all know, if the firebomb had been aimed in the other direction, we would not have heard a peep from the Republicans).
Still, this is the same GOP which has nominated Trump and Pence as its choice for President of the United States. Two men who are running one of the most racist, misogynistic and flat-out dangerous campaigns in contemporary politics. Two men who have allowed – and even encouraged – violence at its rallies.
And this is the same GOP that has introduced, lobbied and passed reproductive laws so restrictive, it now means that some women in America have to trek up to 100 miles just to get a legal abortion. This is also the same GOP which has passed various voter ID restrictions, which many (including the Supreme Court) feel intentionally obstruct the rights of mostly Black and Brown people to vote.
I’m talking about the same GOP that refuses to support sensible gun laws, even as the country appears to be shooting itself into oblivion. And the same GOP which has routinely scapegoated immigrants, particularly the ones with Islamic names, for those shootings even as studies have suggested it is White men who are the biggest threat to this country.
For decades, the Republican Party’s “arguing and talking” have gone far beyond what could be considered reasonable political discourse. And while the party itself may have never raised a hand in violence, its actions both on The Hill and on the campaign trail are just as homicidal.
So why are some Democrats rewarding them with a new villain’s lair where they can continue to wreak havoc and make war on the very people who the DNC swears it cares the most about?
I don’t know neither.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. It’s about civility – or at least the appearance of it.
The idea that everyone’s voice and gripe about the system is valuable and on equal footing. And even if we can’t see eye-to-eye on our core beliefs, there is always a middle ground that we can always agree on.
It’s a conscientious idea. But in reality, political civility has always been a privilege concept. For America, it is a concept largely bred out of homogenous (white and male) history where White supremacy was law and as such, White people did not always have to empathize with Black people (along with other people of color, women and even other poorer Whites) who had to fight – sometimes violently – for inclusion into the political process.
Or as noted by Ijeoma Oluo, editor-at-large for The Establishment, who writes brilliantly in the piece entitled, “The Privilege of Civilized Discourse:”
“If your son will never be one of the 1 in 3 black men imprisoned in America, if you will never need an abortion, if you don’t have to fear watching your family die in a drone strike, debate can be vigorous fun—like being a freshman in Poli Sci all over again. When you have nothing to fear, the most important decisions in our government all turn into thought experiments where everything—even the lives of human beings—is up for compromise.
But for the rest of us, for those of us directly and horrifically impacted every day by the slow and comfortable pace of “progress,” the call for civilized debate is barbaric. The lack of yelling, the lack of protest, the lack of rage and urgency around issues that are literally killing people is a glaring testament, not of our manners, but of our lack of basic empathy as a society.”
Listen, folks can spend their money as they see fit. But all I’m saying is, if the aim is to take a stand against the angry and violent mob who disrupts all of our important arguing and talking, maybe that money would be better spent in Flint, Michigan.
You know, the place where Black, Brown and poor folks are slowly dying after their water supply was violently poisoned by their Republican government?
Or maybe within the immigrant communities, where individuals are being pulled away violently from their families and deported.
And perhaps among the victims of police brutality who still have to live in communities where cops are openly campaigning to Make America Great Again.
But I guess it is always easier to claim anti-violence when the boot is not on your neck.
Charing Ball is a writer, cultural critic, free-thinker, slick-mouth feminist and the reigning queen of unpopular opinions. She is also from Philadelphia. To learn more, visit NineteenSeventy-Seven.com.