Monday, January 2, 2017

An Unacceptable Time

(With no apologies to Madeleine L'Engle. It was a crappy book.)

We are living in an unacceptable time. We are living in an unacceptable time full of people acting in unacceptable ways. I'm not talking about Trump, either, or at least not just Trump; he's just one rich asshole who thinks way too highly of himself. No, I'm talking about the people who put Trump where he is, all of whom in one way or another think way too highly of themselves, too (which is what white privilege (especially male white privilege) is all about), and are hoping that by validating Trump he will return the favor and validate them.

Of course, it's Republican powermongers who created Trump and put him where he is. You only have to look at North Carolina to see that. North Carolina has become the microcosm that a significant part of the United States is on its way to becoming, which is not a democracy according to the EIP (Electoral Integrity Project), an international organization that evaluates the electoral processes of countries (and states) around the world. North Carolina scored the lowest score of any place ever evaluated in the entire world (a 7/100) on its districting practices. [And, overall, North Carolina isn't even the lowest scoring State on their scale. This is scary stuff to be happening in America, the place where this kind of authoritarianism was never supposed to be able to happen.]

Here's kind of what all of this is like:

Imagine a classroom. In the classroom are 20 young children, let's say six years old. They are sitting in a circle. One boy, a white boy, has a pile of cookies in front of him, 80 of them. Some of you are thinking that that boy should share some of his cookies, but hold on! There are some more cookies.

There's another white boy sitting next to the cookie hoarder; he has 10 cookies. He's looking at the guy with 80 cookies and being resentful of the fact that he only has 10 cookies.

But here's the real problem. There are only 10 cookies left to be shared out among 18 more children. Then, two more kids get two cookies each. Four kids get one cookie each. Two kids get half a cookie a piece, and... 10 kids get to share the last cookie.

Now, in any sane classroom, the teacher would make the boy with 80 cookies share some of his cookies, but, when the teacher makes that suggestion, the boy begins throwing a tantrum. And not just any tantrum, a raging tantrum during which he exclaims over and over about how those are his cookies and how he deserves his cookies because he is better than everyone else in the room, the rest of the students, other than the boy sitting next to him with the 10 cookies, being non-white children. So the teacher turns to little Joey, the boy with 10 cookies, and asks him if he, at least, will share. Joey sits grudgingly, watching Donald throw his tantrum and being resentful that Donald is getting to keep his 80 cookies just because he's pitching a fit, but he allows that he will share one of his cookies, which gets divided up without any of the pieces ever making it around to the 10 children all sharing the one cookie.

So the teacher brings in another round of cookies to try to even things up, but Donald is a greedy, selfish, piggish little boy, and he immediately takes another 80 cookies while the teacher is trying to keep control of the rest of the room. Joey takes another 10 but, then, once they are seated, Donald steals two of Joey's cookies from him and eats them while Joey watches. This time, as the rest of the cookies are divided out in the same manner as the first time, Joey refuses to share. Why should he? Donald just stole two of his cookies and is in the midst of another violent tantrum about how he is better than everyone else and doesn't have to share and no one can make him.

And this is how it continues. Donald always getting the bulk of the cookies and, actually, growing angry that he isn't getting all of the cookies each time cookies are delivered. Each time, he also manages to steal a couple or few of Joey's cookies.

Joey grows increasingly resentful over how many cookies that Donald has and becomes resentful at the other children in the circle for getting cookies that he wants. He has found that he, no matter what he tries, cannot manage to get any of Donald's cookies from him but, sometimes, he is able to steal cookies from other children in the circle. It doesn't matter to him that he has more cookies than everyone else; he only cares that he doesn't have as many cookies as Donald. Everyone looks with longing at Donald's pile of cookies and wants desperately for someone to step in and make him share.

But no one does.

Joey, thinking that Donald must have some trick for getting the most cookies other than being a bully and just being first in line every time, has an idea: He decides that, maybe, if they put Donald in charge of the cookies, then he will share.

Does anyone else see the problem with this logic?

And, of course, in a classroom, any sane teacher would actually make Donald share. And Joey. No matter the tantrum. That is the acceptable solution: sharing.

But we are in an unacceptable time where we have elected Donald to be in charge of all of the cookies, and, if he wouldn't share before -- in fact, when he wouldn't share before and also went about trying to steal cookies that belonged to other people -- why would anyone think he would share now? No, now he has the power to block other people from getting cookies so that he can have even more for himself.

And, by the way, I didn't make up these numbers. I've roughly based the cookie distribution on global wealth distribution. Donald represents the 1%, and Joey represents the rest of Western white society. The problem is that, as a society, we have just decided to, rather than work to make the 1% share their cookies, work to keep people of other colors out of the cookie line all together. It's unacceptable. Completely. If for no other reason than that Joey still has way more cookies than everyone else and can, actually, afford to share. He (we) just doesn't want to because why should he when no one is making Donald?

So, yeah, screw what is right and good, because it's all about greed and gluttony. It doesn't matter to Joey (us) that he (we) actually has more cookies than he needs or can eat; it only matters that he doesn't have as many as Donald and, until he does, fuck the world. Because, really, that's what a vote for Trump translates into: Fuck the world.

This is not a time to support Trump and his cronies and their desire to consolidate power (and cookies) to the wealthy white power structure. This the time to stand up to their unacceptable ways and make them share. Yes, like any spoiled brat of a child, they are going to throw a violent tantrum, but it's time for us to stand up and be the adults. The real adults who stand for equality for all children, not just the white ones.


  1. Hm, the name of the bratty child sounds familiar for some reason...

  2. As you'd guess, I agree with you 100%. Here's the problem, though: some of those kids who aren't Joey or Donald will defend Joey and Donald's 'rights' to keep the cookies, arguing that because Joey and Donald amassed them you can't take them away -- even if they were ill-gotten.

    And if too many of the kids start to wonder about that logic, Joey and Donald get the other kids to all start arguing about ANYTHING BUT the cookies -- say by picking on someone's clothing or height, so that the rest of the class spends their time bickering about inessential things rather than focusing on the cookies.

    By the way, I'm thinking Joey is the Democratic party. Am I right?

    1. Briane: Actually, in this illustration, it's really only Joey who's arguing for the right of Donald to keep the cookies (because he hopes that that way Donald will share some cookies with him and him alone). Joey is more a representation of white, Western society in general with the Donald the 1% of that. There are some exceptions, but most of the world's wealth is centered in what would be called the Western World.

  3. And now, the GOP House just voted to dismantle the only independent ethics committee that had power to investigate corruption by lawmakers.

    1. Nancy: Yeah, I don't even know how to respond to that.

  4. I applaud you, sir. That was a great analogy, per usual. I wish we could all make a bigger ripple in this rip-tide of bullshit, but Donalds and Joeys of the world continue to block their ears every time we speak reason and chant 'BLAH BLAH BLAH' instead of listening or acting.

    1. Bonnee: I think it's worse than them just trying to ignore people; they're doing their best to silence everyone else.