Trouble approached the other day in the parking lot of Food Lion in Floyd, Va. It came from an angry man getting out of a rusted pickup with Confederate battle flag decals and bumper stickers showing support for ousted presidential wannabe Donald John Trump.
“Hey,” he said. “I want to talk to you!”
“OK,” I said. “What can I do for you?”
“You can stop calling people like me racists because we support and voted for the man who really won the election that people like you stole!” His red race should have told me he really didn’t want to discuss the matter in any reasonable way.
“When did I call you a racist?”
“You are always calling those of us who support Trump racist!”
“Give me an example.”
“Well, I can’t because I don’t read your s–t!”
Then how do you know what I wrote?”
“Everybody knows you think Trump supporters hate Black people,” he said. “I don’t hate them, I just don’t have any use for them.”
“Really,” I responded. “Comments like that tell me a lot. It tells me you are uninformed because you are making claims about something I wrote but, since you haven’t read any that you can cite, you are basing your claims on evidence that does not exist. That’s a lot like your boy, Trump, who claims he won an election he lost. And you have ‘no use’ for African-Americans? That could be considered a racist comment by many. Have a good day.”
As I walked away, he blurted “come back here! I’m not done with you!”
“Doesn’t matter,” I said. “I’m done with you.”
He muttered something like ‘you better watch your back because we will be coming after you.”
Typical interaction with too many supporters of Trump.
Charles Blow, columnist for The New York Times (a real news operation, not a propaganda peddler of lies like Fox News) writes:
On Saturday Trump continued to insist on Twitter that “I WON THE ELECTION IN A LANDSLIDE,” and that the Supreme Court ruling was incorrect: “This is a great and disgraceful miscarriage of justice. The people of the United States were cheated, and our Country disgraced. Never even given our day in Court!”
He keeps lying to his supporters, telling them — partly out of pride, partly out of a craven quest for power — that he was cheated and that he actually won the election. Many of them believe him. Right-wing media have aided him in his deception, as have Republican officials, either through their public pronouncements or through their silence.
On Sunday, the House minority whip, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and said:
“If you want to restore trust by millions of people who are still very frustrated and angry about what happened, that’s why you got to have this whole system play out.”
But of course this isn’t about restoring faith in our elections; rather, it is about allowing Trump to further degrade that faith. Scalise and many other Republicans are accomplices in this crime against our democracy. Trump is still trying to steal this election, and they are outside revving the engine of the getaway car.
There are many criminally-negligent enablers of Trump, including the more than 100 Republican members of the House and the racist denier I encountered in a grocery store parking lot last week.
All are bottom feeders who put their biases before the nation that allows so-called “free expression” that, too often, turns into illegal actions like trying to overthrow a legal election and, in the process, destroy the democracy that has allowed them to run free and spread misinformation, sordid racial epithets and lies.
Free expression does not include freedom to shoot someone (as happened in Olympia, WA, over the weekend) or stab others (in Washington, DC), but we know and saw the violence in the nation’s capital come from the Proud Boys white supremacist gang that Trump told to “stand ready” to protect his toxic presidency.
We know Trump is a racist, corrupt, criminal. We also know that too many of his supporters, and even those who serve in Congress, are enablers who share his beliefs.
Time to call them what they are: Racists and traitors.
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