Saturday, November 19, 2016

Crying Wolf

There is a blog post making the rounds entitled "You Are Still Crying Wolf". The thrust of the piece is that it is inaccurate and unfair to call Trump a racist, and that doing so is counter-productive and scares people unnecessarily. It argues that calling out Trump is calling wolf.

If it is, then let me join the call. There is a wolf.

To me, the piece reads like holocaust denial literature. It uses statistics and clever argumentation to convince us to deny the evidence that has been placed plainly before us.  Trump made a name for himself in politics by peddling the "birther" lie. During the Republican primary he jettisoned all conservative orthodoxy and boiled it down to the different groups of brown people we need to expel and be afraid of. During the general election he advocated for targeting racial minorities for voter suppression and mass incarceration. In the early days of staffing his administration, Mr. Trump has already appointed a racist, rogues gallery who openly oppose the civil rights and sacred laws they will be entrusted to defend and enforce.

These choices will have terrible consequences for real people. American citizens, lawful residents, and people, whose only crime is a desire to live and work in America, are going to be persecuted. They will be intimidated, insulted, beaten, disenfranchised, and have their rights denied. They will be detained, imprisoned, deported, tortured and killed. Some of this will come from people who have been inspired and energized by Trumps rhetoric. The worst of it will come from the administration itself and be backed by full force of executive and law-enforcement authorities.

This is not based imagination or speculation. These are promises that were made. Looking at the what's going on, day by day, it is clear that the pledges of persecution are promises Trump intends to keep.

I fully expect, indeed I am counting on, the majority Trump voters to say this is not what they want. That they are not racist. That they do not support it when people are attacked based on their race, color, or religion. Trump voters are not some unknown other. You are my friends, colleagues, neighbors, gaming-buddies, and family members. I know you and have always known you. You say it's not about race. And I believe you. I live in New Hampshire. We've really only got the one race. Why would it be all about racism? I believe you.

But you had a choice. And you made a choice. And you chose the wolf. You may have had any number of reasons for your choice. You didn't hear the cries. You didn't trust the crier. Whatever the reason, if you voted Donald Trump, then this is the choice you made. It may not be what you want, but it's a consequence of your choice. And you are responsible for those consequences.

If this isn't what you want, if these aren't your values, then you need to stand up. And you need speak up.

We chose the wolf. We need shepherds more than ever.

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